Graduating from college is bittersweet. While many alumni are celebrating the completion of their education, others are jittery with job search stress.
You’ve likely spent your entire life under the structure of an education system. You went from elementary school to middle school to high school and finally, college, but now you’re suddenly finding yourself with a blank slate laid out before you. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Where do I go from here?”
Breaking your job search into small steps and focusing on staying positive will help mitigate stress. Here are six ways to fight job search jitters:
1. Use the power of mobile apps
There’s an app for everything these days, but many alumni don’t consider how their mobile devices can help them to find employment. Check out job search, networking, and career management apps on your mobile device of choice. Some apps can even help you improve your interview skills.
2. Dig into social media
Social media is a massive playing ground for all things professional. Build your personal brand by carefully crafting a professional online image—get rid of vulgar language, party photos, or anything else you wouldn’t want a boss to see. Creating a personal brand can be fun, too—start a personal blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger, or film a video resume and upload it to YouTube. Send these links to employers to stand out from a crowded market of job candidates.
3. Tap into lesser-known networks
Networking doesn’t have to cause anxiety, but too few alumni realize the power of their own personal networks in the job search. First-degree connections like parents, friends, or fellow students may not have the connections you need to break into a company or industry you love, reach one step further—out to second and third-degree connections within your networks. Again, social media can be the tool for this. A cold e-mail or phone call can set the stage for a new professional relationship.
4. Consider using software
There are tons of comprehensive job search platforms available to help organize a job hunt. Many include tools to save and organize documents like cover letters and resumes, keep track of communications with hiring managers, and also help you research companies and tap into new professional networks. Most can be purchased for a small fee, some on a monthly basis.
5. Build a schedule
Disorganization adds stress and results in an ineffective job search. Create short-term goals for yourself and use technology to reach them. Short-term goals could be anything from committing to three job fairs a month to conducting two informational interviews with industry professionals each week. Use online schedulers or mobile apps that help with personal organization to keep track of goals and ensure you reach them.
6. Keep calm
Rejection is a part of everyone’s job search. Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t find a job right away—the market is competitive, so don’t take rejection as a personal failing. Remind yourself everyday that you’re an intelligent, creative individual. Take time for self-love and self-care, and surround yourself with people and things that make you happy. With a commitment to persistence and an upbeat attitude, you’ll be able to break into a field you love sooner rather than later.
Many college alumni struggle with their first job search because they may not have learned career management strategies in college. Remember, if you want your job search to succeed, use technology and other modern strategies to help—and keep a positive attitude!
Do you have any tips to add? Share them in a comment below!
Ask Levo Mentor Jessica Lee, Founder and CEO of Modern Citizen, her tips for breaking into your preferred industry as a recent post grad!
Val Matta, the author of this posit, is the Vice President of Business Development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for university career centers that gives students and alumni complete control over their job search. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.