So you’ve graduated. On to the job hunt!

September 3, 2013 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Jennifer McCleary

job-interviewTips for Securing a Job

So, you are now out in the corporate world, away from campus, and you start to think about how you are going to make your next career move. Your search will likely feel a little different than when you were applying for jobs online on the university job board.

What are some tips to think about when looking for that promotion or seeking to switch companies?

  1. Always talk to strangers. I know your mother told you not to do this, but more than 75% of roles are secured through networking and referrals. With this in mind, you should set a goal of meeting at least one new person each week.
  2. Have your pitch ready. Whether you call it an elevator pitch or an introductory message is not important, but you will more confidently engage in a dialogue if you know what you want to say when you meet that stranger.
  3. Online dating. I am not asking you join a dating site, but I am encouraging you to optimize LinkedIn. This networking tool is growing so quickly that you are missing out on opportunities to connect with organizations, groups and people.
    • Go online and get inspired by others’ profile descriptors and relate them to what is most important to you and your brand.
    • Update your profile and ask others to join their networks. One word of caution: Ensure your requests are personalized. People want to connect with people who are willing to invest the time to write customized messages.
  4. Keep an open mind to opportunities. I have been approached at some of the most unexpected times. For example, I was attending a conference and over lunch, a colleague I met several months earlier stopped at my table to say hello and to mention that a role was going to be posted in her organization and she thought I would be a good fit. You never know when an opportunity will arise. Seize the moment and embrace these prospects.

While it is always recommended to have an updated resume, cover letter, list of references and a series of prepared interview stories, it all starts with meeting people – online and in person. So, get out there and meet strangers. One of them might have your next big opportunity.

Jennifer McCleary is the director of DeGroote’s Centre for Business Career Development (CBCD). Visit the CBCD website  for more information.

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