College seniors approaching graduation can be forgiven for their pessimism about the job market. Finding a job today is no easy task, not with the national unemployment rate stubbornly hanging above eight percent. But those students who learn the basics of how to find a job will give themselves an edge in today’s competitive hiring market.
John Norris, in a recent column for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper, provided plenty of job search advice for students ready to tackle the job market. Much of his interview tips and strategies and other advice on how to get a job are common sense. But a surprisingly high number of college graduates either ignore these tips or don’t know them.
Making a Good Impression
A good first impression is the key to landing a job today, something that Norris highlights in his column. He recommends, for instance, that new graduates always arrive early for interviews, showing up no later than 10 minutes before their scheduled interview time.
He also says that college graduates should always wear business attire on job interviews, even if the company at which they are interviewing follows a more relaxed dress code.
Doing the Homework
To succeed during a job interview, college graduates should research the company thoroughly, Norris wrote. This includes reading the biographies of the people with whom they are interviewing. Graduates should also come to their interviews with questions to ask as the interview nears its conclusion.
Answering the Questions
Norris also writes that graduates need to come to interviews with answers prepared to several key questions. Some of these include: Where do you see yourself in five years? What separates you from the other candidates for this job? Why do you want to work in this position at this company?
Norris also recommends that young job hunters bring realistic expectations to their first interviews. These are first jobs. This means that many college graduates may have to do some selling in their new positions, even if they don’t want to hold a job in sales. They may also receive a smaller starting salary offer than they expected. Norris advises new graduates to focus less on starting salary and more on the long-term opportunities that their first job will provide.
If you’re a recent college graduate and need advice on how to find a job, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our career counselors can give you the advice you need to succeed in today’s jobs market.