How to Find a Job After College

Finding a job can be a painful, arduous process�if you have no idea what you want to do or where to start. If you graduated from college, it is exponentially easier to find a job and you will be closer to an opportunity in your chosen field. And besides, after four (or five) years of undergrad education, you will have attained some knowledge and maybe refined some skills that will help you in your life in general.

The problem for many new graduates is that they do not know what type of career they want to pursue. They have been in school for the past sixteen years and became accustomed to having someone tell them where they are going to be the following year. For these people, the first year after graduation is a difficult transition, as they move from a structured educational environment into what recent graduates and debt-saddled parents call “the real world.” The purpose of this article is to offer some suggestions as to how to find a job after college and what you can do to prepare for the jump into “the real world.”

If you know what field or fields you eventually want to have a career in, then you are well on your way. You have successfully narrowed your focus and the job hunt will be much easier. Aside from the education you receive during your time in college, the most valuable thing you can do is to get some on-the-job experience. Finding an internship is one way to do this, and even if you are not sure which field you are interested in, signing up for an internship with a company that seems cool, or fun, or interesting will help steer you toward or away from a certain career-path. You may think that you don’t know what you’re doing, but you will meet many young employees who feel the same way. All on-the-job experience is time well spent and looks great on resumes when you are just starting out looking for a job. You might also be able to find a paid internship, and who knows, maybe the company will like you so much that they offer you a job straight out of school.

A lot of young people find their first job through some connection with someone, usually a relative or friend. This is one good way to find a first job. Creating and maintaining a network of friends, family, former bosses, and people you know who already have jobs can be incredibly beneficial in your search. It is true that having pristine credentials and a strong resume is very important, but in the end people hire people, not resumes. Getting a recommendation from someone who knows you will give you a leg up on the competition because your name becomes familiar and the person doing the hiring will be more likely to give you a shot at the job, or at least an interview. You never know who or what might lead you to that perfect opportunity.

Once you figure out what career you want to start out in, and keep in mind it is only what you have decided to start out in, not necessarily what you will be doing for the rest of your working life. Give something a try that seems interesting and you think would utilize your skills. When you find a job opportunity that seems like a perfect fit, go after it. No one will hand you a great job. If you are not yet qualified for the job you want, take any reasonable job in the same company and get to know people in the department that you would rather work in. Companies do a lot of their hiring from within the organization.
When you discover that perfect job – and it may take a few tries – pursue it. Do not take “no” for an answer. Work hard to learn the necessary skills and try to contact the people who do the hiring. Write a personal letter, send emails, make a few phone calls. Hiring managers love to see enthusiasm and dedication in job candidates. Look at it this way, it can reflect badly on them to their superiors if the person they hire turns out to be a bad employee. If you can convince this person that you are very interested in the job and are proactive and assertive in trying to get it, you will definitely get an interview. It is just a matter of when.

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