Landing Your First Professional Job after College
Graduating from college is a huge milestone and an accomplishment to be celebrated. However, after graduation, you have the next step of landing a new job. If you didn’t work throughout college, this can be a challenge and can feel like endless job hunting. If you find yourself in this situation, keep reading below where we share our tips on quickly and successfully landing your first professional job.
If you haven’t already, one of the first steps you’ll want to do is create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is essential for professionals and there are many tips online for how to create a profile to help you stand out. Once you’ve created your profile, you’ll want to connect with family, friends, professors, and former co-workers and managers. Having a large network is key. CNBC wrote that “Today, some estimates suggest that up to 70% of all jobs are not published on publicly available job search sites, and research has long shown that anywhere from half to upwards of 80% of jobs are filled through networking.” Build your network and let them know what type of job you’re looking for and if they know of any good opportunities.
Create a Schedule
Job searching can easily feel like a full-time job. Not only do you need to find relevant jobs, but then you have to do your homework about the company, possible people you may know that already work there, and then if the company is a good fit, tailor your resume and apply. It can quickly become overwhelming and it's therefore a good idea to have a schedule for yourself. Perhaps you dedicate each day of the week to a different job search task. Monday could be looking on various job boards to see what’s available, Tuesday could be tailoring your resume for the different roles you want to apply for, Wednesday could be to follow up on applications you sent from the previous week, Thursday could be spent networking, and Friday could be spent looking at the job boards again and repeating the process. Create a plan and remain disciplined with what schedule works for you.
When applying for jobs, it’s important to keep track of what roles you’ve applied for and the different resumes you’ve submitted. As a reminder, you’ll want to tailor your resume for each position to highlight the skill sets you have that are relevant to that specific role. It can be helpful to have a spreadsheet as well to remind yourself what roles you’ve applied for and at what times. Here’s an idea on a simple spreadsheet you can recreate to keep yourself organized.
Speak with a Recruiter
Talking with a recruiter can be a great first step post-college. They’ll know what local companies are hiring and help you through the interview and hiring process. A recruiter will not only give you good career advice but will help with job leads you may not find on your own. It will help you feel like you’re not alone in the job search and can help save you time and give you access to a wider range of opportunities.