Posted At: April 23, 2012 2:00 PM
by Lauren Cuervo
Despite recent promising statistics for college graduates, I, like many of my peers, am terrified that I will not get a job after graduation. The economy hasn’t fully recovered and nobody wants to be that person who graduated a year ago and is still working at IHOP.
This fear has led me to explore many career paths that had never crossed my mind as a freshman deciding to major in public relations. I have applied to every job I can find that is even remotely related to the communication field, everything from hotel concierge to sales representative. The job search and some of its resulting interviews have taught me a few things every aspiring interviewee should know.
*Be open to anything.* One of my friends was only applying to big agencies for jobs, which I thought was crazy. As I have learned the hard way, part of the search is applying to jobs that you never thought you would consider. Apply to jobs at many different types of organizations instead of just an agency or a certain type of company. Your first job will most likely not be your dream job and the willingness to step outside your comfort zone could lead to an amazing opportunity.
*Do your homework.* Study the job requirements and determine the ways you would be able to fulfill them. Also, find out everything you can about the organization and its past work. Interviewers will want to know how you feel you fit in with its mission and what you could contribute to future endeavors. Answering these questions well can put you miles ahead of any other candidate.
*Know your résumé.* It sounds simple, but being able to explain what is on your résumé is a key part of the actual interview. Your qualifications are demonstrated through the details of your achievements in past jobs or internships. You will be asked to provide examples of specific situations where you had to overcome a challenge on the job or went above and beyond what was expected.
I’m no expert yet — I could still be that person who doesn’t have a job in a year, although I am waiting for some seemingly promising second interview results. I know the job search process can be intimidating, but even just a little tip can calm your nerves and maybe prevent you from being that person too.