The PathMatch Guide to Landing Your First Job

By Kylie Garrett

You’ve gotten your degree, but now what? You might have thought about what your first job could be, but not what it takes to land it. Earning your first job requires work and in-depth research, so to make it easier, we’re providing you with our PathMatch Guide to Landing Your First Job below! 

1. Set Goals

Before you begin, it’s important to identify your end goal or “big picture.” Set goals for your job search that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will help guide your work and trigger new behaviors to help you achieve your goals. Throughout this process you will gain a long-term vision with short-term motivation.

2. Where to Job Search

There are several tools online to help you find companies with open positions. LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed are just a few networking and job search sites to check out.  Be sure to set up email notifications when using an online job search tool to ensure you are notified when a new listing is posted. When using LinkedIn, it’s important to optimize your profile in order to get noticed by recruiters. This includes adding a profile picture, experience, skills, and education. 

In addition to online search tools, don’t forget to tap into your network. Networking is a great way to get to know others in your preferred industry and get advice. If your resume is accompanied by an employee referral, you are 10 times more likely to land a job.

3. Resume Tips

Before submitting any applications, make sure your resume is updated. This is a key step in the job search process. Your resume should be tailored to each job you apply for. Make sure you use specific keywords and phrases from the company’s job description and highlight your relevant skills. Studies prove that 90% of Fortune 500 companies are using electronic Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to sort through resumes which require a specific format. Learn more about ATS and how to optimize your resume here.

4. Interview Preparation

Last, you need to be prepared for interviews. This is likely your first opportunity to speak with your potential employers face to face or over the phone. Research the company’s history, values and mission. This information will help you in your interview and allow you to ask questions over what you read. In addition, make sure you have answers prepared for the most common interview questions that highlight your skills. Remember, you want to have concise, quality answers rather than something that is long with less substance and valuable information for the interviewer.


This information provides you with a great start to landing your first job out of college. We know this process can be intimidating, and that’s okay! If you’re looking for more help click this link to schedule a consultation. Our mission at PathMatch is to help you throughout this process. We can give you a better chance of finding the first job that you are sure to love.

Want to job search from anywhere? Download the Pathmatch app to discover companies that match your interests, strengths, and goals! Pathmatch can help find the perfect career fit for you!