Small Steps… The Three P’s to perfecting the job hunt

Posted on October 17, 2012

Small Steps… The Three P’s to perfecting the job hunt

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Before graduating in 2011, a professor of mine told me to prepare for what he said would be “the hardest year of my life”– the first year after college.

As an eager college graduate, his words didn’t resonate until a few months into my job search.

Any college graduate knows heading out into the “real world” is tough, and in a difficult economy, landing that so – called perfect job can seem almost impossible.

It’s been almost two years since I graduated, and before relocating to Georgia to begin my internship at Duffey Communications, I had my fair share of difficult learning experiences.

But the tough lessons along the way helped create what I call my three “P’s” to perfecting the job hunt –and, in turn, have helped make my transition a little easier.

First, have a plan.

It seems like generic advice, but when I was 22 and thrown into the real world, the confidence I had in college quickly disappeared when I was forced to “grow-up.”

After moving back home and leaving my first full-time professional job, my parents told me it was time to make a plan – not a “this is the rest of your life” type of plan, but just a plan. So I started small. I knew where I wanted to live and had an idea of what I wanted to do, so I was able to quickly narrow down my job search.

Making big decisions fresh out of college is intimidating, but by building a plan and understanding that immediate choices wouldn’t necessarily determine my entire future, I was able to move forward with a new sense of confidence. You don’t necessarily need to know where you want to be 20 years from now, but it helps to know where you see yourself in two!

Even with a plan, however, you may not land your dream job. After sending out mass copies of my resume for several months to no avail, I knew I needed to re-evaluate my approach.

In an effort to stand out from hundreds of hopefuls vying for the same jobs, I began to personalize my applications. Yes, this takes more time and an extra effort, but unfortunately, a paper resume doesn’t always cut it. Anything you can do to set yourself apart will help you stand out.

I knew I had the qualifications and experience, but I needed to show my value to potential employers – not just tell them. I then took one of my best skills, filming, and began attaching a short video with my resume or including a link to my YouTube page.

Finally, the best advice I got out of college was to always be persistent.

When friends still on the job hunt express frustration, I tell them to keep trying. Keep sending out resumes – hundreds if necessary. While this may seem excessive, all it takes is one landing in the right hands to score you a position.

Also, if there is a job you really want, don’t be afraid to follow up. This doesn’t mean badgering an HR rep daily, but checking in every couple of weeks is ok! Not only do you get your name out, but even if your dream job is filled, they may keep you in mind for the next opening.

It’s not an easy transition after college. My journey following graduation was tough, but the small things I learned along the way have helped me land an internship with the company – and in the industry and city – I wanted.

All it took was several tough learning experiences and remembering – and taking – a few small steps.

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