Graduation is coming! It’s an exciting but often overwhelming time. As you navigate the job interview process, here are three things to keep in mind:
- Do your homework. Entry-level jobs can be highly competitive, and one important way to stand out is by being up-to-date on both the industry and the company with which you’re interviewing. Set up a Google alert with the company name so you miss nothing. Visit the library to read trade journals and see what people are talking about. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer — and listen to the answers. Read books written by industry leaders. Listening to podcasts can be a great way to familiarize yourself with the professional world in which you’d like to work post-college. Setting aside several hours each week to do this homework will benefit you when you’re in the interview seat.
- No small jobs. Think carefully about the skills an employer is hoping to find in a candidate. They don’t necessarily care where these skills were developed—just that you have them. Maybe you’ve never worked in finance, but you have experience in leadership, communication, and team building from part-time work you did during college. Consider what short-term jobs taught you and be prepared to share those smaller experiences with an interviewer. You might also want to highlight some of these experiences in your cover letter.
- Be resilient. As Winston Churchill famously put it: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” At QuadJobs, we see far too many students putting their eggs in too few baskets. They can feel crushed when these opportunities don’t materialize. A successful job search will likely be the most challenging assignment you tackle during your four years of college. It requires more preparation than any exam, and you should fully expect to encounter rejection and failure despite your best efforts. Can you stay calm and focused? Can you bounce back even when something you were really hoping for doesn’t work out? Developing this mental resilience in the face of real stress will serve you throughout your entire career. It won’t always be easy. Lean on friends and family you trust. Take time to clear your head. Most importantly, keep at it. Getting a first job after college that you’re excited about is a persistence game.
QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs. From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules. The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews. Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience. Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.