How to land a job after graduation

Published 12:22 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

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The road to graduation can be long and winding. Graduation is often an exciting time in a person’s life. However, it may also spark some anxiety as newly-minted graduates prepare to look for jobs and begin their careers. 

An unpredictable economic climate coupled with the rising cost of education can make soon-to-be graduates curious about what awaits them after graduation. According to the market data reporting firm Gitnux, 86 percent of college graduates can expect to find jobs within six months of graduation. 

While the economy can affect how quickly new grads begin their careers, it’s not the only variable that affects where grads go after tossing their caps in the air. Students on the cusp of graduation can employ various strategies to increase their chances of finding a job.

  • Start while in school. It’s never too early to think about the hiring process and what can be done to improve your profile as a candidate. Maintain a grade-point average that will impress employers, suggests Indeed. Also, part-time jobs and internships in your field will help you gain valuable experience and determine if working in a particular field is a good fit.
  • Select an off-peak time to search for a job. Many people start searching and applying for jobs simultaneously, typically after graduation ceremonies in December and May. That floods the market with applicants. Increase the chances your résumé is read by staggering when you apply for jobs and sending out inquiries before you graduate.
  • Streamline your résumé. Many companies receive thousands of applications per position, so it is essential to cater your résumé to the specific job you are applying for. Include keywords that match those in the job listing and will attract the attention of hiring managers. If you do not yet have experience, replace that section on the résumé with your accomplishments or special projects you have worked on.
  • Network as much as possible. Many job openings are learned about through personal relationships. Employers may not advertise widely and hope that word-of-mouth will bring applicants to their doors or through recommendations from other employees. Reach out to academic advisers, former professors and colleagues in your academic department. Be sure to maintain these networking relationships.
  • Consider growth-stage companies. The University of Missouri Career Center says growth-stage companies tend to hire entry-level professionals who do not necessarily have much experience. These are fast-growing companies looking to expand their operations and build company culture.
  • Utilize networking social media apps. Indeed and LinkedIn enable people to network and make it easy to apply for jobs directly through their sites or apps. There’s even the option to passively apply for jobs by uploading a résumé, where companies can search and find you if your skills are a match.

Finding a job after graduation is a priority for graduates anxious to begin their careers. Various strategies can help new grads find work sooner rather than later.