Daily Archives: December 19, 2014

As a Recent College Graduate, What Steps Should I Take to Begin My Career?

Posted: December 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Share and Help your Friends With Their Job Search!

Recent College Grad Looking for JobsAll of your hard work finally paid off, and you graduated from college. If you’re like most, the sense of accomplishment you felt quickly gave way to the realization that finishing your degree is really more of a beginning than an ending. You may also feel a bit disoriented as having a part of your life planned for you is now over, and you must move forward on your own. But how do you begin your new career? Here are some steps to head you in the right direction.

#1: Get a Grip

You may be feeling anxious, but set those emotions aside to focus on the task at hand: finding a job. You do know what to do. You made it through college, right? Approach your job search like a large class project. Ask yourself some questions:

  • What do I need to get started? A good cover letter and resume, a portfolio to display your talents, and documentation of any certifications for job skills you may have are good things to consider.
  • What type of job do I want? Each field has a variety of positions and work situations you could pursue. Which ones are best for you?
  • Where do I want to work? Are there companies, locations, or ways of doing your job that interest you most? What salary and benefits are important to you? Some may take a lower salary if they have the ability to telecommute, for example.

Consulting resources such as the Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you narrow your focus and find links to professional websites for additional guidance.

#2: Get Moving

There’s truth to the saying that finding a job is a full-time job, so put at least eight hours each day into your search. Avoid the five common mistakes people make while job hunting, and spend time each day completing the following tasks:

  • Search job postings online and in person. Be sure to set auto-alerts for types of positions that interest you.
  • Send out at least three job query letters to prospective employers each day.
  • Network with others. Make sure that everyone you know is aware of what type of job you are searching for and how to reach you if they hear of anything.
  • Work on branding yourself as a professional online and in person.

The overall goal is to get yourself out there so that potential employers can easily discover you and what you have to offer.

#3: Get Real

New graduates tend to have very lofty expectations. Many believe that getting that degree makes them immediately employable in their dream job at a top salary. What’s not to like, right? Ever hear the joke: “You’re special just like everyone else”?

Remember that the market has a lot of other talented people competing for those same positions you’re interested in getting. Although it’s important to share that you have the credentials for a job, it’s even more important to add what makes you unique. What could you bring to a job that perhaps few others can? Get to know the companies you’re applying to; then connect their mission to yourself.

You may have to knock on doors and work your way into that ideal position, but get started, and you will succeed.