Trying to find a job as a new graduate can be intimidating. Maybe it’s taking longer than you expected, or perhaps you still aren’t quite sure what to do with your degree. You should know that this is perfectly normal, so don’t panic! As you get ready to put your new degree to work and begin your career, it’s easy to feel discouraged. However, there is hope, in addition to some good advice, to help you get noticed amongst the other candidates.
According to NACE’s (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Job Outlook 2016 Spring Update report, employers expect to hire 5.2 percent more new graduates from the Class of 2016 than they hired from the Class of 2015. While this news is positive, a larger number of employers are reporting plans to trim hiring. Additionally, the average number of job postings for the 2015-2016 recruiting year is way down compared to the 2014-2015 year, but the average number of applications per posting remains consistent between the two years.
Here are some strategies that are especially relevant in today's challenging market to help you get your foot in the door.
Networking is one of the best ways to find your first career. While methods such as connecting on LinkedIn are great, you can even take things a step further. Identify major influencers in your industry and reach out to them on social media. Comment on their blogs and become part of the conversation. Showing an interest in your field will go a long way towards finding you a good job. Also find out if any family or friends know people in your field of interest, or even at a company you’re interested in. Consider the connections you have at your college: professors, advisers, administrators, coaches, alumni, etc. Having a connection is a great way to get your foot in the door.
Volunteer and intern.
If you're having trouble finding a position, use it as an opportunity to expand your skill set, gain practical experience, and forge relationships with people who may someday (soon!) be considering you for a position. Interning at a company you are hoping to work with is an excellent opportunity for you to make an impression and potentially be hired.
Keep your eyes open.
Attend career fairs, keep your resume updated and ready, apply for jobs, contact companies in which you have interest, and don't stop until you find the position you want.
If you are comfortable with relocating, consider looking outside your geographic area. Different parts of the company might be hiring more for jobs in your field versus where you are now.
Eventually, your new grad job search will reveal what you’re looking for. Be patient, diligent, and network and the right opportunity will present itself.
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