The experts at Koru have written a great article on 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Job Search Over Thanksgiving Break.
Kick Start Your Job Search Over Thanksgiving Break
1. Don’t avoid the question, “What do you want to do after college?”
Seek it out. Talk to your friends and family to get advice and help. You’ll be amazed by how many people will want to help you achieve your dreams if you simply involve them. The more people who know you’re on the job hunt, the better.
And by the way, it’s OK to still be unsure of what career path or even first job is right for you. Again, talk to people about it. Seek advice from those who know you best.
Here are some helpful conversation starters to use over Thanksgiving Break:
I feel like you know me really well, and I’m interested in what you think I would be great at.
When you graduated from college, what were some of the things you considered doing?
You seem to love what you are doing. How did you end up in the field that you are in? Did you know this was what you wanted to do right after college?
I love ____, but I’m unsure of how I could use it after college. Do you have any ideas?
I’ve always loved ____, and I’m looking for some advice on how I can couple my passion for this into a career. What are your thoughts?
2. Start scheduling informational interviews, shadowing, and coffee chats for Winter Term.
Winter Term. Use it as an opportunity to get some new experiences or meet with people in an industry or at a company where you may want to work. You can start planning over Thanksgiving Break.
Set up coffee chats for 30 minutes with local alums from in companies where you may want to work. If they aren’t local, schedule a virtual chat.
Check out Handshake to search what internships are out there. What sounds interesting? What locations have a lot of opportunities?
If you are home for Winter Term, ask your family and friends for opportunities to come in and shadow them for a day.
3. Teach yourself job skills, pad your resume, and learn something fun.
You are what you do. As you get closer to graduation and start having more conversations with employers, you will quickly realize that experience is worth infinitely more than a perfect GPA.
Take advantage of your college break to learn something outside of your comfort zone or something that you are curious about but would never have time to do during school. There are amazing free resources out there for just this purpose. For example, know you are into marketing? Why not take a free course on Google Analytics? Interested in product management? It is helpful to understand basic coding. Done some creative work? Share it and learn more about great design on Behance.
4. Polish your resume.
When applying for opportunities, your resume, cover letter, and application materials are your first impression. These documents will help you land an interview, so it is important to detail your experience and accomplishments clearly and concisely.
While there is no one right way to write a resume, there are guidelines you should follow to convey a positive, meaningful message. Additionally, for each position you apply for, you should write a new cover letter that is geared toward that specific job and company/organization.
To get started:
Review the Resume and Cover Letter Guide for all majors and industries. This guide outlines suggestions for formatting, organization, and content and can walk you through the process of creating either document. Included is also a list of action verbs.
Utilize the list of Core Professional Competencies to highlight the skills you have gained during your experiences
View resume samples here
5. Polish your LinkedIn Profile and your social media brand.
Most of the students or recent college grads think that they are in good, or at least decent, shape on LinkedIn and social media. Few actually are.
Spend a couple of hours on your LinkedIn profile. It’ll pay back big time. Here are a few key things to look at:
Summary — This is your chance to tell people about your passions, skills, and goals. Things like this often don’t jump out on a resume, so your summary is a great opportunity to share them.
Job history — Worried your summer working at the hot dog stand won’t cut? Don’t. Put it down. Less than glamorous job experience shows that you have grit.
Study abroad — If you studied abroad, make sure to include it on your profile. Studying abroad shows you are curious, able to push yourself beyond your comfort zone, and have the ability to understand different cultures.
When you’re through, Google yourself. What shows up? While having a strong LinkedIn profile is important, make sure that your past social media behavior does not damage your online brand.
6. Take a break, have fun, be yourself.
Spend time relaxing and celebrating with family and friends. After giving your all these last few months, you deserve it.