Job Search Advice for Recent Grads of All Ages

Given the growing prevalence and popularity of online colleges, adult continuing education, and simply those who are calling their own shots when it comes to their educational and professional timelines, college graduates emerge from a variety of demographics and generations. However, despite your age or stage in life, there is one notion that college graduates from all walks of life share in common: Finding a job.Young Job Seekers2

For recent graduates, entering the job market can be incredibly daunting. It’s difficult to even know where to begin. While there may be a number of resources available to you, it takes some expertise to narrow down the best ones and where to access them.

Therefore, in order to make your post-collegiate job search just a little bit easier, we have devised a helpful list of tips; and the key is to start before you graduate.

The recent graduate’s guide to getting a job

Make your resume specific. Ensure that you’re not just sending out one resume for a variety of positions. Instead, tailor your list of skills (and transferable skills) to match those which your potential future employer is seeking. Remember, now many companies use what are called applicant tracking systems.

Making your resume “stand out” means using specific keywords that will allow your resume to pass through the computerized tracking system. If you’re using a generic resume for all of your jobs, then you are far less likely to be noticed.

Follow your industry closely. Although you may be overwhelmed by the volume of available jobs, at least having your preferred industry narrowed down can be helpful. Consequently, it’s smart to keep up to date on what’s happening within your field of choice. This allows you to remain aware, but it also allows you to know where you should apply and how. There are a number of ways to stay aware of your industry, including social media groups and company feeds.

Always check for new job opportunities. Do your best to apply for a job within a few hours after it’s posted; this means that you should be checking up on new postings regularly. It’s a good idea to integrate applying for jobs into your daily routine.

Understand what it is that you’re looking for. You should think a great deal about what it is you want out of a career. Remember, the ideal job is often about more than just salary and hours. A company’s values and culture — and how they match with your own — are also important to consider. In other words, think of what inspires you. You want to love what you’re doing.

Be prepared for the interview, even before it happens. Everyone knows that you should be prepared for an interview, but not everyone is prepared before they even land one. Preparing answers to more common questions will boost your confidence. In addition, you should research the companies that you are most interested in preparation for an interview if you get one. It also makes it so that you understand what companies interest you the most and why.

Understand that building a career is a learning process. Your first job might not necessarily be your dream job, but you will likely learn a great deal from it. You will further recognize your likes and dislikes and the types of people with whom you prefer to work. Nevertheless, you will also make mistakes, but none should deter you from you goals. Each challenge or “setback” is part of the learning process.

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What are some resources that I can use to find a job?

Your Alumni network. Your college alumni group is an excellent way to make connections that could lead to a job. This doesn’t mean asking them for a job immediately, but it does mean that you should reach out to these contacts and ask for advice. Be sure to let them know your education and experience. These interactions may lead to a job in the future; and these connections can be invaluable.

Your College’s Career Office. This is a basic, yet crucial, resource. The career office can assist you with your career coaching needs, and also help edit your resume to fit your desired field and job. Additionally, you may find career listings and internship opportunities in your college’s career office. The wealth of resources here is endless.

Recruitment programs. Many companies have specific recruitment programs designed to recruit future employees from specific colleges. This can be both in-person (i.e. someone comes to your school to talk to you) or online.

Job Fairs. Your college or university will likely hold a career fair at some point before you graduate. Representatives are in attendance to answer you questions and allow you to make connections that could lead to some great employment opportunities down the road . In fact, some students  may even land an interview during one of these job fairs.

While searching for a job can be intimidating for any college graduate, you must remember that finding the right job is a process that takes time and preparation. You should also remember that it’s okay to decompress for a little while after graduation, giving yourself time to experiment with ideas and learn more about what you may want or not want out of your career.

Whether you are currently searching for a job, or when you’re ready to begin building your career, this list can provide you with some advice on how to make finding and securing your ideal job just a little bit easier.

Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon offers an array of career services to both individuals and corporations. Our staff is dedicated to our clients’ success via innovative job search processes, employment management strategies, and state-of-the-art technologies. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200