You did it. You passed your final exams, turned in your textbooks and moved the tassel on your graduation cap to the left.
All that’s left to do is begin your journey in the world of communications. If you haven’t landed a full-time position right out of the gate, you may be asking yourself, “now what?”
Looking back, graduation was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, but also one of the most stressful. Job hunting is a full-time job, and a great learning experience for the future.
Here are a few tips I learned after graduation that helped me earn my first full-time communications gig.
Use Your Free Time to Broaden Your Skillset
In 2019, only specializing in one skill won’t cut it. Being a strong writer or designer often isn’t enough anymore – you need to be dangerous with all types of communication tactics. Expanding your skillset will help you stand out from the competition and offer more value to potential employers.
Take this opportunity to break out of your comfort zone and learn some new ways to communicate – you won’t have as much free time to do so when you are established in your career. There are endless hours of YouTube tutorials that are excellent for learning graphic design, coding, videography and virtually anything else. Plus, you might just discover a new passion that you didn’t know existed.
Apply for Jobs Directly Through Company Websites
Job posting sites are the most convenient way to submit resumes. For this reason, job postings can receive hundreds of applications a day, which makes it very easy for you to get lost in a virtual sea of resumes.
Directly submitting a resume through a company website is another great way to stick out from the competition. What’s an employer more likely to pause what they are doing and read? An email notification from Indeed or from their own website? In addition, submitting resumes through a company website shows that you took that extra effort instead of blindly sending your resume to the masses hoping for a bite.
Earn a Few Certifications
Taking more tests after you graduate may seem like the last thing you want to do – but it’s worth it. Certifications are another way to spruce up your resume and add some validity to your skillset. In college, you often learn the basics of online marketing, take the final and that’s it. I found that it was rare for people to continue their education on those topics and go out and earn certifications on their own free will.
Best of all, most of these certification courses aren’t too time consuming. Hubspot and Google offer numerous free courses for online advertising, inbound marketing, social media and analytics that don’t take more than a few afternoons to complete. As an additional bonus, you will receive some eye-catching certificates that you can show off during interviews.
My last and most important tip is to relax and stay positive. It’s easy to get down in the dumps when you don’t land your dream job right out of college, but it’s important to remember that everything happens for a reason and it will all work out in the end.
I hope these couple of tips help as you begin your job hunt and embark on your journey to the world of professional communications.