Tips for Finding Work After College

college graduate in cap and gown
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Graduation has come and gone and, unfortunately, so has your dream of getting the perfect job. You’ve responded to many job postings and have sent out your resume more times than you are ready to admit. You’re beginning to wonder what’s wrong and why employers are passing you by. You begin questioning yourself and can’t understand why your 3.4 GPA hasn’t landed you a job.

This can be a situation that’s very hard to swallow.

After all, you went to college so that you would be able to find a professional job in your field of interest. If you only knew that jobs were going to be this scarce, you may have avoided college altogether. What about all of the lectures you received from family, teachers, and others on how a college education is key to getting some sort of meaningful job?

The fact is that there are thousands of new graduates that are experiencing the same thing. With over 100 or more applicants applying for the same job, employers are scrambling to select candidates that they feel are the best people to work for their organization.  Unfortunately, if you look at this problem logically, there may be a good chance that your resume gets overlooked just based on the pure number of resumes that employers receive daily.

This may sound discouraging; but there are things that you can do to increase your chances of conducting a successful job search in a very competitive job market.

The tips listed below may not work every time, but the important thing to remember is all you need to do is to grab the attention of only one employer which could lead you to your very first job.

Develop a Professional Resume and Cover Letter That Stands Out

You must do what it takes to create a resume that lands in the top 5 – 10%.

To do this you must make sure that your resume and/or cover letter doesn’t have any mistakes. One mistake can send your resume and cover letter to the wastebasket where it will not be given any consideration.

You must find ways to differentiate yourself from other candidates in order to prove to the employer that you are the perfect person for the job. It’s important to target your resume so that it reflects that you have the experience to do a good job. For new graduates who are not getting called for interviews, I always suggest that we take another look at the resume and cover letter.

Engage in Networking With Family, Friends, and Acquaintances

Be sure to engage in networking with family, friends, and acquaintances to uncover those unadvertised job listings and to get people you know to recommend you to employers who are currently looking for entry-level candidates. I’m sure you’ve all heard the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and nothing could be closer to the truth than when looking for a new job.

Do Your Research on Industry Trends

Finding a job in a specific field or industry can often be cyclical, so it’s important to keep a pulse on what companies are currently hiring in your field.

Many trends often exist in certain career fields based on saturation in the current job market. For example, over the years I have seen shortages and an abundance of both teachers and nurses in the field. Once a field becomes saturated, it becomes very hard to get a job until the trend reverses and eventually there are too few people in that particular field.

If you are entering a job market that is currently hiring very few new people into the field, you may have to face this fact and do something else until the trend reverses. I have seen many new graduates who have had to take jobs that were not in their field, only to have the market change where they are now able to land that job in a few years if they still decide they want it.

Maintain a Proactive Approach

I have seen many new graduates, who after only a few months, have totally let go of their job search.

I am here to let you know that you that this is one of the most common mistakes that new graduates make and that it can cost you that new job if you don’t maintain your diligence by searching regularly for new listings that may pop up at any time.

Tips for a Successful Job Search

  1. Create a resume and cover letter that competes with the top 5 – 10 %.
  2. Network with everyone you know so you can find out about unadvertised opportunities and so others know you are looking and they can recommend you for current job listings.
  3. Keep abreast on the current job market so you can be one of the first people to apply once the job market opens.
  4. Maintain a proactive approach to the job search so that you don’t miss out on any new positions that open up.