July 11, 2022
Closing the books on the school year can be a relief. Your long-awaited college graduation is the finish line of many years of hard work – an exciting day for you and your entire family. However, you are simply at the starting line from a career perspective.
You are now in the race to find your first “real” job, and now you are wondering about how to find a job after college or graduate school. Maybe you worked on a job search during the Spring semester while juggling to finish your academic program. If you have been trying and feel a bit stalled out, you might be asking, “Why can’t I get a job?”
At Priority Candidates, we help job seekers prepare for graduation day and beyond, during and after their college years. We help you position your marketable talents, skills, and experience to a diverse range of employers. Finishing a degree is often the trigger that brings people to us for career search help. We tailor our tried and true programs to the job seeker’s unique needs in our work. Across all clients, we diagnose common obstacles to getting a job and offer job fundamentals, the “tools” you will leverage to tackle essential job search tasks quickly.
Don’t waste time thinking “No one will hire me.” These tips are designed to show you the best way to find a job after college.
Seek out a broad array of companies.
Identify appropriately leveled roles. Don’t overreach.
Keep all your options open.
While it is acceptable to seek positions at aspirational or dream companies that you would like to work for, do not limit your search to premier brands – the competition is fierce, and your resume may be one among thousands.
If you find a role you like at a firm like Amazon, Tesla, or Google, use that job title to seek similar openings in less well-known organizations.
Work on asking people in your network if their companies have entry-level roles in similar positions.
If you have been unsuccessful applying in a very specialized area, perhaps something in a highly technical and competitive arena such as an engineering specialty, step back and examine if your degree and skills are sufficient. If not, seek positions where your knowledge and education will be valued; your initial role might be supporting the work of manufacturing or testing versus designing. We do not suggest abandoning your aspirations, but rather, we hope you could design a realistic job search that will earn you a seat at the table while you continue to develop your technical skills.
If you have no job experience after college you still have options. Recent graduates often are unaware that post graduate internships and fellowships can be a good entry into the careers they want. They do not realize that employers often see these as entry-level job opportunities. If you ask, “Can you DO an internship after you graduate?” The answer is yes. We see more companies posting roles of this nature, explicitly stating they are open to recently graduated applicants. Internships can lead to full-time opportunities, building needed skills and experience. Graduates should not shy away from internships.
For two crucial reasons, short-term contract employment should be considered. First, if you are actively working somewhere, you will be more attractive to employers. AND second, companies frequently want to test-drive a person’s professionalism and skills before making a full-time hire. While you are in these roles, work to prove yourself worthy of long-term consideration.
Another highly marketable action, in the eyes of employers, is demonstrating that you are actively skill building as an ongoing learner who is engaged in productive work. Consider our client who worked to complete a challenging boot camp in digital marketing while concurrently doing extensive volunteer work that involved marketing and presentations. She found herself employed in a terrific marketing role within a few months.
If you are unsure if the problems noted impact your post-graduation job search or if there are other challenges, consider seeking support from a professional career coach. An experienced job search coach can explore your work so far, identify your critical challenges, help you find a fresh direction, and set an effective and targeted job search strategy.
At Priority Candidates, all clients start by focusing on job search fundamentals - essential “tools” in their arsenal.
7 Day Job Search
We invite you to download our free tools and set the stage by offering these key points. Your resume and LinkedIn profile need to showcase your talents, skills, and experience and entice employers to want to get to know you personally. It must be clear and straightforward, appropriate for your career level, with no gimmicks and nothing that will block your resume from being processed by a company’s applicant tracking system. A resume works in tandem with your cover letter. Many firms require cover letters. Young job applicants tend to get mired down in their preparation at the application stage. We help work on that. Remember that employers are not “looking for you” – you need to present yourself to them, so your resume and cover letter package are how you will do that. Whether you apply directly to a firm OR with the help of an internal referral at the company, your resume/cover letter duo is your calling card, a marketing package, and it deserves immediate and thoughtful attention.
Ultimately, job-seeking requires personal discipline and structure. As career coaches, we provide that scaffolding and support by meeting regularly to get underway. A recent client embarked on a new career path. She completed a specialized boot camp and then made a daily, personal commitment to finding three roles worth applying for, leveraging metrics to gauge her productivity. She invested in networking, followed thought leaders, and practiced healthy self-care when faced with rejection. She secured interviews, stayed positive, and landed two job offers. A year later, she is happy, growing new skills, and is looking forward to a promotion. To stay on track, we find that individuals who make time to cover all aspects of their search using a framework like our 7 Day Job Search Tool are the most successful in the shortest time frame. You’ll feel great when you get a job! We want all the recent graduates to get underway in your post-graduation job search quickly and successfully, and we are here to help. So, if you are struggling with navigating where to begin to find a job after college or graduate school, you can start answering that question with our tools and coaching support.
At Priority Candidates, we help job seekers figure out their unique starting point and how to stand out, in this challenging time of launching a career. We can help you get started by setting a strategy and tackling the details to help you get hired into the right-fit job, which feels good and contributes to job seekers’ confidence.
We are ready, are you?