According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, there is expected to be 11% more college graduates this year than in 2015, which means more competition for these young people entering the job market. And many employers have been scouring college campuses hiring new graduates since as early as March. So students graduating or that have already graduated this summer can use all the help they can get in their job search efforts. Below are some pointers to help recent college graduates get ahead in their search for their first full-time position out of college:
1) Know what you want
The job search process will be much smoother if you can establish an idea of what you want to do, and a general plan for where you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years. Think of your interests, personality type, areas of study in college, etc. and run your thoughts by professors, family, friends or whoever else’s feedback you value. Not only will this set you in the right direction in your career and narrow down your job prospects, it will give you more confidence in your job search. Employers are attracted to applicants that don’t come across as desperate and seem to know what they want.
2) Polish your social media presence
Throughout your college career, recent college graduates should keep in mind that any potential employer could see any of their social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) at any time so do your best to avoid having photos or comments posted that don’t show you in a favorable light. If you aren’t happy with the content in your profiles at the time you begin job searching, go through and clean them up. Start utilizing social media as a platform to brush up and start conversations on the latest news and trends in the industry you are looking for work, and start connecting with professionals in your industry.
3) Put yourself out there
Though social media has become a very important tool for jobseekers over recent years, there is still no true replacement for human interaction when job searching. Look online and in the newspaper for job fairs, professional associations you can join, and other networking events that will allow you to market yourself. Develop an elevator pitch (a 30 second speech that sells your professional skills and experience), and never hesitate to take advantage of any opportunity to talk to someone who could be of potential help in your career, no matter where you encounter them. Also, since many recent college graduates don’t have a ton of experience yet, getting a recommendation letter from a former employer, professor or someone else that can attest to your professional abilities will give you a major advantage in your job search.
4) Interview often
When applying for jobs, don’t be too close-minded. Recent college graduates should be open to jobs that may not be exactly what they were going for, but would still be a step in the right direction in case it’s taking too long to find their dream job. Also, the more jobs you apply for, the more interviews you are likely to get. Even if you aren’t sure you would want the job or if you are qualified, don’t pass up an opportunity to interview. Practice makes perfect, and this will help you so when the right job does come along, you are more prepared for tough interview questions.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.