Every year another group of anxious, yet excited, graduates get ready to receive to walk the stage and hold those diplomas high. Some of these grads will be wise and visit their campus career centers early to get a jump start on the job search to get that first job. Unfortunately, most new grads will walk away from campus with a lot of debt and no job. The Washington Post actually reports that four out of five students graduate without having that first job.
After working for 15 years with college graduates on the college to work pipeline, there are definitely some strategies that will help new graduates land that first job after graduation.
How to land your first job after graduation
1. Seek career counseling or coaching. Some students don’t like the word “counseling” so I would rephrase that to say – seek career and job search help in the career center on your campus. If you are graduating from a HBCU, you can find links to the HBCU career centers here.
2. Prepare effective introductory correspondence. In other words, get a good resume, cover letter and/or portfolio together. Please look for our Resume Guide which will be published this year.
3. Prepare for and participate in on-campus recruiting opportunities. This means that your job as a college senior is to find your campus career center and get to know the staff. Better yet, get the staff to know you.
4. Know how to interview and practice interviewing. If you impress employers on campus, they will invite you back to their site. Here are tips on how to succeed on the second interview.
5. Follow up and continue your job search efforts. The real secret to getting that first job is being persistent and professional with follow up.
Students who succeed and get that first great job after graduation know they have to follow this process and connect with many employers. It’s a good job market, but very competitive. If you stay positive, work with your career center and stay focused you can do well.