Article Summary

Graduating from college or university can generate countless emotions. On one hand, you are excited to start this new chapter in your life and finally be able to go out into the “real world” to start your career, but on the other hand, you know that this big change comes with a lot of uncertainty.

5 Job Search Tips For Recent Graduates

Graduating from college or university can generate countless emotions. On one hand, you are excited to start this new chapter in your life and finally be able to go out into the “real world” to start your career, but on the other hand, you know that this big change comes with a lot of uncertainty. 

Will you be able to find a job? 

One that you will enjoy? 

Will it pay well? 

Will you have to move elsewhere to land it?

All of these thoughts can create anxiety and insecurities. Even more so, if this is the first time you’ve ever looked for work or if you’ve been looking for several months without success. 

In this article we share tips to support your job search.


1 - Decide what your next move will be

A good way to start a job search is to develop a plan and have a specific end goal in mind, but you don’t have to plan your entire career. For the moment, just focus on your immediate and short-term goals. A good strategy is to use this transitional time after graduation as an opportunity to research different fields and organizations in order to discover the best launching point to your working life. 


2 - Don’t be afraid of internships

Getting a job in your desired field right after finishing college or university might not be as easy as you think. Try to be open to opportunities that can be used as stepping stones to reach your ultimate goal. Don’t be too hasty in ruling out jobs in “customer support” or working as an “intern”. Doing so can help you get your foot in the door and possibly make it easier for you to apply for other positions once people know you and have observed your work habits. Many entry level jobs require a minimum level of on-the-job experience. If you didn't intern or participate in a co-op program during your time at school, you might be at a disadvantage when competing for a job application. It’s not too late to address that gap.


3 - Get your resume up-to-date

If you’ve implemented all the previous points, but your job applications are still being ignored, there is a big possibility that your resume is the problem. As someone looking for a job with little to no job experience, your resume is likely to be one page long. If, however, you’ve had some practical work experience pertinent to the job you’re hoping to land, you might be able to flesh   out your content to two pages. Focus on highlighting your best selling points - most likely your education, leadership skills, internship or volunteer experience, and any awards you have earned during your time at school.


4 - Manage your social media image

Recruiters often check an applicants' social media presence and content before deciding if an interview is warranted. Scrubbing your social media clean of comments and images that might be seen as reflective of bad judgement or behaviour is a “must do”. You don’t want to damage your brand by having a photo of you stinking drunk at a Frat House party online for all to see. If a recruiter or a prospective employer goes digging around on your social media, will their findings help or hurt your chances of landing the job?


5 - Your current job is to network

A referral or endorsement from an employee who works at the company that is of interest to  you, goes a long way to getting an interview. Interviewers are predisposed to like a candidate that comes highly recommended by a colleague or friend. However, to be able to get those precious referrals, you need to expand your network. Make networking a habit and set yourself the goal to become a better and more active networker. Consider getting involved in alumni events, joining relevant LinkedIn online groups, and attending in-person networking events through Meetup groups, industry association events, trade shows and conferences.


Even professionals with several years of experience have to continue to develop their job search and networking skills. This is not a once in a lifetime situation. You will likely to want to grow your career and move within or out of an organization, as you look for more challenges. Staying  on top  of your job search skills, even when employed, will make looking for your next career opportunity much easier.

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