Most job searches are conducted based upon a wrong premise: they are run with “How can I get a job?” as the foundation. Yes, there are plenty of job search mechanics that you can do to help you get a job. We talk about a lot of them at CollegeGrad.com.
But that cannot be your foundation. Anyone can get a job. Getting the right job? That’s tough.
To get the right job, you have to start with a more basic foundation. Ask yourself what you can do to help yourself become the person employers want to hire. That is the foundation upon which to build your job search.
So reverse engineer your job search. Know where you want to end up. Then work backward to plan your path to get there. What are the steps, down to the specific details, that will get you to that job? You write your own resume. I’m not talking about the mechanics of writing that piece of paper we call the resume. I’m talking about creating the content that goes into the resume. You create it by your accomplishments, your deliverables, your successes. Start with that as your foundation and build from there.
If you are still in school, wherever you are, from high school to college, make sure you get into the right classes at the right time with top grades (yes, grades really do matter) to get the internship that will lead you to your entry level job. And yes, you will need to get an internship. Or two. Or three. If you haven’t done one yet, get it now. If you cannot get a paid internship, get an unpaid one. Find a place you can volunteer. There are plenty of non-profits who will gladly accept your time in exchange for solid resume experience. Work each class, work each internship with your resume in mind. How will I list this on my resume? How will I detail my accomplishments? What are my specific deliverables? What successes do I have?
Then roll that resume content forward into prepping for the employer interview. Build your profile as a successful future employee. How do the accomplishments, deliverables and successes play as compelling behavioral stories in your interviews?
Do you want a great job? Start with the foundation of building yourself as a great candidate.