From time to time, we can all use some good career advice, and new graduates in particular often need some guidance to get them started on the right career path, and to land that all-important first job.
The job market these days is tight, and many Americans are feeling the pinch. New graduates, especially, can feel a bit overwhelmed as they head out into the “real world” looking for that dream job, only to find that there are more closed doors that open these days.
With this in mind, we will present some of the best career advice for both recent graduates and seasoned workers, the goal of which is to help you land a great job.
Tip number 1 — Be your own career coach.
If you’re tired of filling out endless applications and constantly checking the job web sites, one great tip is to look at your situation from the outside. In other words, see yourself as the applicant and be your own career coach. From this outside perspective, give yourself your best advice on how to land a job.
Getting outside yourself in this way will often show you the weak spots in your résumé, credentials or appearance, and provide you with clues on how to accentuate the positive in your situation.
Tip number 2 — Don’t dress for the job you are interviewing for; dress for the job you eventually want to have.
If you are applying for a job in the mailroom of a large corporation, but your actual goal is to be in upper management, don’t show up wearing khakis and a short sleeve shirt. Even after you have secured a job, one of the most important rules of business success is “never dress for the job you have; dress for the job you want.”
This may seem pretentious, or it could even make you feel that you stand out in a way that is uncomfortable, however, the more you stand out, the more likely it is that you will be noticed by higher-ups at the company. Whether we like it or not, the world we live in judges all of us by appearances. Take advantage of this fact by presenting yourself as neatly and professionally as possible, and always — and I mean always — dress above your current position.
Tip number 3 — If you cannot land at your dream job, take a lesser job and turn it into your dream job.
When the job market is really tight, sometimes it may be necessary to take a job that you feel is beneath your qualifications. If this should happen, it is important that you do not get despondent about it, but rather see this job as an important step toward a better career overall.
It is also important to remain flexible, because the career path you outline for yourself at age 20 may not make a whole lot of sense to you at age 26, for example. Some of the best career advice you can get is this — work hard and give your all to any company and any position you find yourself employed in.