New graduates face one of the toughest job markets we’ve seen in decades. New grads must take charge of their job search in a way past graduates didn’t need to.
Hiring and salary freezes are more common than ever and career fields that once almost guaranteed high salaries are among the most difficult in which to job search now.
As graduation nears, here are some things to consider to make your search a success and find a great career.
New Grad Job Search Tips
- Network. One of the most valuable things you can do throughout your career is to make contacts. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to your advantage or start your own website telling potential employers a bit about yourself and highlighting your skills. You become more than just a resume if an employer can learn more about you online.
- Visit Your Career Center. Each college is different but many have fantastic resources for fixing up your resume, finding out what fields may best suit you, and putting you in touch with alumni who are often very willing to help with advice or hiring contacts.
- Freelance. Freelancing can be a great way to make some money and build some experience while looking for a more stable offer. Craigslist is a great place to start when looking for contract jobs. You may find that freelance income can earn you more than a 9-to-5 gig or that you can even keep it up in addition to a steady job.
- Save Money. Remember to take a look at any tax deductions you can take for expenses incurred during your job search and to start planning your financial future even if you’re still searching for a steady source of income.
- Be Flexible. It may help to consider some occupations that may not have occurred to you in a stronger job market. Becoming a teacher, police officer, or firefighter can lead to careers that society will always demand. These can be lucrative options for those who want to really help others.
- Get Creative. Look in places that others might be leaving off the list and that offer unique perks. For example, your college or university is probably full of great contacts (professors, dorm staff, admissions personnel) that you haven’t even considered. University employees receive admission to great entertainment like sporting events, bands, plays, and interesting academic forums, as well as graduate classes, for huge discounts, or even free!
What other job search tips would you share with new college grads?