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If you’re a student who is about to graduate from college, you’re probably thinking about joining ‘the real world’ and getting your first full-time job. We’ve previously covered how you should be writing your resume, but there’s more to finding a job than that sheet of paper.
While searching for your first job can be daunting, the good news is that in your last weeks as a student, you actually have a leg up on many other job seekers. Here’s why:
1. Alumni Want to Help
Anyone who’s ever graduated from college knows what it’s like to be in your position. In fact, no one knows it better than the people who graduated from your school before you. And now, many of them run or work at successful businesses. Alumni are generally open to speaking with students, sharing their wisdom, and helping where they can.
Research past graduates who are at companies you’re interested in or perform the type of work you’re looking to pursue. Then reach out and request a 15-minute informational interview call to ask some questions and get to know them.
2. Use Your School’s Career Resources
Most schools have career centers that help connect students to job fairs, networking events, mock interviews, resume-writing workshops, and more. While the offerings may vary, these offices are direct lines to career resources and opportunities like alumni events, networking groups, and other ways to stay in touch with other alumni.
Sign up for their email lists, follow them on social media, and offer to volunteer with them. Doing so will connect you with other engaged alumni and help you network with them organically.
3. You Don’t Have Experience. And No One Expects You To!
Many college graduates are rightfully concerned that they are headed into a job market without much real-world work experience. This is one of the few situations in life where this isn’t only acceptable, it’s expected.
Just because you are inexperienced in the job market doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer. Whether you’re sharing your resume with someone or creating a profile on your school’s alumni website, include any experience you think could be applicable to the type of work you’re looking to do—academic, extracurricular, internships, or on-campus work-study programs. Include anything that illustrates your leadership, teamwork, organizational abilities, and other ‘soft skills’ that will help you stand out in the job market.
Congratulations on hitting this major milestone in life! It can be frightening to start something new, but there are many resources—and people!—that can help you get to where you want to be. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to take advantage of them.
This content was originally published here.