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How to Get a Job after College

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Are you one of the millions of college students who has absolutely no idea what to do after graduation? Thanks to the rising cost in education, you may have student loans to pay off soon. If so, check out this post on how to get a job after college. It includes resume writing tips, interview preparation guidelines and more. While most of the advice we usually give revolves around how to write essays and complete coursework, Ultius also knows quite a bit about preparing for life after college and invites you to check out some of our features that may help you prepare as well!

Personal networking in today's job market

Market yourself

Unemployment is not a fun situation and the effects unemployment has upon young people has proven to be detrimental in many facets of their lives. Following this strategy can help you avoid it. Before going to your next job interview, it is important that you first build your personal brand. Wondering what is a "personal brand" even is? Think of yourself as a big company. When you go to an interview you are selling your characteristic traits (company’s attributes) in hopes that you will be swept up as an employee. So, prior to going to an interview, you’ll need to make sure that you have properly laid the foundation for yourself and target what you want to sell to your potential employer. 

Are you selling your:

  • Wisdom?
  • Experience?
  • Youthful ignorance?

These are all questions that you need to ask prior to going into an interview or searching for a job. They will help you better understand what you want from your work life as well!

Need a job, but don’t have any experience? Learn how to write a resume with no job experience.

The internet is a resource, not the final word

It is also important that you go into the job market with an understanding that blind faith in the internet and online community will get you nowhere. We know many students who graduate and simply assume that they’ll get a job with some company if they just send out enough cover letters and emails. This is not the case! To truly put yourself in position to net a good job, you’ll need to network successfully. This can come in the form of online social networking or physical networking in the real world.

Form a network

Don’t think of networking as going to social events and handing out your business card. Think of it as doing a favor for a good friend and then, when the time is right, cashing out on your favor by having that person put you in contact with someone who is hiring. The best advice we’ve ever received about networking:

It’s not about how many people are in your network, it’s about how the people in your network increase your net worth!

Looking the meet new people after finishing school? Try the Tinder app! It's not just for dating.

Make your resume great

Another pre-interview necessity is crafting a good resume. Without a properly written resume (and a cover letter in some required cases) you will simply be another one of the hundreds of people pointlessly vying for a job opening. It never hurts to explore some tips on crafting a strong resume. Remember, no matter what, never hand a potential employee a resume longer than one (1) page. Unless you are applying for a position in the hard sciences, it is imperative that you keep your resume under this page limit. Your resume should point out the high points you have to offer to employers including:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Previous positions
  • History of promotion
  • Accomplishments in prior jobs

They key to a resume is to inform a potential employer of your basic qualifications. Further details of these qualifications will come during the interview process. Your resume shows that you have potential and garners you an audience with an employer. It is not intended to relate every pertinent detail about you.

Interview tips

It’s finally time to address the big question: how to succeed in an interview. Your interview is the one shot you’re going to get to sell yourself so make it count. Follow the three (3) crucial steps below to boost your chances of being employed by your dream employer:

1. Know what to wear--Not all jobs interviews require you to wear a suit and tie; many companies actually prefer that you come to your interview in a button-down shirt or more casual attire. This question (and others that involve dress) is one that you should definitely attempt to answer before showing up to your interview. But remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

2. Bring your resume--Many aspiring young people make the same mistake in their respective interviews everyday, forgetting to bring a copy of their resume. Don’t let this be you. Make sure to have a copy of your resume with you at all times when out on the job hunt. Remember, also, to bring the knowledge of your resume to your interview as well. Potential employers will grill you on the information in this document. Be prepared to answer any and all questions they may ask.

3. Listen and be honest-Most people who apply for jobs these days don’t have the listening skills of their elderly counterparts. That’s because our generation wasn’t taught to listen nearly as well as others. Ensure that before you open your mouth relating your own personal success story you at least do so in the context of your interview and after you ask yourself: Are you listening? Also, since the days of requiring polygraph testing in the interview process are long forgotten, still be sure to answer questions honestly. Fraudulent claims of your abilities can come back to haunt you in ways you cannot even imagine.

Good luck

In short, anyone can memorize hours and hours of positive things to say about themselves. But only prepared, poised and confident people can answer questions quickly and sufficiently on the fly because they listen well. So bring candor and your best listening skills to your next interview and never look back. Good luck on your next job interview and application!

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Ultius, Inc. "How to Get a Job after College." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. May 18, 2013 https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/how-to-get-a-job-after-college.html.

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