How To Find a Job Post Graduation

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated March 23, 2021 | Published January 22, 2021

Updated March 23, 2021

Published January 22, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Finding a job post-graduation is often the primary goal for new college and university graduates. The process of searching for and finding a position for the first time as a degree-holding adult can be daunting. With a little knowledge and preparation, you'll be well-prepared for the task. In this article, we explain the importance of finding a job post-graduation, offer steps for finding a job post-graduation and provide tips for your post-graduation job search.

Related: The New Graduate's Guide To Job Search

The importance of finding a job post-graduation

For most college and university students, finding a job is the ultimate post-graduation goal. Your first job after graduation often establishes your career and dictates, to some extent, your career earning potential. Finding a job post-graduation that uses the skills you honed in college and provides you with learning opportunities in your industry can vastly improve your chances of a successful, long-lasting career in your chosen sector.

Related: How To Secure a Midlevel Job as a New Graduate

How to find a job post-graduation

There are a number of steps you can take while still enrolled and after graduating to help you find a fulfilling job post-graduation:

1. Expand your boundaries

While you're still in school, take advantage of the many opportunities colleges and universities offer to their students. Take courses outside of your major—you may find a new passion or interest. Look for internships or externships to help develop your on-the-job skills and build up professional relationships. Meet with your professors for feedback on your work product and to solicit advice on job prospects.

2. Seek a mentor

A mentor can help you navigate the process of looking for your first position and establishing your career. Many people find mentors while in college or university, like a professor or an employer through their school. Look for a mentor you trust and respect to help you navigate the job searching process and, ideally, your long-term career.

3. Develop relationships

Take the time to develop relationships with your classmates, both in your degree field and outside of it. As you start and continue your career, you may rely on these relationships to find job candidates, make business connections and develop your own career.

4. Formally network

While building relationships with classmates at your school is a great initial networking step, seeking formal networking events during your time in school and immediately after, can help you find great job prospects and provide opportunities for career development as you progress from your first job post-graduation onwards.

5. Prepare your resume

Most colleges and universities offer excellent resume creation and editing services for their students. Take advantage of these resources to create a thorough and impressive resume to use during your job search. Ensure you highlight your skills and school-based accomplishments in addition to any relevant work experience you undertook during college.

6. Attend informational interviews

Many companies allow interested students or recent graduates to interview with their company on an informational basis. These interviews, rather than assessing your qualifications as a potential employee, give you the opportunity to ask current employees questions about their jobs and learn more about the company and industry. Informational interviews are a great way to learn about a specific company or job position while building your professional network. In some cases, an informational interview can lead to a job interview and position with the company.

7. Meet with your career counselor

The majority of colleges and universities offer career counseling services for their students. While some of these services extend past graduation, it's best to take advantage of these resources while still enrolled as a student. Check with your academic institution to see if you need an appointment and what information you should supply to maximize your time with the career counselor.

8. Research positions

Both while you're still enrolled as a student and after graduation, one of the most important steps you can take to find an ideal post-graduation role is to research potential jobs. Learn all you can about the entry-level options in your industry and practice highlighting your skills, education and experience for future job interviews.

9. Create a cover letter

It's recommended you write a unique cover letter for every job you apply for to best reflect the requirements of the position and optimize your skills. However, creating a cover letter template for yourself can save you a lot of time when you're actually writing your cover letters for job applications. Include consistent formatting that reflects your resume and review cover letter examples to ensure you're including all the necessary information for the hiring manager.

10. Run a background check

Consider running a background check on yourself. Many employers will perform a background check on you if you're a serious candidate, so knowing what they'll find can help you prepare for any follow-up questions or concerns.

11. Write your applications

After completing your research and identifying the best possible jobs for you to apply for, write your job applications. Ensure you're customizing each resume and cover letter to each individual job posting. Make sure you're checking your grammar and spelling before submitting anything and take appropriate care to follow up with the hiring manager or human resources department after submitting applications to express your interest in the position.

12. Use social media

Finally, connect with the companies you're applying to on social media and optimize your professional social media profiles. Many businesses check their applicants' social media pages, both professional and personal, to learn more about prospective candidates. If they see you follow their page or have interacted with their content, that can positively impact your job searching experience with them.

Related: 60 Graduation Quotes To Inspire the Next Graduation

Tips for finding a job post-graduation

Your first round of job applications after graduation often presents a learning experience. Use these tips to help you maximize your time and, ideally, conclude your search with your dream job:

  • Have a plan. Make a job searching plan for yourself. When you're trying to find your first position, you should approach the job search itself as a full-time job. Dedicate your days to looking for potential job options, sending applications and following up.

  • Ensure you have options. Even if you've interviewed with a few different companies, continue to look for job options and submit applications until you've signed an employment contract. Until you've been officially hired, it's best to continue your job search.

  • Consider internships. While many internships are unpaid, some do offer a stipend or salary. An internship can be a great way to gain experience and network. Many internships lead to full-time positions with the same company.

  • Review your resume. Make sure your resume is impactful and accurately highlights your skills, education and experience. If you have the opportunity, ask hiring managers or other human resources professionals what works and what doesn't about your resume.

  • Check your social media. Ensure your professional social media pages are updated and useful for hiring professionals. If you also have personal social media pages, make sure the publicly available information is professional. Consider keeping most of your information private if you have lots of old pictures and posts from your time in college.

  • Focus on networking. While looking for a job, continue to network. Attend events in your industry and seek to grow your professional relationships. When appropriate, reach out to people in your network for help finding potential jobs.

  • Use your time. Use the time you have while you're not working positively. Get involved with organizations in your community and continue to develop your skill set. You can add all these endeavors to your resume and grow your professional network.

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