Vocate Blog

Finding Your First Job after College: It’s All in the Approach

Here's a riddle for the day: How is landing a job the same as landing an airplane? Answer: It's all in the approach.

It is understandable to feel at loose ends after graduation, especially when your access to career counselors at college or university ends. Moreover, you may find that the career counselors and recruiters you have encountered have not always provided real-world advice and tools for your job search. For these reasons, finding a job as a new graduate can be challenging. 

At Vocate, we get that what is needed is a way to help you bridge the gap between where you are professionally and where you want to be. With that in mind, here are some proven strategies to keep in mind as you come in for a landing on that first job search.

Approach One: Find a Great Partner

Pounding the pavement is not easy, whether that pavement is virtual or actual. A job search takes work, grit, and determination. That's why it makes sense to have a great partner in your corner to help you launch into your post-collegiate career with enthusiasm.

At Vocate, we help new grads find their ideal first job, and we're passionate about it. Vocate provides a place for you to work out what industries and functions are the best match for your skills, talents, and interests. With access to solid advice, tools that help you navigate your search, and companies that are actively looking for candidates like you, Vocate is a definite advocate in your career search corner.

Approach Two: Consider Internships

If landing a job does not happen right away, be willing and ready to find an internship. Working as an intern is an excellent way to get your proverbial feet wet in the profession of your choice. Internships help both new graduates and companies looking for new talent to connect. Rather than thinking of an internship as a fallback position, think of it as another investment in your future that is sure to pay off in terms of both professional and personal development.

Approach Three: Be Ready to Work Hard

It's your first job. You are the new kid on the block and you want to make a great first impression. That is why it's important to check your ego at the door. If you land a job with a new start-up, it might be hard to heed this advice, but do what you can to keep your mental game in check.

Take the attitude that every experience is a learning opportunity and be willing to take on the work that no one else wants to do. Hard work, dedication, team focus, and perseverance always get noticed. You may not be in your first job for your entire career, but you want to be able to speak positively about it … and have colleagues, customers, and your supervisor speak positively about you.

Approach Four: Build and Use Your Network

Your alumni office likely has a number of members who are working in the field or the location where you want to go. Online alumni directories are excellent sources for making a connection. Also look for networking groups in the area or field in which you want to be. Attend mixers, receptions, and presentations. While there, do not be shy about asking for business cards. It may sound old school, but strategies like this never go out of style because they actually work.

Approach Five:  Ask Around

If you want something, ask for it! This adage applies to your job search just as it applies in other areas of life. The more people who know what you are looking for in terms of employment, the more leverage you have. Tell friends, family, neighbors, and anyone else who will listen that you are actively searching for a job and explain what type of job interests you. Get as many people as possible on the lookout for opportunities for you. You may be surprised at the job leads you get with this approach.

Another tactic to consider is the informational interview. Ask friends, parents' friends, friends' parents and company HR professionals if you can have an informational interview. These are not job interviews, but they can help you to understand how a person got a certain position, what the job is really like, and what you can do to start a career in the same field. At the end of the conversation, ask if the person you interview could introduce you to two others in the profession too. 

Approach Six: Review and Revamp Your Social Media Presence 

There are countless stories about people young and old who have lost opportunities because of something on a social media platform that really did not belong in a public forum. Now is the time to make sure that your truly social social media presence will be acceptable. It is also time to build a LinkedIn profile, if you have not already done so. That social network is a go-to destination for professional networking and the platform has added features in recent years to help college students and recent graduates showcase their talents to prospective employers.

How to Taxi Down the Runway with Vocate

One of the most important things to remember is to find ways to enjoy your job search. That is easier to do with a strong advocate in your corner. With Vocate, you can use one application to apply for thousands of jobs, use our easy-to-navigate tools and advice to position yourself in the best light, and gain access to a range of experiences in many industries. Click here to get started with Vocate and zero in on the right approach for landing your dream job today.

Zack Andresen

Add comment