New Year, New Job

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get a better income this upcoming year. This probably means finding a better job (or a job at all) this January. If you are thinking about switching jobs or need help finding your first job after December graduation, here are few tips to help you succeed!

Fix Up Your Resume

First of all, you’ll want to make sure your resume looks the best that it can. That doesn’t mean lie – you should NEVER fabricate or exaggerate information on you resume. Update your resume with the most recent activities, accomplishments, and contact information. Make sure it is clear, easy to read, succinct, and informative. You may need to tweak your resume for each job, highlighting past experiences or skills that are most applicable to the needs of the job. If you need help, advisement centers at your college might offer free services to alumni, or many cities also offer free resume consultation.

Always Build Experience

Get experience anywhere you can. This can mean full-time jobs, but also part-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, shadowing, informational interviews, and other forms of networking. Don’t discount any opportunity that has taught you a skill, principle, or more about any given industry.

Follow Directions

When you are applying for jobs, especially online, make sure you follow the application instructions EXACTLY. Do not provide unwanted information or leave out anything they asked for. Many companies eliminate any candidates that have not followed their instructions accurately.

Apply Promptly

Apply as soon as you can. Don’t put off sending in resumes or spend weeks putting together a portfolio or cover letter. Often times, companies will simply take the first suitable candidate they have. Take a little time to write a proper cover letter, free of spelling or grammatical errors, but try not to waste any unnecessary time.

Apply Everywhere

Getting a job is not easy. Apply everywhere you can. Don’t worry about minor issues such as preferred skills or desired backgrounds (the key words being preferred and desired, not required). If you think you can do what they are asking, or at least learn how to do it in a timely manner, go for it! If it’s ok with you, you may also disregard location, starting dates, and other factors.

Practice Interviews

Sooner or later, you will probably be offered a chance for an interview. Practice answering common questions and prepare questions of your own. You can find a list of common interview questions online or come up with any you think they might ask.

This will help shake off the nerves and arm you with well-thought-out answers. Practice looking and feeling both comfortable and confident. Avoid excessive pride or humility, as well as extreme chattiness or shyness. Go in with the attitude of “this is what I can do for you,” not “what can you do for me.” No one likes hiring selfish people. You can find additional interview tips online.

If you feel like a new job and a pay raise is in order this New Year, work hard and you can achieve it!

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