The Bag: How I secured my post graduate Job.
After years of studying and hard work, the goal, for a lot of students, is to secure a job after graduation. My goal was to secure something or anything. I had no idea what I wanted to do but the plan was to have “something”. I graduated with a Bachelors in Commercial Entrepreneurship and I knew I wanted to do something in that field, and I also wanted to work within the industry of technology. So, I did what I needed to do.
Some people start applying for jobs a month before they graduate (me) and other people start applying the semester before or even the year before. I would say start as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance to land the perfect opportunity. Initially, I didn’t know how to start the process and I was overwhelmed. I procrastinated and pushed it off for a long time. Job searching and the job application process was a very daunting task for me, so I had to break it up into four parts.
1. The Resume/Cover Letter: My Rule of thumb – if they ask for a cover letter, send a cover letter! That extra step could be the difference between your application being reviewed and someone else’s application. I would suggest making a basic cover letter that can be edited and tweaked for different jobs and opportunities. And do the same thing for the resume.
As far as the resume goes, make sure all the relevant information is on there. If you have to make separate resume’s for different positions that’s fine too. Additionally, a resume can be formatted in numerous different ways as long as it is consistent throughout the entire document. For example, if you have one title bolded and underlined make sure all titles are all bolded and underlined. It also doesn’t hurt to have a couple people review the resume before you start sending them off. I spent a lot of time at FSU’s (Florida State University) Career Center having people look over my resume and edit the format. It helps to have a second set of eyes looking over it to catch mistakes that would have been missed at first glance.
2. Interviews: The most important thing to remember about interviews is that it is just a conversation. Don’t let them intimidate you. You’re talking about yourself the entire time. A topic you should know very well. But it does help to be prepared. I did this by printing out common interview questions and reviewing them with my friend. FSU’s Career Center also hosted mock-interviews and I did a couple of those as well. It was super helpful to go through a mock interview process and then pinpoint the areas that needed improvement. They also record the interview, so I was able to see myself make certain errors in real time.
3. The job search: If you know exactly what you want to do and how you want to get there, searching for jobs/ post graduate opportunities might not be that hard. I started by writing down all the industries I was interested in and looked up common entry level jobs that were available in those industries. I made note of the salaries, locations, and availabilities and then I started sending out applications like it was my full-time job.
4. The application process: I couldn’t even tell you how many jobs I applied to. I lost count. All I know is, that for a month I sent out applications every day. I mainly used Handshake, which is a job/internship board that posts opportunities that are available depending on different categories. But I know a lot of people that had success with other resources such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc. I also applied to a few jobs through my network (friends, family, mentors). I asked anybody that would listen if they knew someone who was hiring, and I applied.
About 3 weeks after I graduated, I accepted one offer in Tallahassee, FL and I had upcoming phone interviews for jobs in Dallas, TX; Tampa, FL; and New York City. I got official offer letters from the jobs in Texas and Tampa, and I was still waiting to hear back from the job in New York. I made the executive decision to decline the offers in Texas and Tampa because I knew I wanted the job in New York and I also still had the job in Tallahassee that I accepted previously. And the day after I declined both offers, I got the official offer letter for the job in New York.
The Post graduate job search is long and it can be overwhelming but if you’re searching for employment as the next step of your journey it is definitely worth it. The process is different for everyone. This is what I did, and this is what worked for me. I hope it works for someone else as well. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to learn more about how you can also secure the post-grad bag. And stay tuned for my next post where I dive into my move from Florida to the big city!