New graduate? 5 actions the Class of 2020 can take right now to boost their job search success

By Caitlin Lemon Remember it? Crawling to your 8 a.m. Biochemistry class. Watching your mom and dad on Facetime observe your nightly ritual of fighting with each of your roommates. Finally, the day is here! You put on your cap and gown and then…stand in front of your Zoom camera because of Covid 19. You try to focus on the joy and tune out your parent’s dreary news channel talking about the economic collapse. Or the worry that your career has stalled before it’s even started. Look, landing your first job (with dental!) has never been easy. However, even in this pandemic, hope is not lost. Here are 5 steps you can take right now to boost your job search. 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates. If you’re not on there, you’re already playing from behind. Fill out all the sections of your profile to achieve “All-Star” status, which means you’ll show up in more searches. Clean up your social media. Let me be clear. You are 100% allowed to go to parties and have a political opinion. But the labor market is tight, so take a sweep of your socials. There are even apps that’ll flag anything that needs a second look. Ultimately, pay attention to privacy settings on your profiles for look for anything you don’t want a recruiter to see. At the same time, use social media to your advantage. Follow hashtags relevant to your industry and target position (i.e: #fundraising, #bayareajobs, #humanresources). Connect with professionals in your industry through social media groups. Follow your top companies on social networks. This is a great way to gather insights into a company that you can leverage in your cover letter or interviews. Update your resume. Ideally, do this before you even graduate. Aim for 1-2 pages, lose the graphics and choose an easy-to-read font. Always make sure to use a professional email (you can use your college one!). Writing a resume is hard, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there. If you’re struggling or not hearing back from recruiters, it might be time to call in a professional for resume advice. Conduct informational interviews You can even use the career advice hub on LinkedIn. Ask your parents, colleagues, and professors who they know. Create a quick pitch. “Hi Samantha, I was referred to you by Will Shakespeare as a leading expert in the publishing industry. I’d appreciate hearing your story on how you got started. Do you have 20 minutes to talk?” This is not only a great way to gather information about a career field but also build your network. P.S don’t forget to thank them! Job hunting is a pain, even in “normal” times. But there’s so much more you can do than troll the job boards all day (which can be mentally exhausting). Be proactive in your search, sprinkle these tips into your plan, and take time for self-care to prevent burnout. Good luck with your search!