Having just finished the fall semester, that means I have only one semester left in the MHRM program! AKA my full-time job search is in full swing. If you aren’t graduating and this topic doesn’t specifically pertain to you (yet) check out one of my previous posts that talks about Networking for Students. Having established relationships within your network before you start the recruiting process will make it much easier if you have individuals who can support your search as well as chat about potential roles and companies.
The recommendations I list below is not an inclusive list nor the only way to prepare for a job search. Each person’s job search is unique to him/her and the role s/he is looking for. Here are a few of my tips that I’ve used in preparing for my job search.
Do Your Research
First and foremost you should be able to identify the type of function, industry, company, and job elements within the role you looking for. For example, going beyond “I’m searching for a job in Human Resources” to “I am searching for a role within Training & Development within Human Resources at a firm that is socially responsible, values work/life balance and career development.” That way you can eliminate companies & positions that don’t fit within your values or interests. If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself what courses, activities, previous work experiences you were naturally drawn too and enjoyed being apart of.
The most important item to have updated is your resume! Keep this clear, concise, and relevant to the type of jobs you are applying for. If you have access to a career management office they often do resume reviews but if you don’t then have a friend, co-worker, or professor review it for you. Many companies use applicant tracking systems to sift through resumes so be sure to use keywords or terminology that they may be looking for compared to their own internal job descriptions. Ensure your resume has no typos and is no longer than one page.
Utilize Social Media
Be sure all of your social media content is appropriate and an accurate representation of who you are because employers do check! If you aren’t already, use LinkedIn to create a brand for yourself and search for open positions based on your profile. You can update your job preferences to let employers and your network know that you are open to new opportunities. There are also many other websites like Indeed or Glassdoor where you can set job alerts to be sent to you to help find positions you are interested in.
Practice, Practice, Practice
A part of being prepared is not only knowing how to search for the right job but also being confident going into the next phase of the process. Interviewing in person or over the phone can be a nerve-wracking process for many people. Practice speaking about your experiences using the STAR method as well as common behavioral questions that are asked during an interview. Practice in front of a mirror or go through a mock interview if you have the chance. All of this will help get the nerves out and make sure you are prepared when you have the real interview. Be conscious of the type of body language you are projecting while doing this and most importantly of all don’t forget to be yourself!