Valuable Job Search Tips for Recent College Graduates

You have now graduated from college and new doors just opened up for you. You have a lot of opportunities to conquer and more experiences to live. The “real world” can seem so daunting yet exciting at the same time, isn’t it?

As a fresh college graduate, you have two options: give yourself a break (maybe months or a year) and travel to the places you have always wanted to go to, or jump straight to finding yourself a job.

Personally, I went for the 2nd option: I jumped straight to employment. I had nothing but my grades, passion, and dreams. That is supposed to be enough, right?

Related read: I Followed A Career Path Different From What Others Wanted For Me

Here is a reality check: Being hired is more than just your awards and certificates. There are a lot of factors employers look at that are not usually taught to you by your professors. I would say that job hunting is your first “real world” struggle once you step out of university/college. You don’t just waltz in on a company wearing a million-dollar smile and expect them to hire you on the spot. No, the process is more rigorous than that.

However, this post is not intended to scare you. Instead, it is made to prepare you with job hunting strategies that are assured to help you.

So, here are valuable job hunting tips that even I wish I knew back then:

Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post, which I may receive a commission from, at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

Do an internship

Most companies will require you to have “experience” in the position you are applying for. For this, an internship is a great start especially if you just graduated and are applying for your first job. Do not be afraid nor ashamed to start out as an intern – we all have to start somewhere. Instead, be grateful because you will be trained and guided by your superiors. You will gain fresh knowledge and new skills in your chosen field. Another great benefit of doing an internship is there is always a high possibility that the company will hire you as an employee if you perform your tasks well.

Do some networking

Making connections will always be an essential part of any life success. These connections will help you, give advice, and share valuable stories. In a business or job hunting setting, your network will introduce you to various companies and job opportunities, and even refer you to the company they are working for. It is also a great point to ask the professionals you know about how they got into that position – how they started, what they did to succeed, and what to avoid in the workplace. Your growing network will help you prepare and polish you as you step foot into your job hunting journey.

Create a Linkedin account

I do think people still overlook the importance and benefits of having a Linkedin account. You might think that Linkedin just serves as your online resume but what most do not know is that recruiters use it as a place to search for potential job candidates, so make sure you put your credentials there! Moreover, you can connect with other alumni from your university as well as professionals in the same field as you.

Make a professional resume/CV

Now here is a really helpful tip that I got from my previous employers and Human Resources friends: most employers now recommend a one-page resume, two pages max. There really is no need to list each and every extra-curricular activities you have joined or the number of conventions you have attended. Just write down what is relevant to the job position you are applying in. Are you applying for a writer’s position? Then you can list down any writing talks or seminars you have attended.

It is effective to write a title under your name and a short bio. For example: Krisy | Content Writer *short bio*. Attach a professional photo and include your contact details especially your email address. Never forget to list your skills and expertise! Again, include the things that are relevant to what you are applying in. No need to overdo it because more often than not, they will not read the next 4 pages of your resume/CV.

Oh, and another pro-tip: Try NOT to include your expertise in any of the Microsoft Office tools (especially Microsoft Word) in your skills section. You’ll thank me later.

Make a portfolio

This depends on the job position you are applying in. If you are applying in a creative field, it is important to attach a portfolio of your work along with your resume when sending an application email. If you are a writer, compile your writing pieces. If you are a graphic designer, then compile your designs in a creative way. A videographer? Upload your videos online or on Youtube. If for instance, you do not have any works to show, then it is the perfect time to make some.

Always send a cover letter

You have no idea how many times my boss trashed job application forms that only has their resume/CV attached. Nothing else. What are they going to do with that resume? Did you even specify which position you are applying for?

It is always safe to make a cover letter template wherein you will properly introduce yourself, your background, your skills, and what you can bring to the company. If you are applying through email, get a snippet from your cover letter, reword it a bit, and use it for the email’s body, and then say that you have attached your cover letter, resume, and portfolio.

Clean your social media

I am going to warn you now: someone from the company will stalk you. It will either be the HR person or just a random future workmate who have seen your resume. I will have to admit that I was once tasked to find the Facebook profile of this one poor soul. So make sure that your social media accounts do not have any indication of you doing something illegal or questionable. Or better yet, just make everything private – that’s the safest way.

Get to know the company

So you are now invited for a job interview. It is now up you to wow them with how you present yourself. Aside from stating your background, most employers will ask you how you got to know about the company or what is it that you think they do. It is very important that you have researched beforehand the company’s mission and services as well as the job specifications of the position you are applying in. Your employers will be pleased to know that you have genuine interest in their company.

Do not rush

I know you are excited and ready to dive in on being employed but it is crucial to take a step back and think about what you really want to do and you aspire to be. It is definitely okay to not take that first job offer if you know that it does not excite or empower you in any way. Do not waste your time applying for a job that you have no interest in whatsoever because you will just leave yourself uninspired and drained. Instead, focus on your skills, harness it, and make it your expertise.

Sometimes, it is better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades (but a master of none).

Bonus: Ultimate Job Searching Resource

You do not need to scare and stress yourself in job searching.

Here is a complete step-by-step guide to help you with your job search. The Empower Your Job Search course has everything you need to make you stand out as a job candidate: from crafting your resume and cover letter, negotiating your salary, networking and interview techniques, to useful job search resources and more! The course has positive reviews from fresh college graduates and young professionals alike.

Avail the full course here.

However, if you want to avail the resources separately or just one at a time, you can browse each course here! It has everything you need for your job hunting journey, trust me.

I wish you all the best in your career!

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Krisy started Kronicles with the aim to inspire and empower. If she is not motivating people through her written words, she's either pretending she doesn't have social anxiety, petting random dogs, or watching the sunset.

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  • Cinny
    June 18, 2019

    Great tips for recent grads for sure. It’s always nice to add that extra touch.

  • Brianne
    June 18, 2019

    I cannot stress these tips enough to a college graduate! They are precisely on the mark, and are sure to give a grad better chances in their field.

  • Annemarie LeBlanc
    June 18, 2019

    You have provided lots of valuable advice for fresh graduates. My children had this uncanny thought that once they graduate from college, getting a job would be easy. Nope. Sorry. I remember my daughter getting frustrated because she went from interview to interview and it took her 3 months before she landed a job. All my kids are done with college and the two eldest are gainfully employed. My youngest son is doing internship at a prestigious hotel. Hopefully, that will give him an edge over other applicants when he is done with his training.

  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael
    June 19, 2019

    Nnniicceeeee….”Don’t rush”…..this is the most important yet underrated tip of them all!

  • Emman Damian
    June 19, 2019

    Doing an internship would be the best idea for me. Also, it’s easier to get hired since you’re doing the actual project or tasks needed in real work setting.

  • Joanna Clute
    June 19, 2019

    Job searching can be quite frustrating. This is a great place to start for grads!

  • Tiffany La Forge-Grau
    June 19, 2019

    Those are really great ideas. There are a lot of growing resources for college grads to get into.

  • Foodie Finds Home
    June 19, 2019

    These are all great tips for new graduates joining the workforce. I agree that interning is essential and also having a professional resume. You would not believe how many resumes I came across in my HR days that had me rolling my eyes soooooooo hard. One person sent in a 27-page resume. 27 PAGES! I have no idea what it said because I was not about to read a 27-page resume. No thanks! Excellent blog you have here.

  • Fatima Torres
    June 19, 2019

    Doing an internship can really help you get the job and more so the experience you need. Thanks for such valuable info. I’ll be sure to share with my nieces.

  • Heather
    June 20, 2019

    These are great tips for college grads. Thanks for sharing!

  • Danielle Rice
    June 20, 2019

    I’m thankful to have started my career in the military. The part internship is exactly what the first two years of my enlistment was all about. Granted I was paid, but I couldn’t do anything by myself.

  • Subhashish Roy
    June 20, 2019

    Very systematic way of going ahead towards the dream job. The internship factor is very important in building up the CV. And it should be done during the course period to get the extra advantage. Nice post.

  • Ronnie
    June 20, 2019

    Super helpful tips, for both newly graduated students and others in the job hunt. Like you mentioned, social media is a huge factor and cleaning it up is a must! Also, I would recommend to try to be yourself on job interviews – companies are looking for outgoing, easy-to-work-with employees. After all, social dynamics matter significantly!

  • Christine wenham
    June 21, 2019

    well I’d say go to your uni halls and ask what others who have been successful are doing! tutors and go get experience in your fields you enjoy x

  • Alli
    June 21, 2019

    Great article! Thanks for the shoutout for the Empower Your Job Search course!

    • Krisy
      June 21, 2019

      Your course deserves it!

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Valuable Job Search Tips for Recent College Graduates