If you are a fresh college graduate looking for a job, the situation is far from ideal. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult ones ever. About 44% of the graduates are working at jobs where their college degree isn’t needed. This means their degrees aren’t worth much, since all their hard work in college didn’t pay off. But, there are things you can do to improve your chances. Check out our 10 tips to get your first job after graduation.
- Create a LinkedIn Profile
These days, the majority of companies find employees through LinkedIn. In some cases, you don’t even have to send in a resume. They contact you, which is why you should make sure that your LinkedIn profile is as complete as it can be. Don’t be afraid to include all of your skills that you find relevant. Also, don’t shy away from including various jobs you’ve worked. It shows you were able to become a part of the workforce. It also demonstrates responsibility. In addition to that, a wide network of contacts can aid you in getting a better job sooner.
- Create Your Own Blog or Website
Create your own website, so that potential employers can find out everything they need to know about you right away. It also shows initiative, because you’ve put in the effort to put yourself out there. We also recommend starting a blog. However, be careful with your choice of themes. Personal blogs are OK, but if you want to increase your chance of landing a job, focus on the professional aspect. Use your blog to show off your expertise on a particular subject. For example, if you are a business graduate, you can start a blog about marketing.
- Get an Early Start
Your job search should begin while you are still in college. In today’s world, college graduates will spend months, or even years, looking for a job. This doesn’t mean you should start sending applications the first day of your senior year. But, it does mean putting in the time and the effort to grow your network of contacts and present yourself to the world. That way, when you graduate, you increase your chances of getting a job right away. You will already have plenty of connections to rely on.
- Be Careful When Using Social Media
If you think potential employers aren’t going to have a look at your social media profiles, think again. It’s one of the things they take into account when choosing between candidates. Photos that show off beer-chugging skills may entertain your friends, but they might put off recruiters and companies. Control what you upload on social media, or at least limit the visibility of your profiles. Of course, it is perfectly normal and natural to enjoy your free time in any way that you see fit. But, you don’t have to share every single moment of it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Get an Internship
Most college students and graduates realize the benefits that internships can provide them with. However, you shouldn’t wait until you get your degree to pursue an internship. Plenty of students become interns during their junior year in college. Another thing that might help your chances of getting a job later on, is an internship for a company that’s a household name. And the thing is, it might not even matter what you do there. Most employers are attracted to brand names alone. This means any kind of internship at a big company can open plenty of doors for you.
- Ask for References
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and references if you feel like you’ve done your job well. Most employers will ask for references, and you want to increase your chances in that aspect, as well. You should ask for recommendations from people whose word carries a particular weight. This includes your college professors, mentors, former employers, and your internship bosses. But, even if you get a reference from someone else, it’s still better than nothing.
- Try Volunteering
Volunteering is not the same as working for nothing. Sure, it doesn’t pay money, but you will get something else out of it. If it’s for a good cause, you will come off as a responsible and socially aware person that cares about others. Those are all traits of great team players. Potential employers will definitely take notice of that. Another benefit of volunteering is coming into contact with different people. Often, these contacts will turn out to be a stepping stone toward your first job.
- Try the Old-Fashioned Approach
Even if you have done all of the above, trying an old-fashioned way of applying for a job will not hurt your chances. Put on your best suit, print out a handful of resumes, and pay visits to companies you would like to work for. Give them your resume, and go about your way. It will surely help you stand out from the crowd, which is never a bad thing. It takes confidence to do that, unlike sending out Cvs from the comfort of your own home. And who knows, maybe some bosses like to do things the old-fashioned way, which means they will love your approach, as well.
- Keep in Touch
Stay in touch with all those people you’ve studied, collaborated, or volunteered with. This includes your college professors, former bosses, and colleagues. You never know when one of the companies they work for will be looking for someone with your set of skills. Your contact will think of you right away and recommend you for a job. If you don’t keep in touch, they might not be as ready to help you out.
- Be Persistent
If you don’t get a job right away, or if you are not landing tons of interviews, don’t worry. Keep at it and try again. The worst thing you could so is get discouraged and give up. Learn from your mistakes and use them as a learning experience. Tweak your approach, until you get it just right. Instead of resting on your laurels, use the free time that you have to expand your skills set. Also, it never hurts to stay in touch with all the developments in your industry.
Even if you are ready to give up, remember that the right fit is out there. Getting a job these days is harder than ever, but if you don’t try, it is impossible. So put yourself out there and remain positive. Good luck!