Finding Your First Job Out of College

It’s that time of year! Champagne bottles are poppin’ off in just about every senior girl’s grad photos, pool parties are raging regardless that finals are next week, and endless pictures of the Unicorn frappucino were actually a thing like last week. I mean, that all sounds like fun, but what about those that are actually scared shitless to get into the real world. The daunting thing so many adults are referring to as – ‘the corporate world’. The truth is, graduation is over and you probably still haven’t found that job you envisioned the past four years of blood, sweat, and [lots of] tears would get you… So, what are you going to do about it? I’m going to share with you a few tricks I did to find the perfect job for me before graduation.

I’ve been lucky enough to land a pretty awesome job, in the exact industry I want to get into. This is by no means guaranteed to work for you, depending on the indsutry and job you’re looking for, but it will at LEAST be helpful in planning your next steps for post-graduation life.

TIP 1 – USE A JOB SEARCH ENGINE

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If you’re really 100% new to job prospecting, using a job search engine like Indeed.com works really well to start. Indeed lets you simply create an account and upload your resume and cover letter. With the click of a button you can find matches and start sending your resume to employers. You can also track whether the employer has read your application, and whether they’re interested or not, so you’re never left wondering. It’s quick, easy, and can be successful if you’re diligent with your efforts.

TIP 2 – DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF

Really hone in on what you want to do and what experiences you have that set you apart. This includes tailoring your resume and cover letter to every job description. Even if you have to dig deep in your college career to find something you can relate to it (definitely refrain from high school references). Maybe a club you joined or an internship you did taught you something invaluable. Maybe a class you took or a group you worked with helped you develop a tacit knowledge of something. Nobody knows you better than you, so don’t be afraid to show off a little bit and prove to the employer why you’re the one for the job.

TIP 3 – TAKE THE SIDE DOOR APPROACH

If I had to give one piece of advice to land the perfect job, this is the golden key. Taking the side door simply means, don’t be a sheep. Don’t do what everybody else is doing and using the search engines and mass resumes approach. They usually get lost in a sea of everybody else’s anyway. Bypass the hiring managers and go directly to the person who makes the overall decision. Kindly write them an email and let them know their company caught your attention and send them your resume/cover letter in case they have an opening that can use someone with your skillset.

Start by Googling your industry and companies in your area. Click on any company you want and look for their ‘Careers’ page. Often times postings directly on these career pages can’t be found on job search engines. But you can also take it one step further. On the team page, find the contact info for the manager of the specific department you want to get into (if it’s a start up or smaller business, just look directly for the CEO). If you’re having trouble finding it on their site, google it. We’re millenials.. use the power of the internet to find it.

*PRO TIP: IF THE COMPANY NAME IS XYZ MARKETING AND YOU’RE LOOKING FOR BOB SMITH, TRY A FEW EMAIL COMBINATIONS LIKE: BOB@XYZMARKETING.COM, BOBSMITH@XYZMARKETING.COM, BSMITH@XYZ.COM… IT WON’T HURT TO TRY!

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TIP 4 – UTILIZE WHO YOU KNOW

Reach out to some of those old coworkers and bosses. See if they want to meet up for a coffee or lunch just to catch up and see where they’re at in life. This is a great way to reconnect and use your network to your advantage. They might have some opportunities they could throw your way, or know someone connected to a local company. You don’t want to come across as your using them, that’s shady and a bad business practice. Rather, be genuine… maybe only reach out to the ones you liked!

TIP 5 – DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

You might be the last of your friends to have landed something. You might have applied to a hundred different places and haven’t heard back from a single one. It’s okay, it’s all part of the process. Pick up the phone and follow up with your applications. Ask some of your friends how they landed a job and if they have some advice for you. Everything always works out the way it’s supposed to, and even though you might not have a job lined up now, a better one is waiting for you down the road. Stay positive, you’ve got your degree, a.k.a. something 65% of the population doesn’t have!

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