So you’ve made it! You’ve graduated and you’re ready to start hitting send on all those applications you’ve been saving.
Wait, not yet!
There are some things you should do before you start submitting applications.
Here are 5 things every college grad should do before applying to jobs.
1. Update your resume
Before you apply to jobs, you want to make sure your resume is updated. Some things to make sure are included on your resume are:
- updated list of all job positions
- applicable certifications that set you apart from other applicants
- all software and applications you are proficient in using
- volunteer work
- education and related coursework to the position
Your resume should be updated for each position you are applying to. Applications like Glassdoor and Indeed scan resumes for keywords that are used in the job description, so make sure to include some to get past their software!
Of course, you should also make sure there are no grammatical errors or typos.
Bonus tip: if you were not employed during the pandemic or have a gap in employment, make sure there are things present on your resume that will make up for that. An example of this could be extra certifications you have received (we’ll get into this later), a small business you started, any volunteer work or other relative experience.
2. Update LinkedIn
You should always update your LinkedIn with the same information on your resume. Make sure your resume and LinkedIn have the same content so they are cohesive with one another.
Connect with new people that may benefit you in the position you are applying for. You can also reach out to people who work at the company you are applying to.
If you are struggling to increase your connections on LinkedIn look through your friends connections to see if there is anyone you know that way. You should also connect with all family members. This is a great way to increase and diversify your connections.
3. Clean up social media pages
This one is a given but make sure to clean up your social media. Just because you are private doesn’t mean that they won’t find something they shouldn’t see.
Another great thing to do when you are making sure your online presence is squeaky clean is to google your name to see what comes up.
When you google your name you can add things like your previous companies or organizations or your college. This will bring up things in search that might not come up with just your name.
4. Earn extra certifications in your industry
There are many ways to add things to your resume that go beyond your work history, education, and skills. One of them being online certifications. You can earn certifications at home for free.
Yes, it sounds too good to be true, but it is.
I highly recommend them as it will set you apart from other applicants. Employers want to see their candidates go above and beyond the minimum.
Some of the certifications I have completed are from Google, FEMA, and HubSpot. These are all highly credible organizations that offer high value certifications. The certification I got recently is the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing from Google.
Google offers certifications in many different industries. They have free certifications as well as certifications available on Coursera, which is a monthly subscription. If you chose to take courses on Coursera, you will still have your certification after your subscription expires.
HubSpot is a free platform that offers courses with a certification ranging from Social Media Marketing to Website Design.
FEMA has many online certifications that are free and available to anyone. I’m in school for my masters in Public Administration so this could be particular to my career path, but I think there is a benefit to having their Fundamentals of Emergency Management certification.
After the past year and a half that we’ve had, this would be a beneficial certification to have no matter what industry you are in.
They have many others from Diversity Awareness to Effective Communication.
5. Connect with your current network
Last but not least, reach out to your current connections. Remember, your network is your net worth.
Before applying to jobs online see who in your network knows of any open positions that you would be great for! You never know who can put in a good word for you.
I’m sure your family and family friends would love to hear about what you are looking to start your career in. It just might happen that your Uncle’s friend from high school could get you your dream job. Although that was very specific, it didn’t happen to me – but I’m sure it has.
When applying to jobs and interviewing, remember this… One of my professors in undergrad told me we all put our pants on the same way in the morning. Don’t be scared, you got this! Remember to be confident and keep your head up. A no isn’t a no, it’s a path to a different door.
Save for later!