In today’s job market, it is nearly impossible to find employment without a bachelor’s degree, and oftentimes without a master’s degree. Unfortunately, recent college grads may still have trouble securing a professional position. The good news is, according to a report released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for individuals having recently earned bachelor’s and advanced degrees is experiencing a downward trend—albeit still high as compared to pre-recession days1.
In an effort to find a job, grads have to get creative in their search and implement more aggressive tactics. If you are preparing to don a cap and gown and head out into the business world late this spring, take a few of these tips into consideration prior to your job search.
Get an Internship
While obtaining a permanent, full-time position would be the best-case scenario, it is smart to take any opportunity that you can get. Internships are a great way to gain experience, network, and get your foot in the door with a company. If you do a good job, you may end up being offered a full-time position in the end. In the very least, you will have real-world experience to bring to another company. Interested in an internship? Search and apply for one in your area of expertise at Internships.jobs.
Attend Career Fairs
Whether virtual, through your school, or a public event, career fairs are a beneficial means to finding employment. These free events should be included in your job searching agenda and are meant to connect you with potential employers, allowing you to showcase your skills and experience face-to-face interaction with recruiters.
Create an Online Portfolio
Depending on what line of work you hope to be in, you may find it beneficial to have a compilation of your work prepared for an employer to review. Compile research papers, projects and work samples, along with a resume and professional headshot, into a simple website. This is your brand and it should represent you well. Want a more simple solution? Beef up your LinkedIn profile and include your past experience, contact information and current employment objective.
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s all about who you know.” Well, that phrase couldn’t be truer. Networking and building connections is a task that begins in college and never truly ends throughout the duration of your career. Find networking events in your city and make plans to attend, create a LinkedIn profile, and start connecting. This is a great way to acquire interviews and foster professional relationships that could be useful in the future.
Reach Out to Your Existing Contacts
Go through all of the contacts you have acquired through past positions, career fairs, school events, and personal connections and reach out to see if they know of any open positions you may be a good fit for. You never know where there might be an unadvertised opportunity waiting for you.
The key is to be proactive and start your search sooner rather than later—don’t take the summer off. Take the initiative, show an employer why they should offer you a position, and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away. Simply enjoy your last days as a college student and make plans to hit the ground running post-graduation!
Looking for tips on crafting a stellar resume? Get helpful tips and advice in this post regarding what employers want to see on a resume.
1 – Bureau of Labor Statistics; http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130405.htm