As you might already know, I’m a big believer in companies hiring recent graduates.
I think recent grads are perfect candidates for jobs they’re qualified for because: 1) They’re driven. 2) They’re teachable. 3) They’re cheap. 4) They’re excited.
But here’s the problem with some recent graduates: They’re too proud to turn over every single stone to break into the job market.
They’re too proud to ask for help, too proud to humble themselves, too proud to work a little harder, too proud to start from the bottom.
Pride is why a lot of us go unemployed for a while – it keeps us from being open about our struggles and exhausting every ounce of our network.
I’m speaking from experience.
When I hit the job market after receiving 2 bachelor’s degrees in May 2012, I bottled my struggles and refused to apply for jobs I felt superior to.
When I finally got over myself, I took any opportunity I could get and made the most of it – slowly but surely, that led me to where I am now, as an independent digital marketer.
So, for those new grads hitting the market soon, here are 6 pieces of advice I’d recommend as you look for your first post-college job (these are the same things I learned when I broke into the market):
My go-to spot when I was looking for gigs was Craigslist because you’ll find more of a variety of jobs there.
There are a lot of contractual gigs on here too, which are good if you just need some money to keep you afloat for a while, but aren’t ready to commit to a long-term job.
Now, I know there’s a TON of crap on Craigslist & other sites, but here’s what I’d recommend:
Take an hour or two and sift through the crap on Craigslist.
There are some good, legit job listings on this site.
Have your résumé & social media pages tidied up and ready to go to send off to a potential job lead.
Go on LinkedIn and look for available jobs through your home page (see below).
You can also go on the Student Job center here: https://www.linkedin.com/studentjobs. LinkedIn does a tremendous job of connecting its users with potential jobs. This is a great hub to search for job openings in your field.
Again, make sure your LinkedIn page is tidied up and represents you well.
Ask Your Network
This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people keep their job-finding struggles to themselves because of pride.
What recent grads might not realize is that a lot of people in your network see job employment opportunities come through their inboxes all the time – but they won’t know that you need help unless you explicitly put yourself out there.
So, if I were graduating soon, I’d post in Facebook groups I was a part of, email my list servs, and text people individually, telling them I’ll be on the job market in a few weeks and would appreciate any job lead they might be able to send my way.
Your network is huge when it comes to times like these. Use it to the best of your ability.
Put yourself out there, and ask for help to anyone who will hear you out.
Do Hashtag Searches
Hashtags have allowed us to categorize our digital thoughts and posts – take advantage of this. Search for hashtags that are relevant to your field and interests on places like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
Hashtags like, #jobopening, #jobopenings, #joblisting, #jobtips, #graduatejobs & #freelance are always a good start.
Yes, there will be a lot of crap you will have to sift through, but again, there might be some diamonds in the rough.
Don’t Limit Yourself
One of the biggest mistakes I made 3 years ago was limiting myself to looking for journalism jobs, since I was a journalism graduate with 5 years of print & digital journalism.
I totally screwed this up.
After opening myself up and realizing that I was not defined by my major, but rather by the skills and abilities I learned through this major and my experiences, it opened up an entire new world for me – and it’ll do the same for you.
You see, many new hires at companies are generalists, who work hard, learn, and get trained on the job.
Your goal is to figure out how your major helps you in your job seeking.
For example, if you’re a journalism major who is applying for a marketing job, discuss how it’s helped you be an effective communicator who knows Adobe Creative Suites and multimedia production (like I did in August 2012 at an interview). And add in how your experience in event production with your Greek organization has prepared you for large-scale planning and execution of big events (like I did).
Being well-rounded and knowing how to relate your strengths to many fields is a huge positive.
You’d be surprised how many opportunities are truly out there if you just lower your nose and humble yourself.
Stop looking at job positions as an end-all, be-all. Just because you interview for one position doesn’t mean you can’t wow someone and be placed in another – like me, when I interviewed for a front desk position at a gym in May 2012, but was offered a marketing position after highlighting all of my strengths and skills.
But it won’t come unless you are able to get over the notion that you are entitled to something. You’re not. No one is. Humble yourself and turn over every stone.
Was this helpful? What advice would you give to recent graduates as they try to break into the job market?