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Enlist in Job Search Boot Camp to Find Your First Job

Enlist in Job Search Boot Camp to Find Your First Job

Graduating this year and still don’t have a job? Whip your job search into shape by enlisting in Monster’s Job Boot Camp, modeled after one run by Laura Kestner, director of Marquette University’s Career Center.

Marquette’s Boot Camp takes place over one action-packed day, but we’ll give you seven days to complete the seven steps of the Monster Job Boot Camp. When you’re done, you’ll be prepared to fight and win the battle of landing your first job.

Day 1: Identify the Target

Before you can land the perfect job, you have to know what the job is. “Sit down and think about what you want to do,” Kestner says. “What kind of activities do you see yourself involved in next year? If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?”

If you need help, visit your school’s career services center, talk to your faculty advisor and get a mentor through the alumni network.

Day 2: Identify Yourself

“The job search is like dating,” Kestner says. “You don’t come to a relationship not knowing what you bring, and it’s the same with the job search.” Write down 10 strengths you possess and an example illustrating each one. Write a short answer to the one question you’ll hear most in interviews and at networking events: Tell me about yourself. “I call it the 60-second commercial,” Kestner says. Memorize your new sales pitch.

Day 3: Recruit a Cheerleader

“Students have pressure from their parents and friends who already have jobs,” Kestner says. “A student who goes through the job search without someone telling them they’re awesome will become frustrated more easily than someone with support.” Ask someone to be your career cheerleader. Make them promise to shout, “You can do it!” at least once a day.

Day 4: Prime Your Weapons

Pull out your resume and cover letter, and head over to the career center to get both critiqued by a career counselor. Ask your faculty advisor and your alumni mentor to critique them as well. Don’t have a resume or cover letter yet? This feature will get you started.

Day 5: Map Out Your Target

Now that you’ve got a job goal, a great resume and a supportive ally on your side, it’s time to find the right employer.

Starting at Monster’s Job Search page, search first using your major as the keyword (e.g., nursing) and select the city and/or state where you want to work. You can also search using your desired job, for instance, “pediatric nurse.” List the companies that pop up on those searches and then read about those companies at Monster’s Company Search. Use your research to create a list of 10 companies you’d like to work for.

Day 6: Recruit Comrades in Arms

Write down the names of 10 networking contacts. “For students, that’s usually friends of family and family of friends,” Kestner says. Contact everyone on the list to see whom they know and where. You can also join social networking sites to find people who work at your target companies.

Day 7: Mock Yourself

Even if you’re an excellent communicator, practice interviews will sharpen your skills. Start with our Virtual Interviews.

Come up with an answer to what Kestner says is this year’s most popular interview stumper question: Tell me about a time when you used your multicultural competence to solve a problem. If the career center offers video interview critiques, sign up.

At Ease, Soldier

You’ve completed Monster’s Boot Camp. Armed with your new job-hunting weapons, you’re well-equipped to fight the battle of landing your first job. At first light, start firing off those resumes and making those networking calls.


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