Surviving the Reality of Your First Job Search

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We all wish we could graduate college and instantly start working at our dream job. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how real life works. There might be a good chunk of time between college and snagging your first “real” job, and here are seven tips for how to handle it.

1. Keep That Part-Time Job

If you were working throughout college, plan to keep that job after graduation. It may not pay a ton, but it can help you with your everyday expenses and get some bills paid.

Employers also don’t want to see a huge gap between jobs or between college and a job. This will help you avoid that and show you’re a committed employee who sticks around.

2. Don’t Compare Yourself

Chances are, at least one of your acquaintances is going to get extremely lucky and magically snag the greatest job in the greatest city.

Don’t compare your life to theirs. They’re going to post it all over social media, but don’t get caught up in it. No one is ever as happy as they seem on social media. And for almost everyone else but them, it takes a while before they get to where they want to be.

3. Check Job Postings Constantly

New jobs are getting posted all the time, and you want to try to apply within 48 hours of the posting. Set aside time each day to check your favorite job boards. Try to make it around the same time each day as well to stay on top of things.

The time that was used for studying during school should now be invested in trying to find a job.

4. Be Ready to Accept Something Other Than Full-Time

Yes, a full-time job is ideal. But with the blended workforce of today’s business environment, full-time jobs aren’t always the ones available. More and more places are offering freelance, contract, and part-time work. If it’s offered, take it. It’s a great way to gain experience and to round out your portfolio.

Depending on the work, you can also juggle a couple projects and make that full-time money on a less demanding schedule. It may end up being the ideal work for you.

5. Work Hard on That Resume and Cover Letter

You have a short time to make an impression on a recruiter. Make sure your resume and cover letter are going to blow them away. Take the time to tailor them for each job you’re applying to.

Show that you’ve done the research into the company and that you have the skills and experience the company is looking for. They’ll take notice.

6. Broaden Your Horizons

If you’re having trouble finding a job, maybe you’re looking in too specific an area. Try branching out to different states or cities that you’ve never considered before. If you want a particular position, it might not be in your ideal location. Some jobs are only going to be in bigger cities, while others cater toward rural areas.

Look in those places you haven’t before — you could end up loving the new area. And if you don’t, it’s not like you have to stay there forever.

7. Continue to Learn

Learning doesn’t stop with graduation. Continue learning and developing new skills that will be beneficial to your job search or that could open new doors for you. You don’t want to become stagnant and outpaced by people who continue to learn new things.

Employers want people who never stop learning — they can better adjust to new situations and tasks in a job setting.

It’s What You Make of It

The job search probably won’t be as easy as you wish it could be. That’s just how it works. But you can make that job search your own to get the results you want. After all, life after college is what you make of it.

****Campus to Career thanks Nathan Sykes for this unique post!!****

Bio: Nathan Sykes is a business and technology writer and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. To stay up to date on all things tech and business read his blog, Finding an Outlet, or follow him @nathansykestech.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

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