Land your First Job

College Grad Job Search – Are You Prepared?

are you prepared

Is it almost time to graduate already? Four years felt like a long way off and, unless you are on the 5-year plan, in a few months you will be looking to start a new job. What, you don’t have a job lined up yet? Time is running short! If you’ve been listening to the advice of your professors, college career center and yes, even your parents, you’ve been preparing for your job search and should already be looking for a job.

Job search by divine intervention generally doesn’t work and, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting things done. You can be an expert on a topic or have the best resume and experience in the world but if you don’t execute it doesn’t really matter.

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If you participated in Internship Programs during your college career you already have some great experience and may even have a job (or some leads). But even if you’ve done everything you should have,  you may not yet have a job lined up.

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Preparing for the Job Hunt:

The first part of any endeavor is preparation – knowing what you need, knowing what to do and knowing where to start.

  • Executing on Your Job Search Plan – Having a plan is key to finding your dream job.  Lists of recruiters, companies, job search boards and your network all play a part in your job search.  Read this article to get help making your lists.

  • College Graduation Checklist – Okay, so you know what you need to do to graduate (hopefully), but this book gives you a checklist of things you need to do to prepare for your job search – references, recommendation letters, resumes, cover letters – the usual suspects. This article is a great place to start to ensure you have a list of what you need. There are additional links on the left-hand side of the page with relevant information on this topic.
  • What Every Student Should Know to Prepare for Graduation – Everything you (and your parents) need to know about preparing for life after college.  This book has some great information and advice.  The transition to post-college life can be so difficult for many recent graduates – this book offers a practical step-by-step plan every young professional can follow. From the end of high school through college graduation, it lays out exactly what students need to do to acquire the skills companies want. Full of tips, advice, and insight, this wise, practical guide will help every student, no matter their major or degree, find real employment—and give their parents some peace of mind.

Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

The Tools You Will Need:

Every trade and profession has tools. In this case, I am talking about the tools of your job search.

  • Employability Matters: 5 Things to Avoid When Creating Your Resume – The first and most important thing you will need is a resume. Take your time with this as your ability to “get your foot in the door” is heavily dependent on the content and “look and feel” of your resume. There are so many choices these days. This resource, from Careeralley.com, provides a list to help you get started (or to improve on what you already have).

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  • How to organize job references together for your job search – This guide helps you create a reference list, select the right references, nurture those reference relationships and ask the question the right way. The guide also provides a few tips on what to do after you’ve had people agree to act as a reference.

“In an ideal world, you should have organised your references together well before you started job searching. You never know when you might be looking for a new role and it can help to have this thing sorted out – it’ll take off a tiny bit of the stress away that comes from hunting for a new role.” – Cleverism.com

  • References: The Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search – You will need references in your job search and the best time to get them is before you graduate college. Letters from professors or Internship employers carry a lot of weight. This article, from Quintcareers.com, will help you make the best choices when choosing who you will ask for references. Just having reference letters is not enough, you need to have the right letters. In addition to the great information offered in this article, there is a list of questions that employers might ask your references. Definitely worth a read.
  • Guide to Researching Companies, Industries, and Countries – Okay, you have your tools, where do you start? This article, also from Quintcareers.com, provides some great background and an amazing list of links to resources for your job research. You do want to balance the amount of time you spend on research with actually looking for a job (you could spend months just making your list), but this article should be your list of where to look and how to look for companies that interest you.

Career Tip of the Day: 12 of the Best College Grad Job Search Links

Suggested Reading: College Grad Job Hunter: Insider Techniques and Tactics for Finding a Top-Paying Entry Level Job

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