student on computer at table outside

A lot of graduates believe that once they receive their diploma, the job offers will start flying in. It is important for seniors to begin the search early. I am in my senior year at college and have seen many friends graduate and then find themselves jobless and moving back in with Mom and Dad. It can be very frustrating to have a degree but nowhere to work. I’m here to explain just how you find jobs for recent college grads. 

Know What You Want in a Job

You might think that prospective employers will appreciate an “I’m willing to do or learn anything” approach to getting a job; however, most employers interpret that as “I’m desperate” or “I have no focus, so I’m just taking a shot at whatever I stumble across.” Not only does knowing what you are looking for help you appear more professional, but it helps you narrow down your search criteria as well. If you try to land anything, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with a job you don’t love. So how do you figure out what field you want to work in?

Get an Internship

What better way to figure out what job you want than to try one out? Internships are ideal for providing you with on-the-job training. Plus, sometimes interns are offered a permanent position within the company once they’ve graduated from college. This is because interns are already trained and understand the company’s inner workings, daily tasks, and business practices, which gives them a competitive edge over new hires. However, even if you don’t land a permanent position at the company, your internship experience will help your resume stand out from other applicants at future interviews. 

Internships show that you have already had on-the-job training; this makes an employer more comfortable in hiring you because they have confidence in your abilities to perform. This can also give you an edge over other applicants searching for the same job. Many college institutions require the completion of an internship program to become a college graduate. For more tips, read our blog post about how to land an internship.

Focus on Your Studies and Future Career

By taking your college classes seriously and really researching your major, you can get an idea of the different jobs that are available in your field and build up your qualifications. It would be embarrassing if a potential employer asked you something about your major, and you couldn’t answer it or didn’t know what they were talking about. Joining major-specific clubs or groups on campus will help you learn and network.

If you have questions about different jobs that are available, you can always check in with your campus career center. It’s where you can speak with expert counselors who will offer career guidance and point you to a number of recent college grad jobs. Getting to know the staff personally and letting them know about your career interests and goals will help you make an excellent first impression. Check in with career advisors every few weeks to show your dedication and interest, as they’ll be more likely to help with career networking. They will also help perfect your college resume and offer tips for adding leadership roles and other related campus experiences.

two male and one female interviewer looking at a resume

Preparing Your Resume

Even if you are the best candidate for the job, the employer will never know if you have a horrible resume. The resume is what gets you through the door for the interview. There are many different resume templates that can be found online and through programs. Using these will give you a good start.

Some tips offered by resume professionals are keeping it short and just one page, if possible. Your resume should be neat and uniform, using bullet points when necessary. Most importantly, be honest about your skills and work experience. Be concise and use action words (developed, handled, organized, created, etc.) and phrases when describing your experience. Ask someone you trust to review your resume for errors and critique each section for consistency. You have the resume and you know what you want, so where do you begin to look?

Where to Look for Recent Grad Jobs

The first place you should look is with contacts you’ve made at internships, apprenticeships, honor societies, campus clubs, and Greek organizations. These are people who know you and can justify your work ethic and know that you can handle the job responsibilities. If they don’t know of a specific job in your field, these contacts can provide you with networking opportunities via other alumni, sorority, or fraternity members.

Take advantage of job fairs that your school has; they allow you to make new contacts and are also a great place to start. Once you have started with these, you can move on to online job postings. LinkedIn and Indeed are great online spaces to put yourself out there and find the most recent job listings in your field.

 Also if you’re looking to work at a local business, always remember the old-fashioned way of picking up a newspaper and searching the classified section. You may be surprised by what you will find. Or if you’re looking for the best companies for recent college grads to work at, a quick Google search will give you a number of results. Looking for your first job after graduation may take a while, so don’t get discouraged. Take your time and look carefully, and in the end, you will find the right job for you. And for a leg up on your competition, make sure to frame your impressive new credentials in a custom diploma frame from Church Hill Classics!

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