With summer coming to an end, it’s time to kick your job search into gear and start finding yourself a career.
70% of employers do the majority of their hiring in the fall. Just like you, they are ready to get things started. Here are some tips to make sure you’re all set to impress those recruiters.
1) Update your resume
Add any recent and relevant work and volunteer experience. Also, make sure that the skills you list are tailored to the job you’re looking for and relevant to the skills listed in the job description.
Get in the habit of updating your resume regularly. This way, you don’t have to spend as much time revamping it each time you begin a new job search. Sometimes you don’t know how long job postings will be up for, so it’s best to jump on them as soon as you can.
These articles can help you get your resume job search ready:
- New Professional You: Inside the Resume Refresh
- Prep Your Resume for Success in the Coming Year
- What Not to Do: Resume Edition
2) Personalize your cover letter
Before you apply for any job, make sure that your cover letter is customized to the job you are applying for. To make this process a little easier, keep a template handy, fill in the blanks, and tailor each paragraph to go hand-in-hand with the job you are applying for. The saying goes that no cover letter should be the same, as no job is the same. In reality, it depends on the job description. If you’re applying to a job that’s similar to one you applied to before, your cover letter may only need minor editing.
These articles can help you craft the perfect cover letter:
- Writing an Unforgettable Cover Letter? Start Here.
- What Not To Do: Cover Letter Edition
- 20 Employers Tell Us What They Want to See in Cover Letters from Students
3) Have a portfolio ready to go
You never know when someone may want to see samples of your work, especially if you’re apply for positions in a creative field. A portfolio shows employers what you’re capable of, and proves to them that you’re professional and prepared. These days, more people are opting for an online portfolio. With an online portfolio, you can quickly email the website URL to a prospective employer. However, depending on your industry, a traditional folder portfolio may be a better fit for you to bring along to your interview.
Here are some guides to help make sure your portfolio is ready for viewing:
- 3 Ways to Pump Up Your Portfolio This Summer
- Set Yourself Apart: How to Create Your First Professional Portfolio
- How to Build a Career Portfolio
4) Audit your online presence
Would you be okay with a potential employer looking at any of your social media channels right now? If the answer is no, you might have some work to do. Remember that no profile is ever “private”. Your online presence should complement your career goals, not compromise them. Take a look at all of your networks and determine what should be removed, but also see what you can add to them to make yourself stand out and look impressive.
Here are some tips on making sure your online presence isn’t cringeworthy:
- Expert Career Advice: Why Your Image on Social Media Matters
- Social Media Presence And Getting Noticed: Advice From RBC’s Campus Recruitment Team
- Screen Yourself In: 5 Tips To Make Your Online Presence Interview-Worthy
5) Do your research
No matter what job you are applying for – whether it’s a full-time position or a part-time job to pay the bills while you’re in school – make sure to do your research. It’s important to understand the company you are interviewing and applying for to help you determine if this position is really right for you and impress the employer. Show that you have an understanding of the company, their history, mission, values, and anything recent company activity that may be important to know about.
These articles will help make sure you are fully prepped for your interview:
- How to Prepare for a Sales or Marketing Interview
- How Do You Prepare for Job Interviews?
- 10 Tips to Help You Prepare For a Job Interview
6) Practice interview questions
Realistically, it’s impossible to know what an employer will ask you in an interview, but practicing can help build your confidence and prepare you for possible curveball questions. Make a list of interview questions based on the job description and figure out how you would answer them. Sometimes it helps to write down your answers first and even record yourself answering them to get comfortable. Even if you don’t get asked these questions, the practice will help you start thinking about what you’d like to say in your interview, and how you’d like to say it.
Here are some tips on practicing before an interview:
- How to Answer Some of Your Most Difficult Job Interview Questions
- How to Answer Interview Questions
- How to Deal with Weird Interview Questions
By completing this checklist prior to your job hunt, or meeting with any potential employer, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Just remember to stay confident, prepared, and remember that every “no” will bring you closer to a “yes.”