What College Graduates Need To Know About Job Hunting

What College Graduates Need To Know About Job Hunting

June 03, 2019

  • The job market for recent college graduates is better than it’s been in decades.
  • Internships help college graduates stand out from the competition.
  • Continuing into a graduate program helps you land higher positions.

What College Graduates Need To Know About Job Hunting

All your hard work has finally paid off and you’re officially a college graduate. Now, the hunt begins – the job hunt that is.

The good news is the job market for college graduates is better than it’s been in ages. In fact, employers are planning to hire 11% more graduates from the class of 2019 than the previous year.

Of course, this still means knowing how and where to search for a job for college graduates. Luckily, employers are more willing to give new grads a chance.

Don’t Fear The Entry-Level Jobs

While you shouldn’t just settle for the first job you come across, entry-level jobs aren’t a bad thing. The key is to enter into a job or field that typically requires a college degree. Why? A whopping 40% of college graduates take a job that doesn’t require a college degree and end up stuck in that same job five years later.

So, your first job does matter. However, with so many people having college degrees, you have to start somewhere to prove yourself. Entry-level jobs are where most college grads start out. These are jumping off points. If you do well, you have the opportunity to move up. Just choose a position in the field you’re interested in so you don’t get off course.

Besides, entry-level positions offer valuable on-the-job training and experience. This is something all employers look for.

Give Internships A Try

With student loans coming in, the last thing you’re probably interested in is an unpaid internship, though some actually do pay. However, internships are temporary and help you get noticed by major companies. Think about who has the best chance of being hired for a job:

A) The person who sends in a resume and doesn’t have any experience.
Or
B) The person who spent several months as a hard-working intern proving to be a valuable member of the team.

If you answered B, you’re absolutely correct. Not only do you get experience, but you meet the right people along the way. Networking is a critical part of finding recent graduate jobs. Knocking out networking and experience at one time gives you a leg up on the competition. With colleges awarding one million associates degrees, 1.9 million bachelor’s degrees and nearly a million master’s and doctor’s degrees combined, you definitely have competition.

Contact companies you’re interested in working for to inquire about internships. Many are never advertised. Use any connections you have, including your college’s career center, to find internships around your area or broaden your search if you’re willing to move. Some great sites to find internships include:

  • Idealist
  • Careershift
  • Experience
  • USA Jobs
  • Indeed

You can take part-time positions during your internship to help pay the bills.

Consider Graduate Programs

If you’re not finding the right job for you, it may be worth considering a graduate program. If you’re serious about your field of study, opting to continue your education after graduation may be worth while. Keep in mind that these programs typically take two to three years to complete and will mean more student loans.
However, you can use the time to land internships to gain more experience. Plus, when you’re finished, you’ll have a higher-level degree, helping you stand out more from the competition.

Preparing For Recent Graduate Jobs

As you start your job hunt, there are some important things to keep in mind. A great resource is the collective advice from the Forbes Human Resources Council. They’re experts at hiring and know the mistakes many recent college graduates make. A few other valuable tips to remember include:

  • Always dress the part. If you aren’t sure, inquire about a dress code or stop by to see how others are dressed.
  • Practice interviewing. Use online interview questions and practice with friends and family.
  • Be realistic in your search. Getting an upper-management position might not be possible for your first job, so be willing to broaden your search.
  • Utilize your college’s career center. From help with resumes to finding exclusive job postings, there are numerous resources available.
  • Keep track of applications, interviews and contacts. Using free spreadsheet software like WPS Office is useful. You can also use templates to help with creating professional resumes, cover letters and thank you notes.

Job hunting isn’t always the easiest task, but it’s highly rewarding, especially when you realize finding a job for college graduates may just be easier than it’s been in decades.

About Author

Marketing team in the WPS office located in Mountain View