If you’re looking for a job, you may be considering a career in growing fields like healthcare or the increasingly important field of information technology. Or maybe you’re hoping to break into the business world. No matter what industry you want to pursue, there are common job search best practices that will help you stand out among the competition when jumpstarting your career. The Career Development teams at Brightwood College provide trusted tips and advice to students and graduates looking for jobs.
Use these tips from Brightwood College Directors of Career Development Ian Manners and Sally Krasinski to help you get your foot in the door:
1. Build your network
“It is said that it is all about who you know,” says Manners. “If you are starting from scratch, try to attend job fairs, ask for business cards and reach out to companies in your field to get to know them. My Career Development colleagues and I at Brightwood College help our students come up with ideas for how to build their professional networks.”
2. Dress for success
“It’s important to understand the difference between appropriate professional and inappropriate, unprofessional clothing in different scenarios,” says Krasinski. “If you are going to a job interview, wear a professional or business suit or blazer with a knee-length skirt or dress slacks. The more polished the first impression, the greater the chances of being considered by the employer!”
3. Prepare an elevator speech and talking points
“What would you say if you only had a 15-second elevator ride with someone you were looking to impress professionally?” says Manners. “When you are able to quickly and confidently state your career goals and skills, it helps others understand why they should hire you. It’s also important to have a plan for your interview. While you can’t control what kinds of questions your interviewer asks, you can have a few accomplishments that you want to cover. This gives you a little more control over the situation and outcome.”
4. Develop a portfolio and use it
“We coach our graduates to create a portfolio for their job search,” Krasinski says. “It’s extremely helpful when describing your standout traits because you can demonstrate how that trait is true. Examples might be, ‘I am dependable’ and show attendance awards; ‘I have a strong work ethic’ and show your academic awards; ‘organized and detail-oriented’ shown by your organized portfolio with cover sheet, table of contents and sectioned contents. Also use your portfolio to highlight your strengths that align with the job description. These steps will help you get noticed!”
5. Plan your route, outfit and questions ahead of time
“Not only is it important to get plenty of sleep the night before,” says Manners, “but also know your route to the interview site ahead of time. Research and review the company you’re interviewing with and have your professional outfit laid out the night before. Additionally, prepare a small list of questions for the interviewer and prepare for any questions you may be asked.”
6. Build your résumé
“Learn to review your résumé from an employer’s perspective,” says Krasinski. “Include all relevant work or school experience, along with any relevant skills and extracurricular activities. Our Career Development staff helps our students and graduates review and refine their résumés prior to their interviews.”
Download our infographic for more tips on how to ace the job interview at every stage.
Follow these tips to stand out to employers, and explore our site to learn more about Career Development Services at Brightwood College!
Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.