Recently, I have been assisting my youngest brother on launching his career search now that he is a college graduate and I have found the experience to be very interesting and eye opening. College courses can educate you on the business world and give you the tools to have a successful career, but one thing that those classes do not teach you is how to find a job. My brother attempted to launch his career search on his own and quickly found himself lost and running in circles. He went to my parents for advice, which was not the smartest move considering my parents haven't looked for a new job in literally decades. My mother is a school teacher who has been in the same school system since Ronald Reagan's first term. Before mid-term elections first term.
Needless to say my brother was lost. So I asked him what he was doing and he said he posted his resume on Monster and made a profile on LinkedIn. I quickly realized I had a serious challenge on my hands. For any career search, especially your very first job search, you tend to start with the conventional methods of searching, such as job boards. After several hours of applying for positions, you have the false sense that you've started to accomplish something. Unfortunately, submitting your resume to the big portal in the sky will get you no where.
So how exactly do you start? First, take a look at your resume. What are you trying to accomplish? What is the direction that you are trying to take in your career? If your resume is vague or is written to cast the widest net, you may feel that you're maximizing your potential, but in reality you're only hurting your search. Hiring managers want to see skills that are transferable. If you had a sales internship, put down your numbers and accomplishments. Start networking in LinkedIn by joining groups that are aligned with your background. What school did you graduate from? There is probably an alumni group that you can join. You may be able to network with recent graduates who can give you pointers.
Next, narrowly define the types of roles that you will consider. If you have a direction to want to take your career in, start thinking long term: what steps will get you to your goal? Concentrate on networking within those industries and look for job boards that specialize in the type of career you're looking for. Consider talking to a recruiter that specializes in the industry you want. Go on every interview you're offered. Get some practice under your belt and look at every interview as a networking opportunity.
Finally, while conducting your entry level job search, you may find yourself taking time out of your career search to find a job that will provide you with a quick paycheck. Be aware that your first priority is to find a career, not a job. Give yourself a limited amount of time to find a job that will give you a quick paycheck but continue a heavy search for your career. Job searches take time and in this economy it won't be easy. You are an entry level candidate competing against candidates who have experience. You have to sell yourself as a valuable asset to any team and you may get several rejections. No matter what happens, keep your head up and continue to drive activity to find success. The right opportunity is out there for you, it's your job to go get it. Good luck!