Searching for a job can be extremely overwhelming, especially if you don’t even know where to begin. Since graduating SDSU a year ago, I have encountered a whirlwind of advice from employers, colleagues, and professional role models. Job searching can be a little more complicated than simply creating a list of desired positions and applying for them. Don’t let the job hunt discourage you though. With this guide, you’ll have the right tools to land your dream interview!

1. Have an open mind. Don’t limit your options because you’re stuck on one industry or position. Be open to potential opportunities that could eventually lead to your dream job! Maybe consider starting with internships- whether paid or unpaid. At the end of the day, experience is experience!

2. Update your resume/LinkedIn. Your resume should easily stand out from the rest. Make sure it represents who you are and what you’ve done. Your resume should be organized, concise and relevant. As for your LinkedIn- make sure it’s up-to-date, and be sure to list all of your skills. Take the time to connect with peers and future employers. LinkedIn can be a great place to get your name out there. Having a killer resume and proficient LinkedIn is crucial.

3. Use your connections! Ask your friends/colleagues who’s hiring. Word of mouth advertising can be the best source sometimes. Take advantage of networking opportunities that come your way. It’s not what you know or who you know, it’s who knows you. Who’s going to mention your name when an opportunity arises?

4. Take on some new hobbies that might spark an interest! It’s hard to start a job search when you’re not sure where your interests lie. Whether you  decide to try an activity you’ve been dreaming about for a while- or sign up for a random class with your friends- Motivation can come from all walks of life. Getting involved in a new hobby could inspire you in more ways than one!

5.  Map out your long-term goal and figure out what you have to do to get there. If you have a big dream, acknowledge that the first step will most likely be small. Take the time to create a vision of where you want to be and what you want to do. Do some research on the people who currently have those positions and see what they did to get there. Baby steps are just as valuable as giant leaps, and sometimes even more stabilizing.


6. Use a variety of online resources. Don’t let LinkedIn and Craigslist restrict your search. There are a variety of sites that can help maximize your results. Monster, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, CareerBuilder, GlassDoor, SimplyHired, and even Facebook. These sites allow you to make a profile and display your resume. Take advantage of the age of the internet. Stay in the loop by subscribing so you can receive emails about job openings.

7. Take advantage of career fairs/ career services. Research when a career fair is taking place- sign up and be ready to hand out some resumes! Be sure to dress to impress and do some prior research on who you’d like to meet. Career fairs present the perfect opportunity to meet a variety of companies. And if you’re still in school- get involved with the career services department. From resume and cover letter workshops, to mock interviews, to potential internship opportunities, there’s plenty of resources your respected school could offer.

8. Research the company. Remember it’s a two-way street. Do a thorough research on the company’s’ background. What are the company policies? Is company culture valued? Do benefits come along with the position? What is the turnover rate? Ask yourself these questions before accepting a position. Read reviews on the company and position. GlassDoor Reviews can provide crucial insight at the company. Think about why the company would be a good fit for what you’re looking for.

9. Have deal breakers- ask yourself what’s a deal breaker. What are the must-haves you’re looking for in a new position/company? Yes having an open-mind is a plus for job hunting, so are having specific standards. What’s important to you in you’re next work environment? E.g., if you’re looking for full time and the company only offers part time that would be considered a deal breaker.

10. Be persistent! Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be afraid to apply for positions you don’t meet all the requirements for. Most likely the company will be willing to train the right candidate. Be sure to follow up, especially after interviews. Show the company you’re not only interested but you’re determined. Finally, I’ll leave you with some key advice from #GirlBoss Author, Sophia Amoruso, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for!” That’s right Sophia. A little persistence can go a long way!

I hope my top ten pieces of advice help guide you in the right direction. Being forced to grow up at 22, find a real job and go out into the real world can be nerve-racking. My goal is to create some structure, organization and inspiration for putting yourself out there in the professional workforce.