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  How to Find a Job (after College)

How to Find a Job (after College)

You've got the degree in hand, the work experience on your resume, and the motivation to find a post-college job. For the first time, you are ready to take on a career-building position with respect. You have worked the silly jobs part time, have taken the courses, and have gone on the interviews. Now, you have a suit and are on the cusp of entering "the real world."

While you may have looked forward to this point in your life for years, it will be a culture shock. You are used to school, free time, setting your own schedules, and relaxing at your part-time jobs. Now, you must devote most of your day to a job. Many post-college grads find difficulty in the transition from school-life to work-life. Your time is not always your own anymore. Many people thrive in the professional environment, as they have disliked school for the better portion of their lives. Now, they are in their prime, working daily, taking orders, giving orders, and climbing up the corporate ladder of whatever company they work for.

Without additional schooling or training, many post-college graduates are disappointed with their jobs. They think that with a college diploma, they will find the perfect job with the perfect salary and perfect hours. Unfortunately, reality kicks in and they realize that they will have to start from the bottom of the corporate totem poll. All jobs in corporations will be entry level positions. When you look for jobs, always look under the entry-level categories. No matter how qualified you may be, you are entry-level because of your age, your work experience, and your recent graduate status. Fear not, however, because these entry-level positions are simply starting points for large growth within a company.

Often, recent graduates are not ready for the typical corporate environment. They decide to try new experiences and jobs before they return to graduate school or begin the climb up the corporate ladder. Many recent graduates move to different countries to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). There are courses to certify you in ESL instruction. However, many countries and many programs do not require your certification. If your degree is in Education or English or the Humanities, then you may be qualified. Here are some programs that organize your job and your housing in foreign countries (as well as give you some foreign language courses of your own):

  • Jetlink (Japan)
  • Council Travel
  • CIEE (Council on International Exchange)
  • Transitions Abroad
  • Agora.com
  • Each university's career center

If you have a specific undergraduate degree in a field that will place you with an entry-level job that is more than simply "an assistant," you probably studied business or engineering or accounting. You will find these jobs through your school's career center or through internet search engines. Such search engines for all entry-level jobs and all career specific jobs include:

While it may seem obvious, from all your past work experience, there is a fashioned way to find a post-college job. Follow our steps to ensure success in the ever-increasing and competitive job market:

  1. If in school, visit your college's career center and speak with a career counselor. Most universities have extensive libraries of job banks, books, and aid in writing a resume, cover letter, and practicing for interviews.
  2. Go to "Career Days" at your university. Most colleges have job fairs and career fairs. At these full-day events, employers actually visit schools looking for employees. You will interview the companies just as much as they will interview you.
  3. Write a sample resume and cover letter.
  4. Have a friend or career counselor look over both your resume and general cover letter.
  5. Research the companies for whom you want to work.
  6. Search for available jobs online through the numerous Internet search engines. (See below).
  7. Research the type of job you want to find. If you are unsure, send out resumes to various types of jobs. (It is okay to change jobs after college).
  8. Send out dozens and dozens of resumes to various employers.
  9. Follow up on your top half of jobs with a phone call or email.
  10. If called in for an interview, prepare! Have specific answers ready so that you have intelligent words to say. Have questions prepared to ask the employers as well.
  11. Follow up your interview with a thank you email or note. You can also call to follow up on the status of your application about a week or two after the interview (depending on the rapport of your interviewer).
  12. Always update your resume and have it prepared. You never know when you will want look for a new job or go back to graduate school.

To recap, the most common jobs for recent graduates from college are the following:

  • ESL Teachers (overseas)
  • Entry Level positions (Assistants) in every field
    • Publishing
    • Banking
    • Sales
    • Real Estate
    • Marketing
    • Advertising
  • Consulting
  • Hi-Tech Computer Jobs
    • Computer Programmer
    • Technical Writer
  • Professional Fields (without graduate degrees needed)
    • Teaching (some high school)
    • Nursing
  • Business Jobs
    • I-banking
    • Solo Entrepreneurship
    • Internet Companies

It is a tough job market for all ages and all professions. It behooves you to create a phenomenal resume, apply to more jobs than you would imagine, and follow up on them with a phone call. The more persistent you are, the more likely you are to get a job. Use the connections you may have in any possible way, as many companies like to hire people who they know will be quality, good workers. Use our guides to help you write a resume and cover letter, as they will get you the interview. And then, work, work, work. Finding a job is a full-time job in and of itself. The stronger worker you are at the process of securing a job, the stronger worker you will be at the job itself.