Entering the job market after college can be an incredibly stressful process, but it’s also equally exciting. As a new grad, you likely don’t have a ton of practical experience to list on your resume and will be struggling with the best way to sell yourself as a viable candidate to potential employers. Here are some job search tips that are applicable to job seekers at any stage but especially designed for the recent graduate.
1) Check Out and Clean Up Your Online Reputation. Posting late night pics of yourself may have been fun and acceptable when you were a carefree college student, but as a young professional you definitely need to clean up your image. Start by Googling yourself. Don’t like the results? A potential employer may not either. While it’s somewhat true that once something is on the internet it’s never really gone, a potential employer will not spend extended time trying to dig up dirt on you. It’s your job to make sure that an initial google scan won’t incriminate you. Remove unflattering or inappropriate pictures, tighten up the controls on your Facebook account and start thinking of yourself as a brand – a G-rated brand appropriate for children. Keep it clean!
2) Create a Web Resume. As a millennial, potential employers expect you to be tech savvy and on the cutting edge of technology. While you still need a traditional resume, putting up a web version on a personally branded domain is an awesome addition. If you do go this route, be sure to include your url in the contact information section of your resume along with your name, address, phone number and email address. Web resumes can be more in depth than a traditional resume and can include links to projects you’ve worked on or uploaded samples of your work. Also, unlike a traditional resume, a picture of yourself is appropriate to include in a web resume. Just be sure to use a professional-looking picture of only you (no group shots please) that presents a polished image. Check out onepagerapp.com to create your web resume. This relatively new service offers one page websites with monthly or annual subscription plans that include hosting. They offer super user-friendly content management and monthly plans are only $10/month.
3) Use a QR Code. QR codes are personalized barcodes that are compatible with most smartphones and can be linked to images, websites, etc. Once you create your web resume, create a customized QR code and insert it as an image into the header of your resume. There are tons of websites to generate QR codes – simply do a google search for “QR code generator” to find one. One site I like because it offers different background color options is www.qrstuff.com.
4) Use a Professional Email Address. This tip definitely applies to jobseekers of any age. It sounds like a no-brainer, but I have seen countless resumes with email handles like partylife123 or hotchick99. It’s so simple to create a new email address for your job search, and I actually recommend it to many of my clients. When you start posting your resume on job boards, you’ll be inundated by offers, spam and other unwanted correspondence. If you create a new email address for your job search, you can keep this information separate from your regular inbox.
Rebecca Henninger is a professional resume writer and personal branding consultant. She specializes in personal, one-on-one service and produces resumes that get results for her clients. For more information about personal branding or resume development, or for a resume quote, visit http://www.rebeccahenninger.com