From Small to Big Fish

It’s that time of year. May graduates are coming into the office with a look of fear in their eyes because it’s June, and they are still unemployed. Some of these students just realized that you have to “work” to find a job, but others have actually been putting forth their best effort, and many likely fall somewhere in between. So, what are you doing to find a job? Just in case you’ve missed other related tips…or you are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on conducting a job search. Here you go…how to become a bigger, brighter fish!

The Shiny Fish:
Update your resume and cover letter. Seriously, this piece has got to ROCK! Some document your mom pieced together while you talked over the phone isn’t going to cut it. What have YOU done over the past four (or so) years that makes you employable? How have YOU made organizations, offices on campus, companies, etc. better? Not only must the content be enticing, but it has to be pretty to look at. Step back and look at it. Does it look like a blob of text? Is there any order? Fix it. (We can help with this, by the way.)

The Fast Fish:
Get out from under your rock (or in front of your computer) and go talk to people. Put together your elevator speech so you can communicate who you are in less than 30 seconds. Get dressed and go visit with people you know who have influence, are working in your field of interest, or are in contact with people who hire people. Admittedly, it would be more efficient to brainstorm who those people are and do some research (even on the internet) before you go out. But don’t get sucked into those huge job boards clicking on jobs. Go…swim!!

The Big Fish:
If you master the “fast fish,” you will become a bigger fish. Big Fish know people. They aren’t an insignificant blip on someone’s computer monitor or one of 200 resumes sitting on a desk. The Big Fish has talked to people, via email, LinkedIn, the phone or face-to-face. On those monster-sized job boards, you are tiny…and as a recent grad, often pretty insignificant. Start with Tiger Recruiting Link (TRL) where employers are actively seeking Auburn University graduates. Then, utilize NACELink (on TRL) where employers are actively seeking college graduates. CareerShift (also on TRL) allows you to not only search for jobs by keyword and geographic location, but it also identifies humans who work for the companies listing jobs so you can bring out “fast fish” and become a “big fish.” On each liaison page there are career-related websites for your college. Check those…but then…go find the humans!

If you are walking through the fish counter of your favorite grocery store, you literally have an opportunity to network just standing by the other customers waiting for their food. Take a chance. Use that elevator speech.

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