Job prospects for the Class of 2015 look better than they have in several years. Although just five percent of nationwide openings are specifically targeted to new college grads, the number of permanent, full-time positions among these opportunities has increased 20 percent since 2014. And postings for recent graduates are forecast to grow through the fourth quarter.
It takes the average new grad anywhere from a few months to more than a year to land the first desirable job in their field. Needless to say, the sooner you launch your career search strategy, the better.
Know Where You Want to Go
Create a personal road map for the next one, five and 10 years. It may change as you go, but it will give you direction and get you started.
- Define what matters most to you. Recruiters want to hire people who have put serious thought into their future direction. Pitch your plan to anyone who will listen. Before long, you will have polished up your brand and will be ready to activate your plan.
No matter what field you want to work in, it’s critically important to stay current on industry developments, as well as specific companies that interest you.
- Read trade publications and comb websites. Make it clear to hiring managers that you’re not only up-to-date on the latest business news, but also have an opinion on it.
- Join a professional organization. They are a wealth of information, as well as personal contacts to begin building your professional network.
- Researching companies helps you to better understand their products and services. In addition, it helps you to relate your own experience to possible job opportunities with these employers.
Design and Publish a Website
According to recent research, 56 percent of hiring managers were more impressed by candidates’ websites than by any other personal branding tools. Yet, only seven percent of job seekers actually have their own sites. Clearly, this tactic sets you ahead of the competition.
- Buy a domain name and build a dedicated online presence. Options like Squarespace and Word Press make it easy, and you only need a few pages – such as Home, About, Portfolio and Contact – to start. Even better, add a blog and post consistently.
- Keep your Home page simple. Give recruiters the information they want immediately. They spend an average of only six seconds reviewing a resume, and nearly 80 percent of this time is spent on a candidate’s name, and current or most recent titles and companies. Also on your Home page, consider using testimonials about your work. Put a face to each one to make recommendations come to life.
- The best About pages display your own personality. This can include a short professional bio, photo, and story about yourself and your career aspirations.
- Your Portfolio page is where you display samples of your best work. Before beginning, open a new Google document and brain dump all the things you’ve done recently. Decide how to display portfolio items; for instance, use screen shots, links, photos and graphs.
- Include your URL anywhere you have an online presence. Get in the habit of sending links to your site, in addition to your resume, when introducing yourself or applying for a job.
Now is a great time to partner with a professional recruiter, as you successfully launch your career plans. To learn more, check out our candidate resource center or contact CPS Recruitment today.