Newly graduated and looking for a job? Guide to the job search process and the good routine
The journey from new graduate to worker bee can be confusing one. To help you make it as easy as possible, here is a guide to get a bit of an overview of the whole job search process and to get a nice start.
You just finished your finals, handed in your thesis, signed up for unemployment insurance and now you are ready – ready for a job! But how exactly does one go about getting one of those? And what exactly are you supposed to do now? Being newly graduated can be confusing and overwhelming. For the last few years, you’ve gone to school, had finals, handed in papers, and now you suddenly need the perfect resume and a strong cover letter. And let’s not forget that you also have to actually find the positions you want to apply for.
So, what exactly should you be doing? And how can you get yourself organized? Here we present a little guide to your new exciting journey from a newly graduate to a job seeking expert with tips and tricks ranging from cover letters and resumes to a great routine.
Newly graduated and confused?
Your job search will most definitely be improved by organization, enthusiasm and a good “go get ‘em” attitude. Down below, you will find a guide to getting yourself organized and a step by step guide to getting a routine down pat.
Guide to getting organized
Getting an overview of careers and interests
First of all, start out by making sure you an overview of what you would like to work with. Here, it is important to try and branch out a little bit and look at other interesting possibilities than simply your dream job. That is not to say that you should give up on your dream job! But a lot of the time, especially if you live in Denmark and are getting “dagpenge”, you will need to apply for a lot of positions. So you might as well start looking broadly, applying for every single interesting position.
Make a list of competencies and experiences
In order to get an overview of which positions you would like to apply for, it is a good idea to brainstorm a bit. Now, a classic “what do I like” list (as above) is great since it’s super important to know what you would like to work with. But it is also a really good idea to make a list of experiences, competencies and qualifications. You need to define exactly what you are able to do, what you can offer, and learn which business and careers these can be used within. Use this information about yourself to steer your job search in the right direction for you.
Formal requirements from your unemployment insurance fund (A-Kasse in Denmark)
This step shouldn’t take up too much of your time or energy. If you are a part of an A-kasse in Denmark, this should be covered in your initial meetings with them. However, just make sure that you know what they expect and require of you. Then you can use all of your energy on creating great resumes and cover letters.
Getting an overview of resumes and cover letters.
You already know that these two things – a resume and a cover letter – is needed in your job search. So, take some time, sit down, and figure out exactly what makes a great resume and how you can wow them with your cover letter. We have guides for your resume here and for your cover letter here. Do yourself a favor and spend some time really crafting a strong resume because you will need it. Furthermore, you need to understand that you have to adapt every single resume you send out to every single business and position you send them out to. You cannot just send out a standardized resume or a standardized cover letter. You need to highlight specific strengths, competencies and experience that showcase exactly why you are the ideal candidate for the position you are applying for. Read our post on “6 common mistakes in your resume” and “4 common mistakes in your cover letter” to make sure everything is as it should be!
Step by step: How to get organized and started with the job search
Make a list of everything you need an overview of. This could include:
- careers and businesses you find interesting
- formal requirements from your A-kasse or other similar unemployment insurance funds
- cover letter
- list of competencies and experiences, and the way these can be utilized
Step 2: A routine is worth more than gold in your job search
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a daily routine for your job search. Now, you know yourself the best. So build this routine around your strengths and your hopes for your day. If you are your most productive during the morning hours, then make sure to allot time for your job search in the morning hours, for example, 8-3 PM. If you’re more of an evening person, then don’t fret. Make sure to get all of your errands done during the morning hours – work out, hang out with friends, go grocery shopping, etc., before you sit down and start your job search for the day. For you, the perfect time slot might be 3-10 PM with a quick dinner. It’s all good. Just be sure to find a rhythm that suits you! And, of course, that you actively spend the time allotted to job search, you know – searching for a job.
Example of a daily routine
8:00 – wake up
08:30 – breakfast
9-12 – job search
12-1.30 – lunch
13.30-3 – job search
3 — errands, friends, workout, etc.
What you need to remember is that a job search is a lot more than just sending off resumes and cover letters. There is actually a lot of research involved. In order to have an organized week, you might want to make a weekly schedule as well. This could be your routine for the entire week in which you have certain days to do certain things. For example, you might want to start off your week with all the preparation for applying for jobs – adapting your resumes, adapting your cover letters, researching the businesses and positions. Then you might want to use the middle of the week to actually get every sent off. And Fridays on researching new job openings and positions that you can apply for next week. Down below you can find an example of how such a weekly schedule could look. But again, remember that it should fit you! So, if this isn’t ideal for you then switch the days around or whatever else you need so it fits you and your needs perfectly.
Example of a weekly schedule
Monday: brainstorm bullet points for this week’s resumes and cover letters
Tuesday: writing resumes for each of the week’s applications
Wednesday: research new positions + start this week’s cover letters
Thursday: Finish this week’s resumes and cover letters and send them off
Friday: Research and find new positions you can start applying for next week
Step 3: A job-calendar can help you get an overview
A great tool for getting an overview of your entire job search is a job-calendar. You can make your own by using google calendar. In your job-calendar, you can plot in every single job you might want to apply for. Then you can arrange them in regard to interest, priority, deadlines, etc. With a job-calendar, you can begin each week with an organized overview of which jobs you should and might want to apply for this week. Other things you can do in your job-calendar are:
- note whether the job is a full-time or part-time position. A lot of Danish A-kasser have requirements in regard to the number of full-time positions you have to apply for, so this is an easy way to prioritize those and not forget them.
- jot down where you found/saved the job listing, whether they have ongoing interviews, and whether they have specific preferences in terms of your submission of your application.
Yes, a good routine and an organized overview of your job search process can make all the difference when you are a somewhat confused new graduate. But the most important thing is that you make it your own; that every part of this suits you. So make sure that your routine, your job-calendar, etc., complement you and your needs. In the end, they’re supposed to help you, not be a hindrance and waste of energy.