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University Grads, Abide by these 11 Rules when Job Searching

If you’re a recent university grad or soon to be one, below are 11 job search commandments you can’t miss. They are laws to live by as you embark on life’s next big challenge: Landing a job or internship.

#1 – I Will Not Compare Myself To My Friends

No two graduates are the same. Each has different skills, abilities, needs, and wants. Just because your friend gets a new job or internship  doesn’t mean he or she is better than you. Keep the blinders on and focus on your search, not theirs. Jealousy is a useless emotion that derails a job search. Besides, they might be able to help you get a job. It’s in your best interest to be genuinely happy for them!


#2 – I Will Not Take The Summer Off

Don’t delay your job search. Employers see it as acting entitled and lazy. Get in gear – right now! You aren’t going to find a job in the next two weeks. And, job searching isn’t an 8-hour/day gig. Carve out time everyday to work on your job search and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy the summer.

#3 – I Will Not Spend Weeks Designing My Resume

Your resume isn’t going to get you the job, but networking might. Don’t waste time trying to make your resume perfect. There just isn’t that much you can put on it to impress employers. The “wow” factor will come from you being smart, articulate, and engaging – which doesn’t come through on paper. You have to meet people to make that happen.

An internship in Beijing or Shanghai arranged through Getin2China provides you with a host of networking opportunities through several social and business-related events. Now is your time in China to build a series of contacts and expand your network.

#4 – I Will Learn To Network… Fast!

Networking is the most powerful way to get hired. Yet, most recent grads assume because they’ve never worked, they have no one to network with. Wrong! People love helping recent grads. Learn from an “informational interview” and set up as many as you can. The sooner you learn to network, the sooner you get hired.

#5 – I Will Not Expect Too Much Of My First Job

Most grads feel they’re overqualified for many of the entry-level jobs posted. However, most employers feel you’re not. The hard reality is you don’t have the work experience for anything but entry-level jobs. The sooner you take an entry-level job and work at it for six months, the sooner you can start applying to the more exciting jobs that are currently out of your reach.

#6 – I Will Remember That EVERY Job Is Temporary

While the entry-level job you take will not be your dream job, that’s okay because you won’t be there very long. You’ll either, A) excel in the job and get promoted. Or, B) get experience and be able to apply for a better job.

#7 – I Will Study Up On Workplace Professionalism As Much As I Can

One major complaint employers across the globe have about recent grads is their perceived lack of professionalism. Read up on attire, attitude, verbal communication style, and so on. The more prepared you are, the better the first (and lasting) impression you’ll make.

#8 – I Will Be Very Careful In My Written Communication Style

Another major complaint about recent grads is their poor written communication skills. Spelling, grammar, and so on. Be very careful when writing cover letters, e-mails, and any other written word related to your job search. One typo can get you disqualified!

If English is not your native language and you’re worried about making an error, have a native English speaker review your email, cover letter or resume.

#9 – I Will Expect Rejection – A Lot Of It

You’ll apply to dozens (or more!) jobs and have as many as ten interviews before getting an offer. There is a learning curve to getting hired, and it happens with practice. Expect to get passed over for jobs and learn to cope with the rejection. The sooner you can pick yourself up and get back to the job search, the sooner you’ll get another interview and eventually an offer.

#10 – I Will Become A “Professional” User Of Social Media

For the last four years, social media has been used for your enjoyment. Now, it’s time to use it for job search. Clean up the Facebook page  get yourself set up on LinkedIn, and study how people are using Twitter to meet hiring managers. Use social media to build an online presence that when searched by a recruiter (and trust us, they will look you up online), what they’ll find is a recent grad who’s clearly ready to enter the workforce. A strong social media presence can literally land you the job interview. Engage in best practices for social media to advance your career.

#11 – I Will Not Brag About My New Job When I Finally Get It

Getting your first job will be thrilling. That being said, refrain from posting the good news all over the internet and making it your first topic of conversation with friends. Why? Go back to Commandment #1 and remember you’ll be surrounded by people who haven’t gotten their first job and will be jealous. Be the bigger person and keep a low profile on the new gig.

Of course, if asked, you can share the good news, but do your best to redirect the conversation after that. Show how humble you are. You just never know… at some future date, that person could remember your gracious attitude and be willing to help you get your next job because of it. The friends you make now will be the colleagues you network with in the future. Treat them kindly and it will pay off in the long run.

Follow the commandments above and you’ll find your job search will be less painful and more effective. And, keep this list handy as a reminder you will make it through – you can do this!
Intern Update: Anna Setterberg
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