Reposted by The ResumeWonders Blog
For the past year college students have been hearing and probably feeling first hand the effects of the economy. Student loans are harder to get, interest rates are higher, available internships are down 20%, and stats on the staggering number of new graduates still unemployed leaves little to get excited about. So, what can new graduates do that will help them get ahead of other 2009 graduates that are also looking for work?
Keep Your Documents Updated
You’ve got to have really well developed documents including your resume, cover letter, and references, and addendums that are targeted to what you are looking for. Which means, if you are looking in a few different directions, you might want have a few different versions of your resume? As a new graduate you probably won’t have too much to change in order to make each resume specific in its own right.
For example, you might want a resume focused on your engineering education, internship, classes and projects you worked on in school. For this entry-level resume, all the information should be based on your engineering experience.
If however, you’ve been an assistant manager and manager in an ice cream store on campus for the last 3 or 4 years and want to have a resume focused on your management experience, then all the information in the resume should focus on management. You might include classes in management and business or communications.
Remember also to highlight any other involvement including volunteer positions you have held, that can showcase additional management skills. Don’t forget to change the cover letter to match each resume you develop and can even be tweaked for each job you apply, for maximum affect.
It is a great idea to have your resume updated yearly so you are prepared for any new opportunity that comes your way. I get calls all the time from people trying to take advantage of some great opportunity and are not ready or have lost out because they didn’t have an up-to-date resume – and now realize the importance of being prepared.
Keep Documents Together
When going to interviews bring a portfolio to hold your resume, cover letter, references, addendums, college transcripts, and all relevant academic, social, sport and volunteer related awards and achievements. This will keep you organized and will show employees you are motivated and ready to move forward.
Another great tip that helps new graduates throughout their entire career is to keep a box, file, or drawer designated for your achievements. Throughout your career you’ll work on really impressive projects, programs, products or deals that you’ll want to showcase in future resumes. While working on them they are all consuming and you can’t imagine not retaining all the facts and figures, but in a few years after several more “big” deals, the details might start to fade.
So keep records. With the job market how it is today, if you are let go you may only have 20 minutes to pack up your belongings. Not having access to those facts and figures could be a regret down the road. You won’t have to use exact figures if you feel a conflict in confidentiality, but you will still be able to use the information for effective achievements.
Start Building a Solid Contact List
Networking accounts for more than 80% of current job hires. Building a network of contacts will help with future job searching and quite possibly enhance your career performance.
The list will evolve as you meet new people, land new jobs and grow. Keeping a current list will make it easier to weed through potential contacts later when unexpectedly needed. Having a current list keeps people that could be potential mentors, coworkers, employees, or someone you can help close. Your list can have contact names, phone numbers, place of employment, industry and field of employment, email addresses, and anything else that might help later.
Building your list will not only help with your job search but might also be a viable resource during your working career. It makes for a fast and detailed reference list of vendors, suppliers, mentors, trainers, and other assistance you may need to succeed at a job.
As young professionals with so much to look forward to, there is also much to learn as you graduate and begin your career search. It can be daunting, confusing, scary, exciting, and long, but make it a true learning experience. Keep these tips in mind to help you stayed prepared, organized, connected and ready for the next awesome opportunity.