This is how you land your first job after college…

Now that you have that degree that you’ve worked so hard for, it is time to get a job. Searching for a job right out of college can be stressful, especially as you hear of all the graduates that are having trouble finding work in their field. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to help you land that dream job, or at least one that will lead to it.

The let the stress of finding a job keep you from beginning your search. Many former students choose to take some time off before jumping into the workforce to enjoy one final summer. However, this is not the best course of action as your student loans will be kicking in you want to be prepared for them. Finding a job can take time and the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.

Here are some tips and steps that you can take that will make finding a job easier and more lucrative. Be sure to pay careful attention to :

  • Building a resume
  • Using Online Tools to Help you Job Hunt
  • Practicing for Your First Interview

Clean Up Your Social Media

Today everyone has social media accounts. It is where we share our lives and stay connected with friends and family. Unfortunately, we don’t always present our best selves through social media and companies know that if they want to get to know you, all they need to do is a simple Google search.

Before you begin to apply for jobs, go through each of your social media accounts and clean them up. Ask yourself, would I want my boss to see this?

Social media, when done right, is a great way to build yourself and show any company you apply to who you are as a professional. Use your social accounts to build a professional online persona that companies will want to hire.

Create a LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a website where you can build an online profile meant for professional networking. It is a website that many companies look at when deciding on future employees. You may find that many companies will also ask you for your LinkedIn profile either in addition to your resume or in-place-of.

Use your LinkedIn profile to present your best self and play to your strengths. Consider building a blog or writing articles, publishing them on your LinkedIn, for prospective employers to see. You can also use it to meet other professionals in your desired field and begin your job search. Many companies looking to hire will place a job posting onto the site.

Build a Resume

Being able to build a good resume is vital. This is the first impression that employers will see, so you will want to make sure that it highlights all of your strengths and downplays any of your weaknesses. Be sure to make it easy to read and clean. This means well formatted and organized.

As you apply for jobs, be sure to tailor your resume to fit each job posting. Use keywords from the job posting to help you adapt your resume to each specific position.

You will want to do the same with your cover letter. As you begin to apply for jobs, you will notice many ask for a cover letter, and you should provide one even if the job doesn’t specifically ask for one. This will help the company know more about you and give your application a more professional appearance.

Start a Blog to Establish a Presence in Your Field

When you come out of college, there is a good chance that you will have little experience in your field, other than any internships you may have held. Beginning a blog, especially before you graduate, is a great way to get your foot in the door. When you create a blog that deals with the subject matter in your desired field, you begin to establish a presence in that particular field. You may even be able to make a little bit of extra money if you do it right.

Writing a blog will help you show your the dedication, knowledge, and skills that you acquired while in school. Plus, it will help you start a portfolio that may help you land a job.

You can create a blog on your website, using a hosting service like BlueHost. You can also use Medium or your own LinkedIn to begin posting your blog with no hassle.

If you are not a skilled writer be sure to look into Grammarly. This is a free tool that will help you catch grammar mistakes and is perfect for writing blogs. You will also want to use this to check your spelling and grammar on your resume and cover letter. The last thing you want is to present your prospective employer with a first impression riddled with mistakes.

Begin a Job Hunt Using Online Tools

How you find a job has evolved over the years and most companies now place their job postings online. There are several sites where you can begin to sift through job postings and being applying. You will want to check these sites daily for anything new and don’t be afraid to apply for positions where you may be lacking in experience. For example, if a job requires you to have a year or two experience, there is a good chance that a well-written resume may land you an interview. From there it is your job to convince them that you are the right fit.

Here are some job sites you will want to be sure to check out:

Use Your Network to Your Advantage

Haven’t you ever heard the term, “It’s who you know?” In the case of searching for a job, this saying really rings true. Knowing the right people can help you land a job or get a promotion. It can be the difference in getting your foot in the door of a great company or spending months hunting for the perfect job.

There is a good chance that over the years you have been able to make many connections. You can use these connections to help you find a job. Let people know that you are looking for a job and ask if they know anyone that is hiring in your specific field. You may want to consider reaching out to friends, family, old classmates, former professors and former advisors from your school. You never know where the next lead will come from, so be sure to take advantage of any opportunity that you get.

Practice For Your First Interview

Before you even get a callback and land your first interview, you will want to start practicing. Grab a friend and practice going over your accomplishments and strengths. Imagine you have an interview for the jobs that you have applied. How will you convince them that you are the right person for the job?

Here are common interview questions that you may encounter. Be sure you think through these carefully and come up with some answers that will really impress!

  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • Why do you think you would be a good fit for our company?
  • Tell me about a time you faced adversity? What did you do?
  • Why did you leave your previous place of employment?
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • What questions do you have for us?

Learn About Prospective Companies

Before applying for a job, and especially before you have your first interview with a company, be sure you do your research. Check out the company’s website and social media. Find out as much as you can about the company so you are prepared.

Knowing a company, what they are about, and as many details as you can will not only help you write a great resume that aligns with what they are looking for, but it will also show your prospective employers that you are serious and determined.

Set Realistic Salary Expectations

A common mistake many new job seekers make does not understand salary. Many new job seekers don’t have a clear view of what they are worth or set their expectations too high. Before you begin searching for a job do some research in your job field and the positions you are applying for. Get an understanding of what the positions pay for entry level so you can be sure to ask for a reasonable salary. You may also want to take into account what your salary requirements are, so you can be sure you are applying for jobs that will allow you to pay rent and your student loans.

Before you enter an interview, you should have a relative idea of what kind of salary you are looking for.

Take Away

Finding a job right out of college, with little to no experience, may be one of the most difficult jobs searches you will undergo, but following the steps provided above will help you land a job using your degree. There is a lot of work involved when looking for a job, but doing it right will help you get a better job in the field of your choice. For now, your job is to find employment.

Happy Hunting!

And if you have any tips of your own that helped you land your first job, leave a comment below and let us know.

Originally published at on June 28, 2018.

With over $1.5 trillion of student loan debt, affecting over 40 million Americans, we could all use some help.

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