Jonathan Lau

Jonathan Lau

Life After College | Finding a Job | June 2012

How To Get A Job: Five Tips for New College Grads

By Jonathan Lau | For StudentAdvisor.com

College graduation has come and gone, and many grads are still sending out resumes and cover letters hoping to be hired by the end of the summer. Want to know how to get a job out of college? We talked to InternMatch and got some tips about the best ways to land a great gig.

Last month, InternMatch surveyed over 10,000 seniors in our database and came up with some alarming statistics:

  • 82 % of upcoming graduates have not secured a job for after graduation
  • 82 % of those who secured jobs completed at least one internship
  • 55 % of seniors have looked/been looking for a job for three months or more
  • 44 % of upcoming graduates are planning to move back in with their parents

Looking at those statistics, InternMatch knew they needed give the Class of 2012 these
5 job search tips:

1. Work an Internship: Remember when you applied to college and you had safety schools? If you are graduating you might have had your heart set on a full-time job, but now more than ever before, internships are being used by employers as a trial period that, if done well, can lead directly to a job. In addition, interning allows new grads to develop skills while conducting their job search and is a great way to prove ambition in future interviews. 

Internships are often the most practical places to literally learn how to do what you are paying tens of thousands of dollars to study. Internships show you how a job, how a company, and how an industry fit into the grand scheme of the economy. They teach you why the trade exists, its history and its future. Here’s what an internship will teach you that textbooks rarely do:

  • How to meet deadlines
  • How to respect peers and earn their respect
  • How to follow an employer’s specific code of behavior
  • How to multi-tasking projects
  • How to develop a new set of social skills interacting with people of different ages and backgrounds
Learn more about how to get the most out of your summer internship by checking out the InternMatch Mastering Summer Internships blog.

2. Look in non-traditional places: Simply looking on company websites and major job boards such is not going to cut it. Graduates of the class of 2012 are going to have to fully embrace their social media roots in their job search. Accounts on professional social networks such LinkedIn need to be not only up to date, but also carefully crafted as resumes. Job seekers must stay active on Twitter to snag openings companies and recruiters are tweeting out. Jobs are hiding all across the internet these days, so leave no rock unturned.

3. Build a non-traditional resume: Digital resumes have opened the door to a world of new possibilities for supplementing your resume. By hyperlinking parts of your resume to an online portfolio, professional blog, or video, new grads can set themselves apart from the pack. A hyperlinked resume means that a recruiter is always just one click away from more information and examples of your work. Don’t limit your resume to just an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper. For inspiration check out the entries of InternMatch’s Kill the Cover Letter contest.

4. Ask for help: A job search should not be a solitary endeavor. Use your existing network. Often times, new grads underestimate how big their networks are. Open a spreadsheet and start filling it with names of people who can, or know somebody who can, help in your job search. You will be pleasantly surprised by how many people you know.

5. Take your search to the recruiter: Filling out job apps is a very passive affair. Instead of waiting to be discovered, actively take your job search to the companies and recruiters. Attend job fairs, where you can get in front of many recruiters at once. Run a Google Ad Words campaign targeting specific recruiters and hiring managers, maybe even show up at the office and try to meet with the hiring manager. Hack and hustle your way onto a company’s radar.