Job Search Advice for College Graduates

By Kylie Garrett

You've graduated college — congratulations! Graduating college and entering the “real world” can be both exciting and intimidating. This stage of life often comes with a variety of emotions, and when it’s time to find a job, many college grads don’t know where to start. Below are five tips to help new college graduates begin a successful job search that will lead to landing your dream job.

1. Select the career path and title most aligned with your dream job. 

Scan 10-20 similar entry-level jobs and take note of the skills each job requires.  Make sure you list those skills in your resume.  If you don’t have them, perhaps leverage online learning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, or LinkedIn Learning to learn the most relevant ones.

2. Update Your Resume

The average recruiter spends only six seconds reading a resume. Does your resume demonstrate why you would be a great fit? Start by keeping bullet points short and to the point. Use keywords that relate to the position you are applying for and make sure to add any experience that relates to the job description. You only have a few moments to make an impression, so don’t skip this step!

3. Be Proactive

Take charge of your own career! Success doesn’t show up overnight, but takes hard work and discipline. Job searches can be time consuming and at times frustrating. You may have to send out 50-100 resumes to land that first job. At times, it may seem like you’re sending a lot of resumes. Create a spreadsheet and keep track of all of your resume submissions and progress.  If you’re sending out a lot of resumes and not receiving a response, there may be something missing that’s not working for you.  Take the time to analyze where you’re getting stuck in the process. Are you getting interviews, but not getting offers? Perhaps working on your interview skills may be necessary. Are you not even getting interviews? Perhaps it’s your resume. Make time to analyze what’s working and not working so you can make corrections to your search process.

4. Network

Many professionals say that your biggest asset is your network. Studies show that you are 10 times more likely to land a job if your resume is accompanied by an employee referral. Get to know people in your preferred industry, whether that’s in-person or online via LinkedIn. Does your LinkedIn profile represent you in the best light to employers? Take the time to make sure that your LinkedIn profile shows employers the best version of you. Leverage LinkedIn to connect and send personalized messages to people at companies that you’re interested in.

5. Apply Consistently 

Last, for a new college grad it is important to apply to jobs consistently. It’s helpful to apply to a variety of jobs even if you feel underqualified or overqualified. The more jobs you apply to, the better your chances are of getting interviews, and ultimately, getting a job! It can be a numbers game. If you don’t apply, you won’t have a shot.

Job searching as a new college graduate can take some time and might come with frustrations. Remember to take action, clean up your presence, and reach out to those who have gone before you. One day you’ll look back and be thankful for all that you did to help your future self!

If you’re struggling and looking for in-depth guidance on your job search from industry experts, click on this link to schedule a consultation to see how PathMatch helps recent college grads land great first jobs.

Wondering what you'll do after college? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!