May 26, 2010
SMU's Hegi Family Career Development Center is often asked “What should I do to find my first job out of college now that I am graduating?” This is quickly followed by the next request “The Spark Notes Version please!”
If you are short on time or just need a refresher course, the center offers this 4-step process to increase your odds of getting the career you want in a shorter amount of time:
1. Get Started Yesterday
In this competitive job market time is not on your side. It’s been estimated that at least 6 months is needed to secure a relevant job opportunity.
2. Know Thyself and the Company
When seeking a new job you should research salary information, re-evaluate your skills, touch up your resume, and know something relevant about each of the companies that are most attractive to you. Employers are often appalled by the lack of knowledge about the positions they are offering. A generic resume often puts your application into the “No pile”.
3. Increase your Bacon
By now you probably have heard that Kevin Bacon, the actor, reportedly commented that he had worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who's worked with them. See where this is headed? Connections and networking are powerful and often the most important variables in getting the interview. Outgoing and reserved personalities can be successful when networking. Build contacts, gain insider knowledge, and get your foot in the door.
4. 30-Second Story Telling
To paraphrase Alan Kay, former vice president at Walt Disney, "Scratch the surface in a typical boardroom and you’ll find that we are all hungry for a wise person to tell us stories.” If the boardroom is hungry, the recruiters who work for these VIPS are ravenous for top-quality candidates. The art here is to mix together an authentic and concise “story” that is so enticing the employer wants to order more from your story menu. Remember the 3 R’s: Research the company, Relate your qualifications to the company’s hiring needs and Respect the interviewer’s time.
Following these steps will set you apart from the herd. Anytime you need more in-depth assistance, visit the Hegi Family Career Development Center and meet with a professional career counselor.