| Part 1: Old School |
Graduation day is right around the corner, and now you’re about to star in your own reality show. In other words, things are about to get real – very real — especially when it comes to your finances. Not only will those handy student loan checks stop coming, but you’ll actually have to start paying them back soon. Congratulations! Welcome to the job market and the rest or your life.
Wondering where to start? Before you set foot off campus, get yourself some interview tips and networking contacts. The Placement Office at your college most likely offers educational sessions and resource guides with interview tips to help prepare you. While you’re there, ask them for job listings from employers who favor your school. Then check in with the Alumni Office to see how they enable new grads to network with old grads.
Once you’re back home (at least for a little while), organize your job campaign. Believe it or not, your best resource may be your parents; they have a vested interest in your flying the nest, and they have those great “old school” skills that pre-date the birth of the Internet. Don’t scoff. It’s getting harder and harder to break through the digital clutter.
Your personal network consists of people just like you — unemployed. So latch on to your parents’ circle of professional and social connections and see if they can open some doors for you. They’re probably also practiced in scanning the right newspapers, professional journals and other publications where jobs continue to be listed. In your parents’ day, the use of resume doctors, employment agencies, and head hunters were the mainstays of any job search; no reason you too shouldn’t enlist a few experts to support your efforts.
Next, get ready for that job audition and gather all the interview tips you can. Here are a few to get you started:
- Do your homework ahead of time — show you’re serious by asking some good questions (and nothing obvious like, “So what does this company do, anyway?”).
- Anticipate likely questions and rehearse your answers out loud.
- Manners count — show up early and send a follow-up thank you note for the meeting.
- Have a go-to outfit that makes you feel cool, confident and comfortable.
- Be prepared to articulate how your education, skills and experience would be an asset for the position you are interested in.
Once your way-back machine has come to a complete stop, fast forward to the present day for some current, new-school approaches to job hunting.