How To Find A Job After College
If you're a college student or new college graduate wondering how to find a job after college, you're not alone. Finding that first job out of school can be a confusing and scary prospect in any economy; the recent downturn and tight job market makes it even more daunting. Taking a few simple steps, however, can increase your chances of finding rewarding work that will help launch your career.
- Be Proactive. Starting early is the best way to ensure you can find work after college. When you are considering majors, find out what type of jobs people with your degree typically pursue. Your academic advising center is a good resource here. The advisors there can tell you what types of careers are common for various majors, and they can help you craft a degree plan that will get you the skills you need to get into a career you'll enjoy. They also often know of opportunities or jobs that you might not even realize exist!
- Intern. Also consider taking an internship during your college career. Some colleges require certain majors to fulfill an internship requirement; others do not require internships but do offer college credit for students who complete one. While most internships are not paid, they provide valuable job experience. You get a chance to explore a professional working environment, learn key job skills, and network with other professionals. Some interns end up getting hired on full-time at the same company or organization after graduation. Regardless, you get job experience to put on your resume, which can be a real advantage when you look for paying work.
- Seek advice. Your college or university's career center is an invaluable resource when you're trying to find your first job after graduation. The career counselors there can help you craft a resume, polish your interview skills, decide how to dress—all the things that are often a mystery to new college graduates. The career center will also have job listings and information on internship opportunities. Career development professionals spend a great deal of time building relationships with Human Resources officers in a diverse set of companies and organizations; let their expertise help you as you navigate the job market.
- Create a professional resume. Create a clean, professional resume. Most new college grads will want to create a functional resume, which is clear and concise. Keep your format simple and save a PDF copy. Your resume should be one page. List internships, organizations and clubs you belonged to that are relevant to your career goals, and any relevant work experience. If you don't go to your career center for help in crafting your resume, take the time to read some online articles about resume-building dos and don'ts.
- Hit a job fair. Many colleges and universities host job fairs. Keep an eye out for announcements of these events. Depending on your major, your department may also host employment fairs. Job fairs give you a chance to meet a large number of potential employers at once, learn about opportunities in your area or your field, and network with experienced professionals and other job seekers. Dress professionally, bring plenty of copies of your resume, and be prepared to shake hands.
- Network. Make sure everyone you know knows you're looking for a job after graduation. Your parents, their friends, your friends' parents, former employers—let them know what type of employment you're seeking and what your skills are. If you know people who work in companies or fields you're interested in, ask their advice. They may also know of job openings that don't hit the job boards. Your professors can also be great resources here, depending on your field.
- Cast a wide net. Most people change jobs several times, so don't worry if you don't land your dream job right off. Be willing to cast a wide job search net. Keep profiles on the major job search sites, and consider registering with sites that target new college graduates.