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10 Tips For Landing Your First Job After College

get your first job

You’ve graduated college and have now entered the real world. You come to the realization that you need a job and have to support yourself. How do you begin and what do you need to do to get a job after college? Well, start by following these 10 tips!

1. Make Sure Your Resume & Cover Letter Are On-Point

Before you apply for a job, you need to have a resume and cover letter tailored to the position. With you being a recent college graduate, your resume should be no longer than one page. Also, your cover letter should detail why you’re interested in the job, why you would be the perfect candidate, and what makes you stand out.

On your resume, you need to include the following:

  • Academic History: GPA, College, certifications, and seminars.
  • Career Experience: Internships and past jobs.
  • Special Skills: List your skills that are relevant and unique.
  • Community Service: Employers love seeing that you care about giving back.

Resume Side Note: NEVER lie about anything on your resume. Employers can easily catch a cheater!

2. Have A Portfolio

Depending on your field of study, it may be beneficial to create a physical or website portfolio. This is essential to have if you’re involved in the marketing, social media, graphic design, website, photography, videography, and acting industries. There are plenty of free website builders like Wix, that you can use to build an eye-catching portfolio.

3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

get a job after college
Is your LinkedIn profile complete?

Most employers are going to look at your LinkedIn profile to get insight into your online professionalism. If you don’t have an account, create one IMMEDIATELY! Update your LinkedIn profile with your academic and job history, skills, courses, accomplishments, and interests. Also, you should have a professional looking profile photo. Prior to your interview, it wouldn’t hurt to connect with the company and employer you’re interviewing with.

Besides updating your LinkedIn profile, you can use the platform as a tool to search for prospective jobs. Learn more about how you can find career opportunities on LinkedIn.

4. Use ALL Job Search Resources Available To You

You may have more job search resources than you think! This includes job search websites like Indeed, past college professors, family, friends, LinkedIn connections, and your local newspaper. Even though using search websites may be easier, utilize all the resources that are available to you. 

5. Apply For Jobs That You’re Qualified For

Most job listings describe what they’re looking for in a candidate. Before applying, make sure to look over that thoroughly. If you’re clearly not qualified for the job and don’t have enough experience, don’t apply. However, it is helpful to look at these listings to see if there are any skills you’re lacking that you could learn. 

6. Practice Interview Questions

It’s essential that you’re prepared for an interview. Leading up to it, you should practice answering interview questions like, “Why do you want this job?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” This will not only increase your chances of landing the position, but make you feel more confident going in. Also, you may encounter some outside-the-box type of questions that catch you off guard. I recommend staging a practice interview with a friend who can ask odd questions to help you mentally prepare.

7. Research The Company Before The Interview

Before you go for an interview, make sure you know all about the company and the person you’re interviewing with. Know the company’s mission, the company heads, and their products and services. Come up with a few questions about the company you would like to ask during your interview. If you don’t have any, they may think you’re not interested in them and their industry. Also, if you can, come up with a few suggestions that could help their company. They’ll really appreciate that!

8. Dress To Impress

get a job after college
Do you have professional business attire in your closet?

For an interview, you need to look professional. When an interviewer first meets you, they’ll be judging you based on your appearance. You need to appear as though you care about yourself and being there. In general, wear a business outfit that you’re comfortable in, is wrinkle free, and consists of neutral colors like black, gray, or navy. The chances that you’ll get a job after college will increase if you appear professional. 

9. Be Conscious Of Your Body Language

During an interview, you need to know what your body is doing. An interviewer can tell a lot about you just by the way you sit and move.

Here are the body language essentials you need to follow during an interview:

  1. Give the interviewer a firm handshake.
  2. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer.
  3. Sit up straight and don’t slouch.
  4. Try to avoid fidgeting whether it’s shaking your leg or biting your lip.
  5. Even if you’re nervous, appear as relaxed and confident as possible.

10. Follow Up After The Interview

After every interview, it’s important to follow up whether via phone call or email. Even if you don’t think you got the position, follow up with the interviewer. They’ll appreciate this and it may even help you get the job! This is also the time to ask any more questions you may have.

 

These are the top tips that will help you get a job after college. Remember, it’s likely you will not get one right out of the gate. However, after putting in the time and effort, you’ll get your first professional job! It may not be your dream position, but you’ll feel accomplished knowing all of your education and hard work finally paid off.

Related Post: 4 Things To Keep In Mind When Applying To Jobs Online

 

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Sam Johnson
I’m the resident geek of Grapevine who likes to write about the things I love—which is almost everything! Seriously. I love movies, sports—and movies about sports—tech, sci-fi, playing Xbox, jamming on guitar, hanging with my buddies, eating nachos, and drinking beers. Good beers. Not that horrible mainstream light stuff.

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