Finding a new job is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions—this is especially true for recent grads. Even college seniors are in on the action as they hustle to find their perfect post-grad position.
Because of these trends, the competition is going to be fierce, so here are a few ways to ensure that you really stand out from the crowd in this busy application season and accomplish your goal.
1. Make A “Portfolio” Of Your Best Work
Whether or not you’re actually in (or hoping to enter) an industry that requires a portfolio of your work, it’s a huge advantage to have one. Even if it’s a large report you made or an important presentation you put together, it’s important to be able to show what you’ve done. And just having that kind of work ready isn’t enough. Most of the time, you won’t have the opportunity to directly show recruiters or interviewers the work. However, being able to speak to it, its importance for the business, and the results it produced are essential interviewing skills.
2. Update Your Resume
If you haven’t already, then you haven’t really begun your new job search. For many jobs, it’s the only thing that will truly get you in the door. Make sure that you hit all the essential points and know when to be flexible with it. Some jobs or industries might even require specific types of resumes (here’s how to know when).
3. Make Sure Your Online Profiles Capture Your Work
70 percent of employers are using your online presence to make decisions about hiring you. That means when you apply to a job, your online profiles are most likely being scoped out by hiring managers and recruiters. This means sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and—of course—your WayUp profile are all coming up in the search process.
This isn’t a bad thing, either. It’s another opportunity to showcase your wins, highlight your skills, and prove to them that you really ARE the best person for the job.
Of course, there are some social media rules you should absolutely follow (like not posting anything bad about previous employers or oversharing your personal/social life). But for the most part, online profiles are just another great shot at impressing your future employer.
4. Have A Good Answer to the “Why Do You Want A New Job” Question
This question is tricky to answer and will almost always come up when you’re seeking a new job while still employed. Even if the answer is “I want to make more money” or “I have an insufferable boss who overworks me,” you should try to pitch it in a positive way as to avoid looking like a negative person or a bad employee.
We’ve crafted a video that answers this question exactly:
If you don’t have the time or the personal space to play a video, we’ll sum it up for you:
Your answer should be short and positive. You’ve appreciated the opportunities you’ve been given, but you want more responsibilities, room to grow, or to focus on a new industry.
5. Don’t Stop Applying
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: When you’re searching for a job, don’t stop applying. Of course, take your time and make sure you’re submitting quality applications, but most people make the mistake of not submitting enough applications. While the job market is hot right now, there are still only so many roles available to college students and recent grads. So, don’t give up if a new job (or even your first job) is something you really want.