My best advice for a new graduate looking for a job is to be both open-minded and determined.
As much of the world faces the effects of a major recession, the job market is very competitive, especially for students and graduates looking to kick-start their careers.
In particular, the IT sector has always been forecasted to grow in the future, but if you’re looking for a job at a specific company or to gain more experience in the sector, you’ll have to work extra hard to get noticed.
Here are a few job-hunting tips to get you started. Remember to check with your career services centre for one-on-one assistance with your resumé, interview practice or job listings.
Social media is an excellent way to connect with your dream company. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are resources that can help you conduct company research, follow leaders in the industry and learn more about what’s happening with specific companies.
Accounts are easy to set up, but take the time to fill out your profiles completely. Don’t forget that your profile is public, so make sure all of your postings, comments, tweets and links are kept professional.
Companies, recruiting firms and human resources personnel are known to post jobs and internships through these mediums instead of on their websites.
Networking is an art that takes practice to feel comfortable with. The best way for graduates to meet people is to set up informational interviews with those who work for the company they’re interested in or who have positions that they hope to be in one day.
I would suggest sending a short, professional email to these individuals and then follow up by email or phone to see if they have some time to meet you for coffee.
Make sure you have questions ready for them regarding their work, the company, how they got there and what advice they have for a recent graduate.
You don’t have be an arts major to have a portfolio. This is a misconception many graduates have about showcasing their skills and knowledge.
For example, if you’re in the IT sector, you might want to have visual samples of programs that you’ve developed or projects that you’ve managed on your personal website. This shows initiative and gives employers a chance to see what you’ve done in the past.
Illustrations, written pieces, designs, video clips, program scripts, case studies and business plans are among many different types of material you can include in your portfolio to stand out from the crowd.
Dean Tremain is the director of career and graduate services for CDI College, which has campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond and Abbotsford. For more information, call 1-888-654-4181 or visit study.cdicollege.ca. Join the career conversation at facebook.com/CDICollege and twitter.com/CDICollege.