5 Tips for Finding Your First Job After Graduation

Graduation day has arrived. You are in your cap and gown, listening to the speeches and getting ready to head up to the stage to receive your diploma. Then what happens? You get a job, of course. Okay, maybe not that day, but you will want to secure one as soon as possible following this day. Or sooner. Here are 5 tips for finding that first job.

1. Do Internships

Even first-year students can start applying for internships in their desired field, and these work experiences increase the odds of your being hired once graduation day nears. If you are well into your college journey but still have time left to do an internship, make sure to do so as the experience and lines on your resume are valuable. Employers like to see soon-to-be and recent graduates with real-world work experience. Some will even hire students who interned at their own company, removing your need to even apply for a position.

2. Start Applying for Positions Early

You can start sending in applications as early as the beginning of your final year of school. This is especially important in some cases as a number of companies recruit and receive applications from future graduates in the fall and start offering positions by Thanksgiving. Consider attending career fairs held throughout the year, as these are great networking opportunities. Interviews are often awarded as a result of them. Keep up to date with companies you are interested in through their social media outlets. This will help you to keep abreast of their open positions.

3. Take Advantage of Your Alumni Association

Some universities allow seniors to join their alumni association prior to graduation. If that is the case at your school or you have recently graduated, take advantage of this opportunity and get in contact with members who are in your field or live in a part of the country or world you would like to live and work. One nice thing about utilizing an alumni association is that you already have something in common with that person: your school. You can talk about things like the university’s football team or which dorm you lived in on campus to help break the ice.

4. Treat Every Step of the Process like an Interview

Every single interaction that you have with the company you are looking to work for is part of the interview process, and you should treat all interaction with the same respect as the formal interview itself. This can include things like your response style and timeliness when informed of the details of the interview, your interactions with the receptionist and how you interact with the company in the days that follow your meeting.

5. Relax If You’re Still Looking

It is completely fine and a bit normal to have graduation day quickly approaching – or having already passed by – and still be looking for that first job. Sometimes this even happens to those who started the process early and accumulated solid work experiences during their time in school. Just make sure to keep after it. Contact your university’s career center if you have not done so recently to see if they can assist you with the application process or places to apply. Attend conferences as well as job fairs if you are still looking when the new school year starts. Consider taking a post-graduate internship, even an unpaid one, as long as it relates to and can assist you with your professional plans.

Although right now may be amongst the most uncertain times in your life as you look to formulate your future, it is an exciting time as well. Keep focused, but keep an open mind as well. Sometimes your dream job may be the one that you had never considered before it landed in front of you.