It has been hard work getting a college degree and now it is time to start the job hunt. A few lucky ones might have it easy but for most of us, landing a job can be stressful. Here are a few techniques that will come in useful when you start your student job search.

  1. Apply for the job within 48 hours after it is advertised

A college assignment has a deadline and turning it in early is not going to get you a better grade. However, no good comes from mulling over your resume and cover letter and putting off applying for a job you like. Recruiters will start reviewing applications as soon as they come in.  They begin the screening and interview process almost immediately. If you wait for too long, they might short list a candidate and then ignore all other applications.

This means that you need to check for new job postings every day. Most job boards also allow you to set alerts and you can be notified about any new posting that fits your job criteria. Another good student job search technique is to monitor the social feeds of employers that you would like to work with. Most of them make posts about new positions on their social media pages.

2. Tailor Your Resume for Each Job Application

Most recruiters use an Applicant Tracking Software. An ATS looks for specific keywords in your resume. As a jobseeker, you need to know that these keywords are also usually present in the job description. For example, if the job description mentions Python and PHP as technical skills, then make sure that these skills are mentioned clearly in your resume.  The ATS might reject your resume if it cannot pick up on these skills in your resume.

Your resume reaches human hands only once your resume passes the screening criteria or the applicant tracking system. An ATS cannot differentiate a well written resume from the ordinary. Your resume needs to be picked up by a machine and then impress the hiring manager.

Another good technique when you are over how to get your first job after college, starts in college itself. Get your resume looked at by someone in the career services department. They will be able to help you tweak your resume to make it more professional. They will  also have good leads that you should follow through with.

3. Network. Network. Network.

As an undergraduate or graduate student, you might not realise that it is never too early to   start building a professional network. The truth is that sometimes what you know is not as important as who you know.  Begin by building a LinkedIn profile. When you apply for a position, you can connect with others working for the organization and request a referral.

Often times we ignore the network that our parents already have. When starting out, it is good to use every possible advantage you can find. Many students also look at career fairs and conferences as a good way to both network and find prospective employers who are open to recruiting those with little or no previous experience.

4. Consider an Internship

Entering into the job market for the very first time after graduation can be daunting. You realize that without experience, you are at a disadvantage compared with other candidates. It can be disheartening to keep applying for promising job openings and not be called in for an interview or not make it past the interview stage.

If you have come up against this brick wall in your student job search, you should consider an internshipafter graduation. This is usually an effective way to solve the problem of how to get the first job with no experience. It will look good on your resume and sometimes can lead to a full-time position.

The important thing to remember is not to pin your hopes on a “dream job”.  It is best to keep your mind open to other possibilities that might come your way.  Getting disheartened by frequent rejections is real but it is important to stay positive.