13 March 2014

5 Career-Hunting Tips For New College Graduates

The next hurdle for every student after graduating from college is finding a suitable company to whom they’ll invest all of their newly learned knowledge and skills to practice. Due to the influx of graduates yearly, in addition to the competitive job market, landing a career right after receiving a diploma can be a very challenging venture. Reuters in January reported an analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York  that for the past 20 years “recent college graduates in the United States face a more challenging job market, causing them to remain unemployed or take lower paying jobs.” But, this thought shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your desired career, especially that in a few months you’ll be expecting your student loan bill.

As long as all your efforts and energy are focused on grabbing that first job, you’re sure to earn the position that you’re looking for. Below, we’ll give you 5 pieces of advices on how you can successfully enter the corporate world.
student working

Develop Your Soft Skills First
Before setting up an appointment for job interviews, you should first develop and highlight your soft skills (communication, teamwork skills, and having a positive attitude). Dan Schawbel of Times reiterated that having technical skills and knowledge acquired from studies are a plus, but most employers view soft skills as the most important qualifications when hiring for entry-level applicants. Having these credentials demonstrate how well an applicant fits the corporate culture and signify whether or not the prospective employee has potential to succeed in this industry.

Focus On Finding A Job That You’re Most Passionate About
It’s okay to be a little bit picky when you’re looking for your first employment. You should find a job that you are most passionate about. If you love writing, apply for various positions in several media industries (advertising, TV productions, marketing, and public relations) where you can utilize your writing skills. Why is it important? If you are not eager to work for a particular position or a company, it will manifest during the job interview itself, and employers can highly sense enthusiasm and boredom from your first meeting alone.

Prepare For Interviews
Donna Lyden, a correspondent for Verizon news center interviewed Martha Delahenty, Verizon’s VP for Human resources department for her story on “Job-Hunting Advice For College Grads.” Delahenty reiterated that "a job interview is a two-way street, equally contingent on the interviewee sizing up the opportunity as the interviewer decides whether the candidate would bring value to the company."

Any firm implements the practice of interviewing candidates to screen and filter the right person for the needed position. Thus, preparation is needed here. Seek advice from experts, successful recruits, and professionals, in providing you better tips to ace the job application.

Take Advantage Of The Internet
Today, there are tons of websites and online networking facilities (like LinkedIn) where you can search for vacant positions, interact with hiring managers, and post an open invitation to potential employers. But, you have to keep your tone professional at all times while initiating online interactions with employers. Also, avoid sounding to boastful or desperate, and leave a lasting good impression.

It is also advisable to keep your social accounts formal, since companies who are leveraging the internet when hiring candidates, are most likely to scan your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts, when doing a background check.

Attend Career Fairs
Apart from online resources, you should also attend career fairs organized either by your university, a non-profit organization, or group of private corporations (ex. Fortune 500).

Going back to your school is definitely an option. They sure have a placement office or career center where you can seek assistance in finding a job. They can also refer you to companies, employers, and alumni's that are connected with them. Job fairs sponsored by companies are also considered as an All-You-Can-Eat buffet table for job hunters. 

The job market has always been competitive, and this is especially true for inexperienced fresh graduates. But, with perseverance, you can definitely land a career after earning a degree. To read a detailed advice on how you can network online and offline for your job-hunting venture, visit this related post.


Sookie Lincourt is a freelance writer with a background on Human Resources and Information Technology. Her experience involved internship for a top-notch recruitment firm in the UK. As of the moment, she wants to inspire and help college students succeed in life through her written word. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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