If you have just received your diploma, it is time to leave your college years behind and make your first big step into adulthood, getting a job. However, in between graduation and your first day of work is an unpleasant and unwanted transition period: unemployment. There is no telling how long this can last or how quickly you will land a job, making your time waiting to put your diploma to good use both frustrating and often anxiety-ridden.
If you are determined to hit the ground running and land your first “real” gig as soon as possible, being diligent, ambitious and setting goals can help you get there. Here are 5 goals that will help you get your first job this summer.
Make 2 Linkedin Connections Each Week
When looking for a job, it is important to use every tool at your disposal to help you get hired. One of the best resources you can use during your search is your network of professionals and classmates who can provide you with advice, knowledge of job opportunities and can help you get your foot in the door. Due to the importance of networking, expanding your network circle should be one of your summer job-search goals. Whether you choose to use Linkedin exclusively or reach out to previous professors and other alumni from your university, making 2 new contacts each week can only help you get a job.
Apply to at Least 3 Jobs Daily
If you are currently unemployed and on the job hunt, you want to get hired as quickly as possible. Though waiting tables and selling your stuff may help you get by, you want a steady income and validating career. As the only way to get an interview, which could lead to a job offer, is by searching and applying for jobs, this should be an absolute priority. Make it a goal to apply to 3 jobs (or as many as you can find) daily, as this will increase your odds of becoming employed.
Land 1 Interview Each Month
Or even a phone interview or at least some positive feedback about your resume. In a job market that is so tough, getting any sort of response from an employer is pretty rare (especially for recent grads) and is a step in the right direction. So make it a goal to get some feedback, have a phone screening, or even land an interview at least once a month. Even if it does not turn into a job offer, at least you will be getting noticed by employers and gaining good interview experience.
Find 1 New Way to Market Yourself
As a college grad hoping to find a job, you already probably have a flawless resume, cover letter and a Linkedin account. While all are great marketing and networking tools, in today’s tough job market they might not be enough, making it vital to find a new innovative way to market yourself. A great way to do this is to market yourself on the Internet for employers and recruiters alike to view. Setting up a website, online portfolio or blog can help showcase your skills, work, talent and qualifications. You can also guest post on relevant PR blogs where a hiring manager might be reading.
Add at Least 1 New Asset to Your Resume
If you are out of a job, chances are you have some time to kill. However, waiting for you next job does not have to mean sitting and idly waiting. While you have some down time, now is the perfect chance to boost your resume. Look for an unpaid internship, a place in your community where you can volunteer or teach yourself some new technology skills in your downtime. Though it may seem small, every experience can boost your resume and help you in an interview.
If you are determined to land a job, making an action plan and sticking to it is critical. Applying diligently for jobs and expanding your network can help you get your name out to employers, while boosting your resume and marketing yourself more makes you a more enticing candidate. So even though unemployment can seem a little bleak, know that with hard work you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and land your first job a little sooner.
Alicia Lawrence is an online PR specialist for a Internet marketing company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. She’s a frequent contributor to Lifehack, PR Daily, and Muck Rack. Connect with her on Google+.
This post was originally published on PR Diva.