How to Land a Job Right After College

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Improve Your Resume or CV

After your college years, it’s time to put your knowledge to good use and find a job. You may think companies will chase after you, but that’s hardly the case. In fact, you have to put in the work to find your dream job. One of the best decisions you can make when looking for employment right after college is to hire a career coach to walk you through the process. If, however, you decide to do it all yourself, here are some pointers to help you land a job after you graduate from college. 

Get your social media in decent shape

Nowadays, many employers comb through social media to recruit and evaluate candidates for their job openings. So, if you’ve been living it up in college, you may have some posts or pictures out there that don’t befit a professional. It’s best to clean up your social media accounts and focus on your work life. Employers are likely to reject your resume if your social media account reflects someone who is not serious about their career or who ditches responsibilities to party with friends. If you’re rude, incendiary, controversial, or just generally unprofessional in your social media posts and interactions, hiring managers will give you a wide berth.

While unsavory posts can certainly cost you a job, social media can also help you. Making helpful, work-related posts that convey a professional image can bias hiring managers toward you, and social media is also a great place to connect with other professionals. Many colleges and universities strongly encourage their students to sign up for LinkedIn, an online social media platform that focuses on professional development. On it, employers can connect with jobseekers in the same field. LinkedIn also provides an opportunity for your college professors to recommend you for a job or simply affirm you as a competent professional.

Be flexible

You may have your heart set on a particular job at a particular company, but things don’t always work out the way we want. In fact, your career field might not even have any job openings. This is not uncommon—you’ll just have to find alternative arrangements as you continue to build your skills and connections. You’ll need to dig a little deeper into your toolbox of skills to see what you can contribute in another career. The skills you acquired in college may be transferable, so be open-minded and flexible.

Know what you’re looking for

Upon graduation, you’ll need a job—that’s why you got a degree, right? As you consider your career goals and the kinds of jobs that will help you achieve them, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, constantly update your resume and tailor it according to each job you apply for. This means carefully reading each job description and including all applicable keywords and requirements. Don’t skip this step—it’s essential for getting past the digital gatekeepers that most modern companies use to handle the deluge of job applications they receive. These programs, called applicant tracking systems (ATSs), scan resumes and dispose of the ones they don’t deem relevant, judging submissions by the number and frequency of keywords. This can be time-consuming, so consider contacting an expert to help you tailor your resume.

Next, tap into your network. While LinkedIn is a great place to make connections, ask any of your family members or friends whether they know about jobs at companies you’re interested in. A referral from an insider can be even more valuable than having all the right qualifications. Connections help you quickly find a job that suits you.

Finally, consider the salary. To judge whether it’s appropriate, research the average salary for that position and be willing to negotiate. Ultimately, you’re the judge of what works for you, but carefully assess your needs and goals to determine whether a given opportunity is worth pursuing.

Be prepared for the interview

Once you’ve submitted your resume and been called for an interview, start preparing.  Think about why you’re a good fit for the job, why the company should hire you, and how you can prove your qualifications. Consider what the interviewer might ask and think through your answers so you can respond promptly and confidently. This will help you better verbalize your reasons during the interview. You should also pick out a neat, professional outfit to wear. Even if the company you’re interviewing with has a casual culture, you want to dress up.

Graduating from college is exciting but scary as well. Regardless of your circumstances, you can find a job if you heed the points above. Use the resources you acquired in college and the education you received to showcase your qualifications to your dream company. As you embark on this new journey, reach out to our career coaches.

Improve Your Resume or CV