If you are a recent graduate you may know what it feels like to look back and wish you did your job search, networking, and preparing for “the real world” a little differently.

If you’re still in school and are anxiously awaiting the day you graduate, as the fear of finding a good job looms closer, you should throw dread out your dorm room window and face the search with confidence.

To lower the risk of regret we’ve included some points that will help you on your way in the right direction.

  • Start now!
    • Don’t put it off for another second. See what’s out there and, more importantly, what interests you.  Go through all the requirements and skills necessary to apply and hone in on perfecting those while you still have the time!

  • Who is in your professional network?
    • Get in touch with previous employers, internship supervisors, and friends who are already working. Research your dream companies and connect with the Human Resources department on LinkedIn. Introduce yourself and build a network. Try not to be too rigid or formal in your notes. Just be humble, gracious, and genuinely interested.

  • Pay Your Dues
    • Interning is a great way to gain experience and knowledge of what you like and don’t like. It’s also a great way to connect with industry professionals. Stay in touch with those people and continue to build.

  • Quality over Quantity
    • Applying for multiple jobs with a generic resume and cover letter may not be the best approach.  Personalize your cover letter and resume with key words and skills mentioned in the job description and you may have a better shot at an interview. Remember these hiring managers look at resumes all day – make yourself stand out!

  • Dress The Part
    • How do you present yourself at class? Your professors notice your attendance and how you’re dressed. Dressing the part also involves acting professional as well as dressing professional.  Network in person. Take a connection out for coffee and write hand-written thank you notes.

  • Feed Into Feedback
    • Take advantage of career services at your school. These trained professionals are knowledgeable about all things resume, cover letter, and interview tactics. Get all the feedback and advice you can.

Are you a recent graduate who has some advice to share with those in the job search trenches? Please do!