The end of the fall semester is quickly approaching and many seniors, whether you’re graduating in December or in May, are thinking about their lives after college and those dreaded words: getting a “real job.” You could be catching up at a family function or conversing with friends, but at this point in your life, the topic of your future career gets brought up constantly.
Although Scripps PRSSA and many of our other academic and non-academic experiences at Ohio University have prepared us for a successful career, there’s always moments of doubt and uneasiness when thinking about the future. Everyone has different experiences when applying for jobs or post-grad internships, but here are five tips to help everyone get through this unpredictable, sometimes anxiety-induced process:
1. Reach out to everyone.
Before you start applying to jobs, it’s always important to get as many people to look at your resume as possible—the more, the better. It can be beneficial to ask any of your mentors or friends for their expertise. Ohio University, specifically Scripps PRSSA, alumni are always willing to help other Bobcats succeed. It can be connecting with a former speaker on LinkedIn or emailing an alumnus who has a job you would love to have, but don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone and everyone.
2. Update your LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can be your biggest asset while applying for jobs, so you need to double check that all your information on your account is updated and accurate. When preparing your profile, it’s always good to have an eye-catching, professional headline and picture. It’s also important to stay in touch with your growing network, actively post and follow your target companies or employers. LinkedIn can be your best friend when looking for jobs, so use all of its advantages.
3. Network like crazy.
This Chapter gives us endless networking opportunities with other PRSSA students, PRSA and other industry professionals and so much more. Even if you think a certain speaker at one of the Scripps PRSSA weekly meetings has a job that you might not be interested in, still network with them and connect on LinkedIn (with a friendly message, of course, so they remember you). You never know where life is going to take you and where other people will end up, so make sure to use all your networking connections, both on LinkedIn and in real-life.
4. Take chances.
Like I mentioned above, you never know where life is going to take you. There’s going to be many twists and turns in both your personal and professional lives. You might think that you’re not qualified for a job and it’s going to be impossible for you to even get an interview, but still apply. You could land an interview and fall in love with the company, absolutely hit it off with the HR officer and get the job. In the words of Michael Scott, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky
5. Don’t let one setback keep you down.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but the chances are very, very high that you will be rejected at one point while searching for a job. When you don’t get the “dream job” you applied for, it’s important to know how to deal with that disappointment. You should take this setback as a learning experience, get feedback from the interviewers and use that feedback to improve your skill set. No one likes to experience a setback but keep a positive attitude and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and you’ll come out on top.
Applying to jobs can be stressful and at times it can feel like everyone in the world has accepted a position — other than YOU. You are not alone. One day, you will find the perfect job for you and you’ll forget about every setback or low point you ever had in the job searching process. So, take a deep breath and remember these five tips. You’ve got this!
Kate Ryan is a senior studying strategic communication and the current VP of Social Affairs. Follow her on Twitter @ryanmkate!