The next steps after graduating from college can be very daunting, as there is no longer anything set in stone for you. For 20+ years of your life your schedule has been dictated by school, and to picture a life without it may very well be an intimidating and scary thought. Instead of being overwhelmed, remember that you have been preparing for your career for 20+ years and now you are finally able to utilize all the knowledge you have accumulated! Here are some tips for marketing yourself to the business world:
1) Tailor your resume to the specific employer and job you are applying for. When in doing so, you have the opportunity to tailor your resume to highlight (not literally) the skills the job requires that you possess. As a recruiter, I appreciate nothing more than reading a resume that makes it obvious to me that you would be a good fit for the role. You have access to the job description, so take advantage of it. More than likely it was written by the person that is looking at your resume, so including a few of the “buzz” words that were on the job description may help your resume to jump out at them.
2) Clean up your social media accounts. If your Facebook isn’t private, it probably should be. No prospective employer will want to hire you if your profile picture is you doing a keg stand. You can stand having a professional looking profile picture throughout the duration of your job search. As far as Twitter goes, if you have any inappropriate tweets, or have controversial tweets (about political beliefs, etc) then your tweets should be private, too. Nothing positive can come out of offending your potential employer. And yes, they will look at these accounts.
3) Create and take some time to fill out a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great professional tool. If you fill out your profile completely, you can add skills, ask for references that are displayed to people in your network, and show off that professional picture you took at your school. And, most importantly, make connections! You never know if your most recent LinkedIn connection may be at a place of interest for employment down the road.
4) Network. Ask around to people you know of any job openings in your area of interest. At first it may seem redundant and pointless, but after a while you may find yourself in an interview as a result of this networking. Having an inside referral is an excellent way to get a first interview.
Good luck with your career search!