Written by Kim S - Senior at University of Colorado, Boulder
I always felt like graduation was in the distant future so I had time to figure out what was next. For the first time in my life, the next step was not so clearly spelt out for me like it has been for the past 21 years. I thought that when the time came, I would know exactly what I wanted to do and everything would fall into place. But, the realization quickly set in that I was entering my second semester of senior year, and this miracle idea still had not come to me.
As a Marketing and Finance major, I had always paved my own way, spending two summers as a camp counselor in the middle of Pennsylvania, and another backpacking Europe. Although these summers taught me great patience, how to ask for directions, and that pasta truly is better in Rome, it did not give me a clear idea of what I was looking for in a job.
Originally, I thought I wanted to go into Finance, then Consulting, but quickly realized that those paths were not the right fit for me. I didn’t know any other options because I had become so tunnel visioned on what I thought I wanted to do, and I began to panic. Unsure of what to do next, I contacted PathMatch. With their team, I was able to explore many different career options, some I had never even heard of before. After assessing my interests, skills, and background, we were able to narrow down positions that were best suited for me. I knew we had found a good fit in Digital Marketing when I read the job descriptions and became excited to start working after graduation. Here are just a few things that I have learned while working with the PathMatch team.
It is possible to match your strengths, skills, and interests to a career
Before coming to PathMatch, I knew I didn’t want to go into a typical finance position. I’m analytical, and I like working with people. I had no idea how to take this limited information I had gathered about myself and apply it to the daunting job search process. After taking the PathMatch assessment, it gave me great insights into my strengths and weaknesses, which helped narrow down jobs that are best suited for me.
Learn skills that match the job you are applying for
Before applying for jobs in Digital Marketing, my PathMatch coach and I determined the skills required to stand out to employers. Skills such as Google Analytics and SEO are very beneficial to learn before entering into this field. Through YouTube and affordable online courses recommended to me by PathMatch, I was able to gain many of these skills to make me a qualified candidate and more prepared while on the job next year.
Build a Network
I used to think that reaching out to alumni on LinkedIn or emailing a friend of a friend's Mom was an inconvenience to them. However, I quickly realized that most people are happy to share their stories about what they do on a daily basis. Based on the statistics, I have much better odds if I have a connection to the company. If you are prepared with thoughtful questions (and don’t forget to send a thank you email to acknowledge their time), there is nothing but knowledge to gain from building a network.
Create a relevant LinkedIn profile and be active
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows us to connect with people at all different levels all over the map. It is a great way to showcase your skills, show your personality, and build your network, especially when you feel trapped in the college bubble far away from where you hope to be working. Since updating my LinkedIn, my search rate went up 300% and I started receiving messages from recruiters, which was a great way to make a connection with the company.
Rejection is a part of the process
The first few rejection emails that I received felt personal, but they were not. A lot of the time, resumes are being screened by the software before a person ever sees it. Therefore, it is important to be applying to as many jobs as you can to increase the odds of your resume being seen by a person. The job search takes resilience, a skill I am sure I will need again in the future.
As I continue the job search, I am confident that I will find a job that I really enjoy and will give me opportunities to grow my career. Thanks to the PathMatch team, I have learned invaluable skills that have made me confident every time I hit the apply button.
Want to go on your own PathMatch journey? Download our app today to get started on finding your perfect job.