Congratulations! You’ve succeeded. Armed with your diploma, you can now set out for the grand adventure of finding a job. While there’s no magic formula to follow, these three tips will get you closer to the job you want instead of the job you have to take.
1. Find Your Direction
This may sound like a no-brainer, but when looking for that first job, focus on one that plays to your strengths. Think about what classes captured your interest and ignited your passions. Write down your initial responses to get a better idea of the industry your ideal job will be in. Refine your focus even more by asking: What does my ideal day look like? What do I find intolerable/a deal breaker?
2. Embrace the Ground Floor
Let’s be honest. Unless you’re starting your own company, your first job title will not be CEO. We all start somewhere and there is no shame in accepting an entry-level position. Every opportunity should be viewed as a stepping stone to the next and it’s what you do with the position you’re given that matters. Establish a good relationship with your coworkers and superiors (they make excellent future references), and find someone who can mentor you. Network whenever you can. Whether you’re in the job one month or one year, take advantage every experience.
3. Look the Part
As the saying goes, “dress for the job you want.” Gone are the days of rolling out of bed and showing up in whatever is clean. In the real world, you must dress the part. And that will vary depending on your work environment. Here’s a quick breakdown of the four most common dress codes:
This is the highest level in the dress code hierarchy. Think executives or lawyers.
- Tailored neutral or solid color suit with a white collared, buttoned shirt underneath.
- Conservative accessories and closed-toe shoes (e.g., Oxfords or heels).
Similar to business formal, but offers a little more leeway with patterns and colors.
- Conservative suits with understated check or stripes.
- Shoes should still be close-toed, but accessories can be more noticeable.
This popular dress code combines professional with personality.
- Collared and colored button-up shirts can be worn with an optional tie, sweater, and dress pants (men); Cardigan, khakis, and slacks (women).
- Statement accessories are allowed as are loafers and flats.
You’ll enjoy lots of options, but don’t go overboard.
- Casual slacks, or jeans if permitted.
- Crewneck pullovers and collared polo shirts (men); Blouses and tops that aren’t too tight or revealing (women).
- Loafers and sneakers (men) and open-toed shoes for women (no flip-flops).
When going through the job search process, it’s important to keep a ‘glass half full’ attitude. Be patient with yourself and learn from the journey. And when you land your dream position, don’t forget to help someone else.
Share in the comments what tips you’ve used to land a job.
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