In today’s economy, college graduates are having a difficult time securing their first job. In the past, employers would recruit top college talent and many of these students could secure a position even before graduating. Now college graduates are competing not just with other graduates, but also with a large number of unemployed, experienced workers. Today’s college graduates have to compete for jobs alongside displaced workers with more experience, who are willing to work for less money to support themselves.
So how do you find jobs after college in this competitive environment? There are lots of factors that have to fall into place for you, including your resume, cover letter, and interviews. But before you can find success, you have to get your foot in the door.
Entry Level Job Search
There are a multitude of online job sites and job postings, but it’s a rare occurrence to secure an interview by spamming your resume to every one. As a new graduate, you need to be realistic and focus your searches towards entry level jobs. If you have no work experience, you wont be very successful if you apply for a position that requires 3-5 years experience. In this current job market, for every job opening there are about 6 applicants. Here are some tips to help you conduct a good entry level job search:
1. Establish Your Geographical Boundaries
Are you willing to work outside of your immediate town or city? Are you trying to relocate? Establish your geographical boundaries for a job location before conducting an entry-level job search. Just remember that in a competitive market, employers are less likely to consider long-distance candidates that they will need to relocate at their expense, especially if there are comparable candidates applying locally.
2. Find Reputable Entry Level Job Search Sites
Select a few established entry level job search sites to peruse job postings. Employers don’t always post jobs on multiple sites. There may be special job search sites for your industry, so make sure you do your research. If you need help, check out our suggested links.
3. Research Your Favorite Companies
You probably already know the top companies in your industry or your city. Look on the company’s website to see if there are any entry level job openings that you may qualify for. Check with your school’s career center to see if they have a relationship with the company, or an internship program. Your school may already provide college graduates with interview access to companies in your field. Lastly, connect with school alumni that already work at your favorite companies. If anything, coming from the same school will at least be an introduction conversation starter. Even if they can’t get you a job right away, an alumni at that company might serve as your mentor in the short-term and may let you know when a job opening becomes available.
4. Use Your Connections
Many jobs are secured through someone you know. If you are looking for entry level jobs, be prepared to use your connections and start meeting people. You can get started on social networking sites, like Linked In and Facebook. You can search for people who work for the companies that you are interested in and try to make contact with them. Talk to your professors, classmates and family. Even though these people won’t be able to secure the job for you, they might be able to help you get a foot in the door or let you know of job opportunities.
Don’t think that just because you submit resumes on entry level job search sites, employers will call you. To find a job after college, you are going to have to follow-up on the jobs you really desire. If there is a recruiter or contact listed on the job posting, that is a good place to start. If you can make contact with an actual person, you may be able to get your resume moved to the top of the pile. Follow-up calls and emails are tedious and sometimes frustrating. Just remember that if you can make contact with someone, you have a much better chance to express your interest and skills, and perhaps secure an initial interview. In an entry level job search, hard work pays off.