I guess the first step is to know what you want but if you're in college or recently graduated I hope you have already figured that out. If you haven't figured out what kind of career you want check out our Choosing a Career series.
Anyway, back to the point...
I know that you've likely heard stories about this person or that person who graduated from a certain course or a certain college and walked out and got a job within a week or they had a job before they even graduated. I'm not going to tell you that that doesn't happen. I've seen it happen. But it is not the norm and it likely isn't going to happen to you. You will likely have to be a fighter.
Getting a job that you really want means you have to fight for it.
What does that mean?
When there is a job you really want (or an industry you really want to get into) you have to pull out all the stops! That means:
- Do your research! Know that company better than the employees do!
- No generic cover letters! Find out who to address the letter to, give examples of your past experience that show how hard you are willing to work and what you are capable of as it pertains to that job.
- Try to get an informational interview with someone who has the job you want, preferably in the company you want to work in.
- Look into volunteer positions or internships - they can really help you get your foot in the door.
- Be willing to start for lower pay or in a position that is below your training - again, getting your foot in the door can be a big help.
- Look for networking events that the company might be attending and be there with your best outfit and your best attitude; be ready to wow them.
- Be persistent.
If you really want something it is worth fight for and you're likely going to have to fight for it.