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5 Essential Tips for Getting a Job After College

Smiling graduate after college

College graduation is an exciting time when you can celebrate your accomplishments and the degree that you earned. It can feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders knowing that you have completed your education and are taking the right steps toward a successful future. As rewarding as it is, it can also be overwhelming. The thought of having to look for your first job in the job market can be scary but knowing the right tips and tricks can help you feel more confident moving forward. With this guide, we hope to help make the process a little bit easier with some of our recommendations.

1. Build Your Résumé and Online Profiles

The first step in your job search process should be to build a résumé filled with experience that you are proud of. You can include education, previous and current work experience, internship experience, certifications, volunteer work, related coursework, and any other relevant background knowledge you have that relates to the career you are looking to pursue. If job applications require a cover letter, make sure to craft this to match the job description and provide additional context to your résumé.

Along with your résumé, a LinkedIn profile can be extremely beneficial to your job search. LinkedIn provides an amazing way to get your name and experience to employers and make professional connections that can guide you in the right direction. Having a way to keep your experience and information together and display it for businesses and companies to see can make it easier to find a job that matches your skills. It is important that you keep your profile up to date, join groups relevant to your field, connect with previous classmates and instructors, and ensure that your profile is strong and stands out.

2. Focus on Networking

While you are building your résumé, it is crucial to build a network that can help you in the job search process. Once you have established the market or career path you are pursuing, use current connections such as family and friends to start networking. You can ask basic questions about their careers and see if they have personal connections in your field of interest.

Outside of family and friends, it is great to connect on LinkedIn with alumni, recent graduates, and college students as well as anyone who may inspire you in the field. Continuing to learn from others is a great way to set yourself up for career success. If others post about networking events or job fairs, consider engaging with those posts and attending the event to meet people.

3. Begin Your Job Search

Once you feel that your résumé and LinkedIn profile are a perfect representation of you and what you have to offer, it is a great time to start your job search. Using websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, or ZipRecruiter is a great way to look at job postings and connect with potential employers. Even if an employer you were hoping for is not hiring, they might be in the future. Finding ways to reach out to recruiters to make connections is crucial to getting your name into the job market. Find a contact, send a message or email, and let employers know who you are and how you can help. 

4. Stay Positive and Organized

It is important to remember that the job search process can be lengthy and may begin to feel discouraging. Staying positive and focused is crucial to finding a career that you will be happy with. You may find yourself sending your résumé out multiple times a week, so you will want to ensure that you are keeping track of where you have applied and whether you have heard back or need to follow up. 

5. Seek Help If You Need It

At Bryant & Stratton College, we take pride in offering career services to our students for the rest of their lives. From the first day of classes to years after graduation, it is our goal to help you navigate your individual career path. We are dedicated to providing ongoing help, from résumé building to job interview prep to job search advice. Whether you are pursuing your college degree or are a new grad, we are here for life beyond the classroom. Always keep building your network and show the job market everything that you have to offer.

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