While some of us are enjoying pumpkin picking, spiced lattes or hayrides, I admit I am totally frightened, not by clowns, the presidential candidates or New Jersey’s gas tax, but by May 12 2017.
Graduation is filled with celebration and good wishes, but also of the hope that afterward, I will have a job. However, after sitting in on a Liberal Arts and Sciences Career Development session, I feel like my fears have eased and that I learned some tips for success:
Network, shadow, intern, oh my
Ensuring that you do everything you can while still in college to get the best experience can really make a difference. You can perform an information-gathering interview by contacting a person in a job that interests you and asking them what their job is like. You can also shadow that person for a day and get some hands-on experience. These contacts will be beneficial to you later on. Also, interning is key, as it brings you into the office environment, allows you to work with employees and see what the job is really like. There is no better experience than an internship for starting out.
Write a winning résumé
Making sure that your résumé is up to speed is essential to the hiring process. It not only allows the employer to see what you know but also lets you put your best foot forward and is a glimpse into your organization style. Make sure your résumé reflects your personality and is curated to the job that you are looking to apply for. Don’t make a one-size-fits-all résumé and send it out for all to see. Make sure that if the employer has certain requirements, such as specific social media sites that you must know, that you put those first as your skill sets. That way the employer is more likely to see you as a better candidate.
When in doubt, search online
There are many websites online that allow you to punch in the location you would like to work and the title of the job you are looking for to aggregate a list of available jobs. This can be daunting but if you take your time, it could be worth your while. Indeed.com and simplyhired.com are two websites that I have used to search and apply for jobs. While the websites can bring in jobs that you are not looking for, I have found that there are some stand-out jobs along the way. The best thing is these websites take you straight to the company’s website so you can apply directly to them.
Create an online portfolio
Another great way to showcase your personality and experiences is to create an online portfolio. Go to wordpress.com and create a free website where you can put all the projects you’ve done during your time at Rider on that you might not be able to showcase in a résumé or job application. Once you have a portfolio set up online, you can add the URL to your résumé so employers can find your projects online and see the work you have accomplished. This is also a great way to put everything you’ve done throughout your college career together in one place to show off to your friends and family.
Everything in your portfolio can then be added to a paper portfolio that you bring with you to job interviews. Make sure when you print out your work for your interview that you include copies that the employer can keep. Don’t put any original artwork in the papers that you give to the interviewer. This is a way for the interviewer to have a piece of you that they can remember and that can hopefully remind them to give you a call back to offer you the position.
Don’t be frightened by the mystery of job searching, have a plan and go see the Career Development Center if you need help. They can do mock interviews and help you build your résumé when you’re in doubt. You can find out more information on the services they provide by going to rider.edu/careers.
Senior journalism major
Printed in the 10/26/16 issue.