Fresh Grads: Tips to Jump-Start Your Job Search

Fresh Grads: Tips to Jump-Start Your Job Search

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Note: This post was submitted to Student Caffé by Johanna Cider. Being a sociable person, Johanna loves delving into new destinations, trying the local food, and talking with people. In fact, she loves sharing stories with nearly everyone; visit Johanna’s blog, Musings of Johanna, to learn more. We would like to thank her for her submission and credit her as the author of this blog post.

After earning that degree and finally graduating, you’re likely to feel relief that your studies are over… as well as anxiety about finding a job. Entering the working world can be daunting: There are other newly-qualified graduates to contend with, not to mention the fact that plenty of companies nowadays seem to require years of experience for entry-level roles. However, the only way out is through, and it’s best to remain optimistic and do all you can to land that perfect job. Try using the following tips to jump-start your job search.


Perhaps you’ve already made some great connections during your time at college—in which case you may be able to use your contacts to your advantage—but have no fear if you’re new to networking. Use the internet to start: join Facebook groups, follow companies and people in HR roles on Twitter, and, perhaps most important of all, polish up your LinkedIn profile. Once your LinkedIn is professional and suited to the roles you’ll be applying for, you can start making connections.

Of course, you can go old school and network in person, too. Keep an eye out for events relevant to your field, and make an effort to reach out to people who work in companies or organizations that you have an interest in. Plenty of jobs are filled without even being advertised, so if you can make connections with the right people, you’ll be well ahead of any other candidates who are relying on job postings.

Perfect your résumé.

A bad résumé might not even make it past initial screenings, so it’s important that yours is competitive. Ensure, too, that you’re tailoring your cover letters to the roles you’re applying for. Have a friend check your work; they’ll be able to tell you what it looks like to an outsider.

Volunteer while you’re waiting.

Volunteer work looks great on anyone’s résumé, especially if the applicant has little other work experience. Besides, volunteering will give you something productive to do; watching Netflix while you wait for calls isn’t doing you, or your career, much of a favor.

Consider all possible opportunities.

Don’t limit yourself to your city unless there are serious reasons that you need to do so, like needing to live at home while you work your way out of major debt or having to care for aging family members. If you’re not having much luck finding decent jobs in your area, broaden your horizons a little and consider finding a suitable role in other cities or even countries. Demand varies widely from area to area, and you might find that your qualifications and skill set are perfect for landing a lucrative gig in a faraway land. Working overseas can be an incredibly worthwhile experience for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that your overseas experience will look great on your résumé if you come home to find a job later.

Focus on industries with shortages.

In addition to being open to moving abroad, you might also like to consider taking jobs in fields unrelated to your studies, and also consider sectors that haven’t been affected too badly by economic issues. There are plenty of less common jobs out there that just require a degree of any kind (to prove that you have the dedication and aptitude to learn and grow). Many people have found new interests, passions, and work connections in industries they may not have previously considered.

Even if your job hunt is taking longer than you had expected, try your best to treat yourself kindly and don’t throw away all hope. Having to search for an extra few months won’t hurt your career in the long term, and you’ll learn a lot about patience and perseverance. Stay positive, work hard, and eventually you’ll be sure to find your dream job!

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