I’m a recent college graduate. I chose English as my major, which I hope leads me to some sort of success in the future. For now, though, I’ve noticed nothing but Software Engineer jobs. Every company I take interest in needs one of these. . . or, rather 39 to be more specific. Or they need at least 5 years of prior experience in professional (insert literally anything here) or they want someone who has had a marketable success using social media. I’ve been using LinkedIn to do my job search as well as some freelance writing websites. I’ve read so many job descriptions thinking that that could be the perfect job for me, scrolled down to the qualifications than been disappointed and discouraged. I don’t know if I’m looking in the wrong places, but these were the ones recommended to me. Meanwhile, I hear horror stories of English majors not being able to find a job within 6 months of graduating and, again, I’m discouraged. So, what do you do when you’re discouraged? Because I, personally, look at a thousand websites that offer advice to change my attitude. Here’s what I’ve found:
1. Don’t settle. Look for that perfect job. Only apply to things you’re passionate about because those are the jobs that you are going to do well in. You won’t get burnt out later on down the road if you’re doing something you care about. Plenty of people chase money, but if your heart isn’t in sitting in a chair all day in a cubicle alongside 12,000 other workers, don’t do that! Pursue your passions!
2. Beef up your resume and portfolio. Do some volunteer work or sit down and write a bunch of short stories. Look up sample resumes to help make yours more snazzy, but keep it to a page because employers love when you can be concise.
3. Learn a new skill. This goes along with beefing up your resume, but I think it needs it’s own category because it is vitally important. Learning something new shows employers that you are willing to learn and that you can be dedicated to something. Plus, that skill may be useful in whatever new job you end up getting.
4. Network. Networking seems to be one of the biggest buzz words I’ve seen in the job market. It’s all about making friends and having those friends recommend you for things. This is amazing for getting a job, especially if those friends are interested in the same field you are. One of my friends recently got a job this way and he loves it because not only does he get to work with a couple of his friends, but it also makes his job more fun because he isn’t too shy to speak with his coworkers since he already knows them.
5. Market yourself. Take to Twitter or Tumblr or Pinterest, what ever website you’re interested in and dedicate your time to making it awesome. This way you can gain followers and show your future employer that not only are you dedicated to what you take interest in, but you also know how to draw attention to a product.
Hopefully these help you in your quest for your dream job. There’s a whole landscape of advice out there, I just wanted to throw out some of the ideas that I’ve read but haven’t been repeated to me time and time again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do the code.org Hour of Code to get started learning that new skill I was talking about earlier.
Good luck, space cadets!
photo credit: Tips For Lawyers