5 Tips to Land Your Dream Job After College

Land Your Dream Job After College

If you’re reading this article, you are a soon-to-be or recent graduate, or an ambitious soul in pursuit of the American Dream. I have good news. The dream is possible. Hardworking people can find success in every season of life, even despite economic forecasts.

During college, I studied business and economics, and I dreamed of occupying the corner office with the V.P. title on the door. I assumed that because I was “so” intelligent, hardworking, and capable that every company would be knocking on my door to give me an interview. I figured I would send out a handful of applications and then slip into a comfortable mid-management job where I would help other less-awesome employees to be more awesome. Because of my four years of diligence at one of the region’s finest schools, I had earned my ticket to the good life. 70K per year starting salary, company car, and a reasonably sized office. Work experience? Please. 

Land Your Dream Job

I was wrong. Not only did I not get the salary or the company car, but I had to take a high-commission sales job. High commission means you either make sales or you don’t eat. It’s great when sales are high, but it’s hard work. I quickly realized that success requires hard work. Hard work distinguishes the innovators from those who never breakthrough to see their full potential bloom.

Expect to work hard and to continue to learn. It’s the best way to the American Dream, and it keeps life interesting. You spend most of your day at work, so it might as well be exciting, right?

Here are tips on how to land your dream job… or at least, the steps to get there:

1) Start Applying for Jobs Early

This is important, so don’t put it off! The sharpest candidates start job seeking early and they apply to as many companies as they can. You want to land your dream job, right?

2) Create a Clean-Cut Resume

Please don’t think that if you slap some work history onto a piece of paper, you’re going to impress anybody. You’re wrong if you do. Your resume speaks volumes about you as a candidate because it’s the only thing the recruiter sees of you. It is worth the time and energy to make a well-crafted resume. It will likely put you over the top of the competition.

See our Resume article for helpful suggestions.

3) Follow-up with a Phone Call

It’s a great idea to follow-up a few days after you’ve submitted your resume to ensure that the Human Resources department received your information. If they’re not interested in talking to you, they’ll let you know. But it doesn’t hurt to try getting your foot in the door, if you want to land your dream job.

4) Wear a Suit to the Interview

So, you’ve landed the coveted interview. This is huge. Don’t blow it by wearing a faded pair of dockers and your dad’s old golf polo. Most recruiters expect you to wear a suit. A dark, clean, pressed suit. Dark dress socks. Dark dress shoes. Clean, brushed hair. Ladies, if you intend to wear a skirt suit, then wear nylons and appropriate heels. (Leave the stilettos at home.) If this is not the kind of job that requires a suit, you will highly impress the hiring manager when you show up in professional attire that shows you care!

Do not believe the fashion magazines when they say that edgy business people wear mismatched wrinkled suits and sneakers to work. This is make believe. We live in the real world.

See our What NOT to Wear article for tips.

5) Send a Thank You Card

How many thank you cards do you get per year? Exactly. With all the stress we encounter at work, it’s refreshing to receive a card expressing thankfulness. Send a thank you note after those coveted interviews. It will speak volumes about your kind and thoughtful character. Fill out the card before the interview and keep it in your car. After the interview, drop it in the closest mailbox to the company. The sooner they receive it, the better.

6) Follow-up Again

Land Your Dream Job

Employers will appreciate your diligence.

Follow-up one more time a week after the interview. Show the employer that you are professionally persistent and that you care about the position. Now go land your dream job!

Stay up to date on current hiring trends and tips by following Career Marketplace on LinkedIn. 


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