So you recently graduated college – congratulations! Enjoy the graduation ceremony and well-deserved graduation commendations and celebrations. However, after commencement is over and you’ve moved out of college, you have to start thinking about the next step. For most people, unless they’re going to graduate school, that’s finding a job.
If you’re one of the people who secured a job before graduation, that’s awesome – you don’t have to worry about the job search. But, for everyone else, finding a job can be stressful – and an almost full-time job in and of itself.
That being said, there are many ways you can search for a job – some predictable and some not. So, whether you’re just starting your job hunt, or you’ve been looking for a while, here are the top five ways to find a job.
1. Use job search websites
This is the most obvious method that people use to find a job. Look through the standard job search websites, and use job titles, positions and other keywords to narrow down your search. Popular sites include Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor and LinkedIn Job Search.
Also, don’t just limit yourself to the general job websites – see if you can find any that are specific to your degree (or more general area of your degree). For example, for those looking for a career in journalism, check out JournalismJobs.com and Mediabistro.
2. Take advantage of your college’s career resources
Even if you’re an alumnus, there’s a good chance that your college will still let you use their resources. If you don’t know, reach out to your college and ask.
One good place to start is the career services center. Not only will they have resources and ideas to help you find a job, but they’ll also likely have professionals who can help you fix your resume and give you guidance on how to write a professional and polished cover letter.
Another resource is your past professors. Chances are, your professors worked for years in their field before they decided to start teaching students about it, so they likely still have contacts who are in the profession. Additionally, they’ll be able to give you advice about job searching in general and in your specific field, since they also had to go through that process after they graduated from college.
3. Ask people around you
If there are people that you know (including your family and friends) that are currently in the field that you want to get into, talk to them. They might be able to provide you with leads, or possibly connect you with someone else who can help you out.
In particular, you might want to reach out to recent college graduates who have a job. They were in the same position (that you’re currently in) not too long ago, so they might be more willing to help another recent graduate out.
4. Get in touch with your LinkedIn connections
This is especially regarding your connections who are in the career that you want to get into. In addition to currently being in the field itself, they’ll also likely have a whole network of people that they know who are also in the profession – at least one of them has to know of a job lead.
Furthermore, both your connection and the people they know probably hear about some job opportunities before they officially get posted. That means that you can reach out to the hiring manager (or whoever is receiving applications) and be one of the first to apply for the job, even before the general public knows about it and applications start flooding in. However, make sure you have a regular professional relationship with your connection – don’t just pop up out of nowhere asking for a job.
5. Reach out to your previous internship supervisor(s)
If you’ve had a past internship that’s in the right field, you liked the company and you got along well with the people, reach out to your connections there – especially your previous supervisor. Who knows? They might have a job opening in their organization.
Alternatively, if not, they might be able to give you some other leads to guide you in the right direction. Furthermore, they might know of an open position, be able to recommend you for that job and thus, give you a more direct route to the hiring manager. After all, a person that’s directly recommended is, most often, more likely to get a job than someone who applied through a job board.
Doing this is also a natural way to reach back out to your previous internship supervisors, particularly if you haven’t been in contact with them since you worked there. Not only is it a smart thing, in general, to keep up with your connections in the field, but you never know if you’ll need a past supervisor to be a reference for you for a future job application.
6. Directly target your dream companies
If you have companies in mind that you want to work for, why not reach out to them directly? On the other hand, if you don’t have any specific ones, do some research and find a few – it’ll also help you learn more about the career options for your degree.
Go to each company’s website, find out who you should contact (likely an HR person) and send them an email. Mention that you’re interested in working at their company – note something/a few things from their website that you like – and that you wanted to know if there are any job openings at the moment. If there are, great – follow up on those. If not, see if they can give you any leads or connect you with someone who can.
In any case, job searching is not easy – it takes a lot of time, effort, patience and perseverance. Keep plugging away and trying – hopefully you’ll find something soon. Good luck!