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34 Tips That Will Help You Actually Get A Job Offer

From real people who did exactly that.

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1. Always keep trying, and don't let anything discourage you.

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You will meet a hundred people that do things better than you, but that doesn't give you any reason not to try.

gabsfever

Keep trying when you feel like giving up.

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2. Apply to *A LOT* of jobs.

Ten applications a week. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of those applications. Write company-specific cover letters.

ashleylanetteh

Commit to submitting five cover letters and résumés per week, minimum. Send them then forget them, at least until you get a reply. Dragging your feet while you wait to hear from your dream job and then being sad that you didn't get a response is a waste of time. Crank out those applications and don't look back.

caitlinm18

Do not assume you can't get a job just because you're insecure. Apply for everything that interests you.

—Alicia Kistner-King, Facebook

3. But don't *just* dump your résumé into the ether — follow up.

CBC / cbc.ca

I'm a teacher, and I applied for several districts through their online applications, then followed up with the principal of every school I was interested in via email, introducing myself and attaching a copy of my résumé. I must have sent out somewhere between 30 and 40 emails over the course of a few weeks. Introducing myself helped me stand out from the other applicants in the pool.

mpe28

4. Don't hesitate to start applying before graduation day.

Twitter: @tatartnr

I started looking in my final semester, before I even graduated. Some places will accept student applicants like that. I started my first job a few days after my graduation.

momobunny

Start applying for jobs a month or two before you graduate! I did a couple of interviews before officially graduating and that helped me gain experience and get better. I interviewed for a nursing job the day after graduation and landed the job because I had practiced so much!

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5. Apply to internships to start in the summertime, too, even if you're also applying for jobs.

If you can, try to set up an internship before you graduate, even if it's not paid. Get your foot in the door, and get an idea of what you're getting yourself into.

grassaubrie

6. Find your industry's niche job sites and use the job listings to tailor your résumé.

buzzfeed.com

Find niche job sites to scour in your industry — something other than Monster.com or Indeed.com. I was looking for a job in the arts in NYC so NYFA.org was a great, refined resource for me. These sites exist for every industry and every location.

Cater your cover letter and résumé to each job! Take the most important requirements each job is looking for, and amend your cover letter and résumé to highlight your ability to fulfill those requirements. It's a long and arduous process but it will show each company that you actually care about this application. —caitlinm18

7. Learn to use LinkedIn like a pro (without paying for Pro).

I found the best postings on LinkedIn, and recruiters actually directly contacted me. I prepared for interviews by learning a lot about the company and re-reading the original job posting to refresh my memory. I had probably upwards of 10 interviews and received four job offers before the start of the spring semester senior year.

allisonl47910f013

8. Actually visit your school's career services, and talk to your professors for help and recommendations.

Netflix

See if your college has a career center or professors​ willing to do mock interviews with you and proofread your cover letter and résumé.

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9. Look at state and local government agency pages for even more listings.

I was working towards a master's in environmental sciences, so I applied to my state agency's (paid!!!) internship and was accepted into an air quality–related position. I spent three months learning how the federal government and state government apply air quality–related laws. Those skills allowed me to apply for full-time positions with the same agency and stand out from the other applicants.

Then make sure those skills you learned are clearly presented in your résumé/cover letter, etc. And those recommendations from respected members of your industry never hurt.

—John Bregger, Facebook

10. Actually read and follow all the instructions on the job application.

I own a dog-walking business and hire a lot of young people, and the biggest thing I look at is whether they followed the (very clear) instructions on the application. If they didn't, I immediately toss them out.

mkcetacea89

11. Look to your classes to help show interest or experience in something that wasn't your major.

Nickelodeon

I originally majored in chemistry before switching over to advertising. So rather than apply to the fun-but-selective agencies, I looked at in-house advertising and marketing positions in industries that aligned with my background. (Thermal analysis instrumentation, I see you!) That class you never thought could matter might tip the scale in your favor.

kleinkath

12. Make other people read your résumé for typos and grammar mistakes before you send it out.

Twitter: @MagalieNoebes

"Put together a professional, well organized résumé that still makes you stand out. Have a few people proofread it, because spelling and grammatical errors instantly make me feel less inclined to hire someone."

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"Look at it this way: If you cannot correct a simple mistake in your own CV or portfolio, how can someone who's hiring be sure you'll take good care of their clients?"

citlaliromeror

Grammar and coherent writing skills are essential. Take the time to review your cover letters and responses to make sure they look and sound nice. It will make you look so much more professional!

mkcetacea89

13. If you speak other languages, flaunt them on your résumé! (But don't lie.)

Languages are GOLDEN — if you speak a second (or third) language, leverage that with international companies! I found a job that fit my strengths like a glove, and I've had the opportunity to grow and set myself apart since I started it 1.5 years ago.

kleinkath

14. Pick up your phone and call.

NBC

I'm a librarian now; I applied on a whim for a part-time job out of undergrad. I received a letter telling me I didn't get an interview because I wasn't qualified. My dad told me to call them and convince them to let me interview. I told him he was crazy, but I figured, why not? So I called the county HR and talked my way into an interview.

The person who picked up said that she was impressed with my ambition, and that I explained what I could offer in a way that my résumé didn't reflect. I got the job, and within a year went to grad school to get my MLS (master's in library science). Nine years later I'm a manager at one of the best library systems in the country.

sejll

15. Embrace the awkwardness of networking, and practice to get better at it.

Twitter: @XingonaNalgona

I work in nonprofit human services. When I started it was next to impossible to find an "entry-level" position that didn't somehow also require two to five years of prior experience. When I was hired at my current organization, it was because a former classmate also worked there. I had applied previously and not heard anything, but she encouraged me to send her my résumé and she handed it to HR personally (when I was hired they were receiving hundreds of resumes weekly).

primavolta

It sucks that some people are automatically in a better position for knowing important people, but knowing the right people can be so important when trying to get a job in a specific career field straight out of college. If someone puts in a good word for you on top of a great résumé, your chances of being called in for an interview go up.

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Find events on campus to meet people professionally, keep in touch with professors, have lunch with your parents' friends, and even if you just work at Burger King right now, get to know your current boss, coworkers, and customers.

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To make networking (a little) better, check out out these 19 Tips To Impress Literally Everyone You Meet.

16. Sign up at a temp agency to tide you over and open up opportunities.

TV Land

It took me about four months to get a job after graduation — and I got the job I am in today through a temp agency. I worked as a temp for about a month before the company I temped for hired me full time.

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17. Find a geographical area where there's a need for your skills, and apply for jobs there.

Where I live, it helped that not a lot of students graduate with my degree (library science), and that many companies were looking for librarians. I stayed for 10 months in my first job, and I just celebrated my 15th year with my second and current job.

eimeel

18. Look for volunteer work you can do that's relevant to your industry or field.

Twitter: @_vicksolo

Volunteer! I majored in early childhood ed, so my volunteer work included things like working with youth in 4-H and at events for the local library, and helping at the local children's museum. Even though I didn't have "work" experience, I had plenty of relevant experience from my volunteer efforts.

—Nina Alyse, Facebook

I recommend volunteering if it’s relevant to your field. I know people who really got a leg-up because on top of having the right education, they could demonstrate that they were going into their community and were passionate about the work.

primavolta

19. Go to *EVERY* interview, if only just to practice going to interviews.

HBO

I applied to jobs online and also old-schooled it via the newspaper classifieds. I went through so many job interviews I was eventually able to figure out exactly what the interviewer wanted. I also attended job fairs around town.

ravenbard

I went on a ton of interviews and about six months later I got my first real designer gig. It's a bitch being a new grad when experience is king, but you just have to keep at it and not let rejection get you down.

eliseh6

20. When you get an interview, research the company so you come armed with information.

Knowing the company shows you're serious about the position and helps you prep questions you have about the company, position, benefits, and day-to-day. Even if your questions are answered during the interview, it looks good to come prepared.

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We all know you want money — tell us why you applied HERE for money.

—Cara Wood, Facebook

21. Be on time, be friendly, be persistent, be positive.

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When you have an interview, be prompt (5-10 minutes early) and act personable and friendly. Smiling and eye contact can make a huge difference! And be persistent and positive.

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22. If you're critiqued during an interview, take it in stride.

Always accept critiques and the fact that you might need to start from the very bottom. A good attitude can make the difference between getting hired or not, especially for creative jobs.

citlaliromeror

23. Be honest, and use your research to answer the dreaded "strengths and weaknesses" question.

Being honest about inexperience and what you don't know but showing an earnest desire to learn really impresses employers. It shows integrity and a good work ethic, and makes you seem humble and truthful when you do showcase your strengths and experience. Saying "I don't know but I'm very excited to learn" landed me my dream job!

And instead of studying those generic answers to the question "What are your weaknesses?", research the specific tasks of the position you've applied for, pick one or two things you have little experience in, be honest about those, and express the desire to learn.

kumo

(Hint: Those specific tasks are probably written out in the original job listing.)

24. Send a thank-you note or email after every interview.

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The thing that my employer said really helped me get the job? I sent a thank-you card to the people who interviewed me. It's a personal touch that most people don't do.

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After each interview I made sure to send a formal thank-you letter to the principal letting them know how much I appreciated the opportunity.

mpe28

25. Don't take a job you aren't excited about, no matter how much it pays.

Give up now! Just kidding. Do something because you love it, not because of how much it pays. If you pick a profession you hate you're just gonna re-evaluate and start over at 30.

mkatherinekelly

26. OR accept a just-okay job, and focus on the bigger picture.

Twitter: @ceeejayy1

Remember that it's only your first job! I got a job offer the day I moved out of my dorm. Even though it wasn't where I imagined myself right out of school, it was a great way to gain some real-life work experience, make professional connections, and save up money to get my own place — all of the things I wanted out of my first full-time gig. I ended up liking the position way more than I anticipated, and it's making me rethink my career path.

brookeh918

Don't be too picky about the position — the role I started in wasn’t my first choice, but after a while I applied for a position that I really wanted within the organization.

primavolta

It's a sad thought, but you might never get that "dream job" and that's totally okay. Find a job that you don't mind going to most days and you're going to be fine. Focus on the experiences that each job can give you in the big picture rather than focusing on the specific tasks.

laurenh44b5f2bad

27. Don't shy away from entry-level work, even if it's tedious.

teachinginreallife.tumblr.com

Humility. There is no job beneath you. Work hard and treat people well. However, don't accept abuse at work.

starf

Don't think you are too good to start at the bottom and work your way up. You can't get experience unless you take the plunge. My entry-level job as a correctional officer gave me problem-solving skills and humility that I don't see from people walking into a job with just an internship.

kaciej

Never think a job is beneath you. No matter where you work, work your very hardest and make it a priority.

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Still have a year or two left before graduation day?

28. Apply for and accept and go to internships!

Thinkstock / Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Get an internship or job while at college, especially if you're in the STEM fields. Many times, these internships and jobs lead directly to a full-time job after college. Then start applying for jobs three to four months before you graduate.

valerielee

Get at least one internship during college. I've been out of college for three and a half years now and I STILL have not been able to get a permanent position in the field I want, even though I have a degree from a great school and am pretty good at my work. During college I was too lazy and intimidated to even apply for internships, and I didn't understand how valuable they were. If an employer is faced with picking between two equally smart, nice, capable people, they will choose the one with more job experience every time. Learn from my mistake!

austenw

29. And during those internships, network both at your internship and at networking events your internship opens up.

I took my internship seriously and worked as though I made 100k. I also did tons of networking and attended conferences and seminars. Even though I didn't get a permanent position where I interned, a former coworker who had left for another company called me and asked if I'd be interested in working there because she was impressed with how hard I worked as an intern and how invested I was in the profession.

kristing4cb1cb8a3

30. But also be informed about what you can legally be made to do at unpaid internships in your state, and don't take abuse.

Read up on what companies are legally allowed to make you do during internships.

metm

31. If you can't go the unpaid internship route, have a summer job of some sort.

CBS

Have a job in college. Employers want to see that you have work experience, that you know how a chain of command goes, that you will not have to be told every little thing.

angieeemarie13

32. Don't forget that now is the chance to *start* networking.

Thinkstock / Joanna Borns / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

Don't underestimate the power of networking! I volunteered as an administrative assistant at my local Girl Scout council office twice a week the last few weeks of my senior year and told the woman I typically worked for the most that I had applied for one of the jobs. She then put in several good words for me with the manager of that department, which helped with name/face recognition and (I think) helped me get the job!

doublereedlove

I had a full-time job after college as a nanny and then a full-time job offer months before I finished grad school. I went to conferences and networked with superintendents in order to put myself out there. (With social anxiety it wasn't easy but I knew I had to do it.)

lexlouwho

33. If you're not sure where to find networking opportunities, look to major- or career-related clubs on your campus.

I joined clubs at school that provided networking opportunities. I went to all the events and met employers who called me for an interview and eventually an offer. —Syd Evans, Facebook

34. Get your butt out of bed on every career fair day.

University of Florida / giphy.com

I started attending my major's career fairs as a freshman. I talked to a bunch of the recruiters, and they got used to seeing me twice a year. By the time I was a senior, they all recognized me and offered me interviews!

missdot

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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