Our complete guide to finding yourself a job and starting your career after finally getting that college diploma.
Finding your first job after college can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.
The fact that you only have to find your first job once can come as little consolation to the person sending out their 48th job application of the month, with little reason to believe that THIS is the one that will finally get them some steady income.
You’ve got no experience, few skills, and possibly no practical industry-knowledge — because up to this point, everything’s been theoretical.
In theory, you can do a lot of different jobs. But how do you convince an employer to take a chance on what might, to them, be a bad investment?
It’s a question whose answer starts from the very top of the job-hunting process.
Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips to help you put together your own answer and get started on your career without languishing for too long in your post-graduation ennui.
There are a lot of reasons why finding a job after college is tough, but one reason stands out most of all:
You don’t have any experience.
Almost every job you’ll see listed — even many supposedly “entry level” jobs — are going to require a certain level of experience.
And even if you spent every possible free moment in school looking for opportunities to gain this experience, there’s still always the chance that by the time you finally get out on the hunt, you just won’t have the experience necessary to get many of the positions you’re hoping for.
That’s not the only problem that people just out of college are having when it comes to finding jobs in the “real world” — there’s also:
Whatever you’re doing after college, no matter what sort of job you’re applying for, the first step is always to double (and then triple) check your resume.
The resume is the first — and often last — thing that a hiring manager or employer is going to see about you, and it is absolutely necessary that your resume be constructed as perfectly as possible.
It has to cast you in the best possible light, and in addition to being catered to your particular industry, it should — at least in some way — be catered to the specific job listing that you are actively applying to.
Here are a few big tips for constructing your first big post-college resume:
Once you take the time to put together a stellar resume — or at least as good of a resume as you can scrape together, given your lack of experience — then you’re well on your way to finding your first job.
Just kidding, there’s a buttload of other stuff to do. You’re nowhere near done yet.
You’re in the Job Zone now. You’re here until you either die or retire, and given the current state of the economy, one of those options is slightly likelier than the other.
Hint: It’s the death one.
Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Here are a few more things you can do to help yourself find your first real job after college:
That’s all for this one! Just keep in mind:
Above all, you should remember that you are rarely alone in your fight to find a job.
Talk to your old professors, and talk to your school. The college that you attended is invested in your success — after all, the better you do after graduating, the better they look.
While the actual problem of job-hunting and interviewing remains on your shoulders alone, college resources are often overlooked by people out on the prowl for their first major position.
Don’t let yourself be one of those people. Know when — and how — to ask for help when you need it.
And if your parents or other guardian figures are around to help you, ask them too.
Even if their experience doesn’t seem relevant, they’ve been around the block longer than you have — they just might know something you don’t.
Best of luck! Here are some other links to help you on your way:
Zippia empowers you to make the correct career decisions, not just find your next job.
You can access millions of others' career paths with the Career Graph to help you identify what skills and experiences you need to achieve your career goals. And when you're ready to take the next step in your career, you can research jobs and really understand the implications for your career aspirations.