Professional job-search tips every recent college grad should know

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 13, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

Everything college graduates need to know about entering the “real world.”

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Graduation season is upon us! Approximately 1.6 million U.S. college students are expected to graduate this month and enter the “real world.” According to AfterCollege, Inc., only 17 percent of graduating seniors reported having a job lined up as of April.

If you find yourself among the 83 percent still looking for a job, it’s time to get serious about your search. Use the tips below and the accompanying articles to kick your job hunt into high gear.

Become a professional explorer.

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Never fear!  This is the perfect time to explore various career paths. Consider your first few positions to be part of this discovery process. Use these roles to learn about different industries and decide which type of work you like most. Remember, even the worst job has a silver lining.

Don’t be afraid to intern.

If you’re having difficulty breaking into your desired field, be willing to intern to get your foot in the door. Many “entry-level” jobs today require one or more years of relevant experience. If you didn’t intern during college, this puts you at a disadvantage. Look for internships that offer some schedule flexibility so you can build your resume and still have time to take on a part-time job to pay the bills. 

Update your resume.

As an entry-level job seeker, you’re expected to have a one-page resume. Remove any references to your high school career and focus on highlighting your education, leadership skills, relevant internships and accolades achieved during your time in college. Set yourself apart from the crowd by avoiding these common resume mistakes.

Invest in your network.

You are ten times more likely to land an interview when your job application is accompanied by an employee referral. But in order to gain those coveted referrals, you first need to network. Connect with former classmates, advisors, and those you met during your internships and schedule informational interviews. Sign up for career fairs and other local networking events related to the job search or your desired industry.

Build an online professional brand.

A Jobvite study found that 94 percent of employers use social media to recruit and 86 percent are likely to check out your online profiles once you apply to their job. Translation? If you want to attract employers, you need a polished online brand. Update your professional profiles to align with your current resume and hide your personal accounts so no recruiter will ever see them.

Click on the following link for more job-search resources for recent college graduates.

Did you know that TheLadders now services all career-driven professionals? Download our free app today to start your job search or visit TheLadders online at theladders.com.  

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, New to the Workforce