As a recent graduate, I’m currently going through the struggle of finding a full-time job. After people congratulate you on your recent graduation, the next question is always, “So what’s next?” It’s incredibly stressful to have no idea where you’ll end up, but it’s important to take steps in the right direction. While you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do after you graduate, start exploring options. Keep in mind that I’m a Communications student who is looking for a job within entertainment media. Therefore, some of these tips might not apply to you if you work in an entirely different industry. Here are a few of my helpful job tips for finding something to do after you graduate.
1. Don’t Wait to Apply For Jobs Until After You Graduate
If I’ve learned anything recently, it’s how long the recruitment process takes. I’ve been interviewing for a position for about 2 months now and will just hear about the decision soon. It’s a long process so don’t wait too long. You could be unemployed for an uncomfortable amount of time after college until you can actually land something.
This is especially important if you’re also graduating in the winter like me because once you run into the holidays, everything gets put on pause. It stretches out the process even longer and can put unnecessary added stress on the holiday season.
Start putting out feelers, connecting with people and job searching around the beginning of your final semester. That way you can start applying to more positions as they roll out, and you won’t be limited to fewer options.
2. Where to Look
I’ve been searching for jobs in LinkedIn, Glassdoor, my university’s career website, and the actual companies’ career pages. You have to remember that some companies don’t advertise their positions on these job boards like Indeed or Glassdoor, so you have to hunt for them yourself. Since I’m interested in Media & Communications, I thought of the publications that I read or engage with a lot. I went to their websites and checked their careers page. You can usually do this by scrolling to the bottom of their web pages and click where it says ‘Careers’ or ‘Work With Us’. Sure enough, there are always plenty of positions for all types of roles. I bookmark the ones that I like and then apply to the position that most suits my experience and interests. I figure if I apply and they see me as a better fit for another position based on my resume, they’ll let me know. This happened to me for an internship and I actually got the role for a position that was different than the one I applied for.
First, I’ll go to LinkedIn or Glassdoor and search some keywords that I know will guarantee relevant search results for me. I’ve developed these over time, due to so much browsing, but eventually you know which keywords to search that most closely match what type of position you’re looking for. So for me, I usually search for media jobs, entertainment media jobs, social coordinator, social media manager, editorial, and editorial assistant. These are all positions I would most likely be interested in, then I check the ‘Entry-Level’ filter, as well as add both New York and Los Angeles as my locations.
3. Apply, Apply, Apply!
So far, I have applied to probably around 25-30 positions. You know how many I’ve heard back from? Three. You need to put out a lot of resumes and cover letters in order to get some traction and responses. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort into creating unique cover letters, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should apply to jobs you aren’t even interested in. But it’s better to have options. Sometimes hiring recruiters won’t even respond to you due to their large applicant pools.
I set a goal to apply to about three jobs each weekend and maybe one or two throughout the week if I had time after work and school. Definitely, set a goal for how many you want to apply to each week. It was much better to do a few here and there, especially if companies do want to interview with you. That way you aren’t trying to fit in all these interviews at once.
4. Keep Track of Your Applications
Keep an excel sheet of the jobs you applied for. Include a column for job title, link to the job posting, date applied, location (if you aren’t applying to jobs all in the same area) and a contact email if you have one. This will become really beneficial so you can track how many jobs you applied to, what types of positions you’ve been applying for (and if you should expand to other types of roles) and of course, to know when you should start following up. If you notice that it’s been weeks since you applied and haven’t heard anything, you can follow up to remind them and show your interest in the role. Keep in mind some places accept applicants for a while and don’t start checking them on a rolling basis, so it might take a while to hear a response.
5. Keep Going!
It’s easy to get discouraged. After applying to countless jobs and not hearing back, I can’t help but feel a little down. You have to realize that you might not be exactly what someone is looking for, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a quality candidate. You should be confident in yourself, your experiences, and your ability to be hired by a great company. Don’t sell yourself short! Approach the process as you did with college applications. Shoot for some of those really great companies, but also apply to positions you definitely know that you’re qualified for. You never know what opportunity might come around. Be open to trying new things, but also remember to consider what type of job will make you happy. You’ll be a lot more successful doing something you enjoy rather than uncomfortably trying to fit into a position because of its perks and status.
If you have any more tips or questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck job hunting!