Accepting your first job position in the adult world of employment is probably the best feeling in the world for two reasons:
- You realized that the last four years definitely paid off.
- You now know you are capable of interviewing for a job that isn’t a work-study position.
Here are three secrets I discovered—which I didn’t Google—to land my first real-world job.
- Get some experience ASAP!
Not every portfolio is created equally; I will tell you why in a minute.
You may be reading this now as you have just graduated or you may be reading this with a year left until graduation. Whatever the time frame, please do not worry or feel like you have utterly failed this first secret.
The best thing to do is start searching for an opportunity for some hands-on experience.
Ever hear someone say they did years of schooling but couldn’t get a job after graduation because they didn’t have the experience or a great portfolio?
This is the reality we are living in now, but I don’t blame employers. Many of them aren’t impressed that you graduated cum laude with a degree.
Why? Because it is not enough for you to know how to type a 20-page paper and work in a team setting. They want to know if you actually have the skills to get the job done.
Can you organize and manage 50-plus people or budget four to six figures?
Can you accurately give a patient a shot without pinching a nerve?
Do you actually know design and not just how to use Photoshop?
Hate to break it to you, but a portfolio matters.
I am a public relations and graphic design major, so I’ve mentioned the latter multiple times to my pupils. I’ve seen way too many graphic design majors fail at finding a job because they didn’t know squat about design, but had what it takes to operate an Adobe program.
Luckily, ENMU has a lot of hands-on approaches to their programs, so you should have enough experience to land your adult job. Start getting experience now, even if you have to take an unpaid internship or cut down on “me” time. The experience pays off in the end when your future employer sees your portfolio or resume.
- Have a detailed resume.
Recently, I was helping a friend with his resume, and he shall remain nameless.
A lot of us are actually unaware of this, but you need more than a five-letter sentence to describe your work duties. In other words, it is okay if you have to use more than one page as opposed to the rule to not use more than one page for your resume.
The little things count, as well.
Remember when you volunteered for that one cause? Great, put it on your resume.
Did you receive a scholarship for such and such? Great, put it on your resume.
Did you attend an inspirational seminar? Great, put it on your resume.
Did you win an award for this thing? Great, put it on your resume.
Did you join a club or organization? Great, put it on your resume.
Eastern has so many events and tools on campus to help you fill out your resume, such as the Leadership Development Dinner.
Take advantage of the campus resources and start getting involved in the student organizations on campus. Want to know how I know? I wrote an article about an alumna who landed her current job based on her extracurricular involvement at ENMU, despite having a totally different degree from her what her job required. The extra activities don’t add fluff; they add depth!
- Be yourself in your interviews.
I believe I was more terrified than ever to have an interview because I didn’t know if I should be myself or be professional me.
Do I let them know I love animals, or do I let them know I love public relations? See the bind that I’m in? I’m passionate about both!
This secret is actually a Google-worthy research session because every tip about job interviews tell you to be yourself. However, what Google doesn’t give you are examples.
The truth is, you need to be yourself but also be your professional self.
Throughout every interview process, employers like to ask you scenario questions just to see what your response will be. Truthfully, they want to see what your personality is like to see if they would enjoy having you around the office! So be prepared to be yourself but in a professional way.
The secret to being yourself is to mention something which makes you a human-being that they would like to hang out with at work and not just an automated employee.
I’m almost positive I nailed my interview because I mentioned something that made me a human; I love the show “Fixer Upper.”
To my recollection, I think the entire interview panel talked about “Fixer Upper” for a good fifteen minutes because I made myself relatable. To end on that note, I also tied in my love for the show into the job I applied for. I wanted to make the venue a bucket-list destination, just as Chip and Jo made Waco, Texas a venue of bucket-lists.
Use these three secrets during your job search, and you’ll have your dream job in no time!