New Grad Job Search
As I’ve mentioned before, when I graduated college it was 2009 and the market had just crashed. On top of the sadness of leaving my friends and the panic of trying to enter the “real world”, I found myself competing for jobs against people who had years of experience who lost their jobs because of the recession. Not fun. The post grad blues are a real thing and “fun-employment” isn’t all that fun. But this story has a happy ending and if you are a new grad that is starting your job hunt, yours will too. I ended up getting my first job about 7 months after I graduated at a company I loved that moved me to Los Angeles and the rest is history.
Here are a few tips I have to help navigate that post grad-life and land that perfect first job.
Know what you bring to the table:
The most common question I get asked by college students is “How am I supposed to get work experience, when I need experience to get more experience?” It’s the college version of the chicken or the egg paradox. Well, I have some good news for you! You already have all the experience experience you need but you just need to package it in the right way. Most employers when hiring for entry level roles are looking for potential and skills rather than proven performance and experience. When you apply for a job, make sure to highlight any skills you picked up at your internship, share your what you have learned from starting your own blog or growing your social media following, mention any leadership roles you’ve held in a club, sorority or sports team, and let your interviewer know if you’ve had held the same summer job or worked while going to class full-time. All of these things count as your experience and this is what job posts mean when they are looking for experience for entry level roles.
Take the job search seriously:
True story, I once interviewed a girl for an internship position and she came to the office in what I assumed was the outfit she had worn out the night before (super cute for the club but not office appropriate), flip-flops, 10 minutes late, no resume, and … she brought her mom. I knew this girl from a college group I worked with and thought she was great in the classroom and to be honest, I was only going through the interview process as a formality as I wanted to offer her the role. However, after that meeting she quickly landed in my “no” pile. The moral of this story is no matter what, show up to every job interview like there is prize to be won and you are competing with the best of them because… you are. Make sure your resume has been checked and double checked and you bring multiple copies with you, show up early and prepared for your interview, do some research on the people you are meeting with, and be sure to write a thank-you note afterward.
*If you’d some help preparing for your interview, check out our New Hire Package!
Enjoy the process:
This may seem counterintuitive or impossible during the job search but please make sure to enjoy the process of graduating and searching for a job. You may feel like everyone else has got it all figured about but I promise you they don’t. Don’t take a job that is going to make you miserable or that is only going to pay you on commission. Take a part-time job or check out a few of the jobs below to keep you busy and float you while you find the right job for you. It’s okay to live at home to save some money. It’s okay to go on a road trip with your friends and sell merch at their shows and it’s okay go teach english in Thailand. This may be one of the only times of your life when you get to do this, so don’t take yourself so seriously. In 10 years, you may look back and realize those experience helped to define your career path.