Tips for Grads: How to Stand Out in a Job Search

Recently finish up school and looking to score the job of your dreams? Whether you are fresh out of high school, college, or graduate school; here are some tips for grads on how to stand out in a job search.
Stand Out in a Job Search
Revamp Your Resume

Your resumé is usually the first way a potential employer will interact with you and remember “first impressions are everything.” So you want your resumé to the best possible reflection of yourself. Many people the mistake of treating their resumé like a Wikipedia page on themselves rather than a sales-sheet. Your resumé should only highlight things that will help you land the job your are applying for. If you are applying for a job as at a law firm they don’t need to know about the job you had selling pretzels at the mall in high school. Remember you set the tone for your resume, so pick the most flattering and relevant pieces of your past to showcase you are a highly qualified candidate.

Don’t skip the Cover Letter
Many jobs require a cover letter but some do not. Though including a cover letter can help you stand out in a job search. No employer has never dismissed a candidate simply because they included a non-required cover letter. A cover letter will show that you are professional and a competent writer but most importantly, it gives you more room to sell yourself. Use your cover letter to set the tone of your qualifications, cover letters are often read before your resume so you can help give your future employer a lens in which to look at the stats of your resumé.

Get some Real World 
For some professions all the school in the world is not enough. Many companies are reluctant to hire someone with no “real world” experience, they consider it a high risk. It can be hard to find someone willing to take the chance on you and give you the big break you need. One way  to get your foot in the door is to get real world experience through volunteer and internship positions. These minimally or often unpaid opportunities are much easier to land than entry level roles so they are an excellent way to get real world experience. They can also prove that you have a solid work ethic and a sense of community (especially for volunteer work.) If you are looking to work as a teacher perhaps spend a summer volunteering at summer classes for students in under privileged areas or if you want to break into the competitive design field, reach out to a local non-profit and see if they need a new logo! Getting real world experience will take some effort but it is one of the best ways to stand out in a job search.

While many people will try to scare you about the difficulties of landing a job in today’s economy, if you work hard and follow these tips on how to to stand out in a job search you may find the job you have been working so hard to get!

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