Q: My daughter is graduating college in the spring. She has replied to many online postings and seems to be getting frustrated. Many of her friends are landing jobs. Can you share any tips on job hunting, specifically for recent or soon-to-be grads? We thought that after laying out some pretty big dollars for an undergraduate degree, she would have job offers coming through our front door.
A. Finding a first job out of college can be a challenge. Here’s some practical job hunting advice for your daughter:
■ Make sure she’s using the career services office of her college or university. Part of your tuition probably funded this office! A career services office can help with development of a resume, coaching in interview skills, and connections to employers. Some employers even visit college campuses with the intention of hiring graduates or students. Your daughter should also become active in alumni groups. Fellow alumni are often very helpful in finding job leads and contacts within companies.
■ Review her resume. No typos, spelling errors, or wild fonts are allowed.
■ She has probably already received this advice, but your daughter should consider joining LinkedIn. Recent college graduates will often protest and explain that they don’t have any connections. Now is the best time to start building a professional network. Your daughter can connect with fellow graduates, professors, friends, and neighbors.
■ Your daughter should have an elevator pitch. This is a one-to-two-minute summary of who she is and where she hopes to land in her next job.
■ Introductions to others can lead to job opportunities. She should never say no to an intro. It is not about just the person with whom you are meeting, but all of their contacts, too.
■ Your daughter should check her e-mail daily, even on weekends, so she doesn’t miss anything.
■ Sometimes recent grads need to be reminded to send thank-you notes or e-mails. Even if someone has just met her for coffee, a quick note of thanks should be sent.
■ If your daughter interned with a company, she should re-connect with that firm. Businesses like to hire interns for regular full-time roles when they can.
■ Networking is more valuable than spending time behind a laptop. A reasonable guideline is 75 percent of a job hunter’s time should be devoted to networking.
■ A social media checkup might be smart. College grads need to make sure that their social media pages portray them in a positive light.
■ Finally, stay positive. No recruiter wakes up in the morning and says, “I am eager to hire a negative person today.” Even though your daughter might be getting frustrated, it is important not to vent that frustration in front of a prospective employer.Pattie Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group in Hopkinton.