Recent Grads: How to Find Your First Career Opportunity

January 09, 2019

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Posted by: Lee Sitarz

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As a newly graduated college grad, you might find the workforce daunting. Where do you start? How do you find your first career opportunity?

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In reality, there are many steps you can take to kickstart your career after graduation.

Keep reading to discover how you can find your first career opportunity.


Determine Your Professional Vision

How do you know which trajectory to take?

Take the time to formulate your professional objectives, focusing on the industry and role you see yourself in and the path you’ll take to get there. Understanding where you want to be in the future, and where you need to start to get there, can help you zero in on the right types of opportunities.


Visit Your Campus Career Centre

Your campus career centre is a great resource, and it’s available to recent alumni for at least a year after graduating. Speak to a counsellor for resume advice and to polish your interview skills. Gain access to job boards and networking events.


Volunteer

Volunteering has so many benefits—not only will you give back to the community, but you’ll also gain practical experience in the field you want to work in. Volunteering can give you the opportunity to work on a team, learn new skills, and lead others.

It’s a way to build on your current skillset while learning new talents, strengthening your resume with relevant experience and competencies you’ll need to impress hiring managers. Be sure to journal your accomplishments so you have concrete examples to discuss in an interview.


Grow Your Network

Every professional contact you meet could lead to a job opportunity down the line. Even if this person doesn’t know of any openings at the moment, you’ve gained a new contact in the industry who can share their knowledge about the field, the roles available, ongoing changes, and industry highlights.

Not only will you learn something new, but these contacts may suggest others worth reaching out to, which is beneficial for broadening your professional network.


Stay Abreast of Industry News

Position yourself as an expert in the field. It’s important to stay on top of changes in your industry. Read trade publications and magazines, join professional social media groups, and follow relevant feeds and industry influencers.

Get familiar with hiring trends, companies on the rise, and the leaders shaping the industry.

This tactic shows recruiters and employers you’re interested and engaged in your industry.


Tailor Your Resume

Blanket resumes won’t cut it. Today, your resume needs to be tailored to every job you apply to. Take the time to write a targeted cover letter and resume, emphasizing special skills that match those mentioned in the job posting. Use keywords mentioned in the post. These minor tweaks will propel your resume to the top of the pile.

Have a peer review it for feedback, and of course, give it a final proofread to correct any final spelling and grammar mistakes.


Arrange Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are a less invasive way of meeting people in your field while building your network. It’s a way of making connections and getting industry advice without directly asking for a job.

Reach out to leaders in the industry and inquire about how their path took them to where they are today. It’s a chance for you to develop relationships with industry players, and you never know how these connections could help you in the future.


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Lee Sitarz

Lee Sitarz

Lee earned a degree in marketing from York University, which has helped her succeed in various roles in the staffing industry. She has over 20 years of progressive staffing experience including Branch Management, Sales, Operations, and Marketing. Lee is active at giving back to her community, and spends her down time with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

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