By: Sara Kotarski
Happy May, and Happy Graduation for many! It seems like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to my home of four years and walking away as an alumna of Michigan State University’s Interior Design program. A lot has happened in those two years since graduation. I’ve lived in 3 states, worked 3 jobs, and rented 2 apartments. Now that I am finally settled, I find myself looking back on my career-searching experience and what all it took to land my dream job here in Indy.
As a fresh-out-of-college graduate, job searching can seem like a terrifyingly, daunting task. Job searching is a full-time job in itself, so try to remain patient, calm, and positive. Your dream job is out there!
To aid in your search, I have outlined a few tips and tricks I have learned over the years:
- Network: One of the best ways to get your foot in the door, is to literally know someone whose foot is on the other side of the door. Reach out to any contacts or companies you may have associated with in the past. Attend professional events that allow you to socialize with people in your desired career field. Take advantage of friends or family members who work for or know someone who works for a company you are interested in. A referral by a friend can go a long way.
- Don’t Rely Solely on the Internet: Job search websites such as Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn can be very helpful in finding current job openings, but this shouldn’t be your only means of searching. Take advantage of your college’s career office. They can help you to identify networking contacts, improve your resume, cover letter, portfolio, etc., as well as assist you in improving your interview skills. Another way to search and apply for jobs is to walk right in the front door. Associating a potential new employee with a friendly face before the actual interview process can set you apart from the crowd.
- Be Professional and Outgoing: Put the same time and care into the job application as you would the actual job. Strong, professionally written emails and answers to application questions can give potential employers a first taste of the effort and care you would bring to the position. Additionally, don’t be afraid to follow up with a company if you have not heard back from them in a while. A friendly email or phone call can let a company know that you have a serious interest in the job opportunity.
- Don’t be Afraid to Brag About Yourself: Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to brag about yourself! The degree you’ve earned and skills you list on your resume have taken countless hours of hard work to achieve. They are unique to you and are a reflection of your passions and achievements. Identify your best traits and how they correlate to each position you apply to. Be confident in yourself, and it will be noticed.
I hope some of these tips and tricks are helpful as you embark on your post-graduate career search. A big CONGRATULATIONS from everyone here at IDO, and GOOD LUCK! J