Job Search Must-Do Tips for the New Graduate

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If you've just graduated college, or are graduating in the next few weeks, it's too late for advice about how you should have started planning your job hunt while in high school by getting work experience and taking on internships to introduce yourself to potential post-graduate employers. If you haven't been diligent about finding a job, all is not lost, but don't waste any more time. Keep the following tips in mind to help you secure a job as soon as possible.Polish Your Resume
Consider your resume a constant work in progress. It's an important marketing document. Never consider your resume a "one and done" project. Study job descriptions of interest and consistently tweak and adjust your resume to illustrate your skills and accomplishments as they relate to what employers seek. Include key words from the descriptions in your materials, and make sure you explain how and why your background matches what the employer wants in a candidate.

Don't Underestimate Your Experience
Since this may be your first official job search, don't forget to include all of your relevant experience. For example, incorporate details about your leadership and volunteer experience. Describe these as if they were jobs, in the "Experience" section of your resume. Similarly, don't forget to include all of your work background, including service jobs, such as waiting tables. Describe the skills you used there, not just what you did. For example, you might include, "Demonstrated suggestive selling skills as winner of restaurant's "Appetizer Tuesday" contest." Avoid obvious descriptions such as, "Brought food to customers."

Research Organizations
Employers love when you appear to know a lot about their organizations. Help yourself stand out from the crowd by learning everything you can about the companies where you want to work. Use online tools and in-person interviews to collect details others may forget and you'll impress your interviewers.

Prepare for Interviews
Speaking of interviews, start preparing now. You need to be ready on a moment's notice, which means putting together your interview outfit. If an employer asked you to come in tomorrow, you don't want to start a mad rush to find something to wear. (And, where did you put those shoes?) Once your outfit is ironed and ready, think about responses to questions such as, "Why should we hire you?" and "What interests you about this job."

Get Online
You're likely applying for jobs online, but make sure your digital footprint includes a completely filled out LinkedIn profile. Make sure you highlight your best qualities and be consistent between your resume and your LinkedIn profile. In addition, don't forget to clean up your social profiles. Employers will look at them, and you don't want to leave any dirty laundry out for them to find.

When you carefully follow all of these steps, you'll be ahead of the crowd and prepared to take the next steps for job search success.
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