Just out of college and you’re looking for a job? Welcome to the club. Naturally, you need a job but how do you set yourself apart from the other graduates? You’ve got a resume so polished that it shines like the sun, your cover letters are lovingly crafted to showcase your skills and newly-received education – but that may not be enough. You may need to make a brand out of yourself as a person – something that inspires immediate confidence in a potential employer and makes them think “Wow, this person is something else!”
Tip #1: Networking, Networking, Networking
Much like any well-worn expression, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is very true. If you establish connections with people in your area of interest and get the word out to them that you’re “the go-to person”, they in turn can pass the word on to other people who might be interested. That includes leveraging your relationships with your friends and family. Maybe Uncle Jack knows a guy who works in your field that he can introduce you to, or you can e-mail a old college roommate who just got a job at the company you’re interested in working for.
Tip #2: Stay Up-To-Date
If you want to get into a career as a software developer – staying on top of what’s new and exciting in your field is crucial. Whether you want to be involved in writing the next version of Windows or you want to develop apps for smartphones – always be reading up and researching on whatever you need to know so you can position yourself as an expert.
Tip #3: Be Passionate About Your Work
This applies equally to anything you might take on for a living, whether it’s scientific research or working with kids. If you’re truly passionate about what you do, you can easily demonstrate this to a potential employer or someone who can point you in the right direction. Nobody wants to hire someone who’s simply in it for the money and doesn’t really care about what they do.
Tip #4: Make People Remember You
If you’re striking out as a freelancer and you need to build awareness of yourself as a brand name, sometimes a unique touch like handing out free stuff at networking meetings, job fairs and other events can be what it takes. If you’re remembered as “Oh wow, I remember that guy! He was so smart and knowledgeable and he had the best promotional mugs he was giving out to people!” – that could potentially be your foot in the door.
Tip #5: Be Confident In Yourself
Yes, this is easier said than done for many people, but at the end of the day – confidence is what sells people on you as a person, whether you’re chatting someone up in a bar or interviewing with a potential employer. If you exude confidence in yourself – making clear eye contact with people, handling tough questions without hemming and hawing and coming up with something clever or intelligent to say off-the-cuff, that’s half the battle right there.