Apr 23rd, 2007
#1 – Start your job search early
A mistake a lot of people make is that they dont start looking for a job until they are well into their senior year of college. A much easier route to take is to get an internship while you are still in school. Most interships anymore (at least in tech fields) are paid internships. My entire career has been built on starting as an intern and working my way up. It has worked even better than I ever thought it would.
#2 – Apply for a lot of jobs
This one seems like it would be obvious, but I have known people who applied for two or three jobs and then complained when they didn’t land one of them. There is absolutely no reason NOT to apply for a job. Hell, apply for CEO of General Motors if you want, the worst a company can say is no.
#3 – Learn to interview well
If you make it to the interview, make sure you are prepared. I have never interviewed for a job and not received an offer. This is NOT necessarily because I was the most qualified candidate or the best fit for the job. It’s because for every interview I was prepared. This means know what you are talking about, do your research, dress up, and get their early. Another kind of overlooked point is to make the interviewer comfortable and relaxed by being relaxed yourself. I had one interview where they never once ended up asking me a technical question because the interviewer and I BSed about common interests the whole time. Thats an extreme case, but as a general rule, the more the like you personally, the more they are likely to pick you over someone with slightly better qualifications.
#4 – Build a good resume
This is the first thing potential employers see and for most people, the last. Even the most qualified, intelligent individual can destroy their chances at a job with a poor resume. My brother once had a perfect chance for an internship he really wanted but his old spell checking program didn’t check the spelling on his bolded words. That was enough to disqualify him from the job. Make sure its thorough, correct, and clear.
#5 – Be flexible
Just because you got your degree in X doesn’t mean you HAVE to apply only for jobs doing X related things. Lots of jobs look for a degree, any degree. My dad has his degree in physics, but he didn’t want to work in a lab so now he is a marketing specialist. There are a lot of jobs out there in a lot of different fields….don’t let yourself get pigeonholed.