The countdown to graduation is on…or you’ve recently crossed the stage and earned your degree. Now what? It’s time to turn your career vision into reality.
Yikes! What Next?
If it’s not too late, take advantage of on-campus interviews. When corporations travel to colleges and universities to seek out talent, they mean business. I can say from first-hand experience that connecting with a campus recruiter is a great first step on your career pathway. That’s how I landed my first job after graduation.
On the Web
There are a number of helpful websites and resources you can turn to as you enter the job market. These include:
- CollegeGrad.com. This site offers a variety of internship and entry-level job search resources. You can browse by industry or location. Another nice feature is a financial help center. I recently went to the site and clicked on the job “PR manager.” I was given a list of typical job responsibilities, as well as a “day-in-the-life-of” list that gave me a better feel for what it might be like to have that job. You also get lists of educational requirements, a look at the overall hiring outlook for various industries and positions, and salary ranges. The site also offers tips for those who have gotten job offers and need to seal the deal.
- One Day One Job.com. You can search for positions by location or field, and a career overview guide includes such lists as the best geographic areas to find a job in your chosen field. Other features include the pros and cons of a particular position (for instance, “as a PR manager, you’re always on call.”) One Day One Job also offers lists of resources including books, blogs and web sites to assist you. And, you can find career opportunities related to the position you’re seeking, which otherwise may not have crossed your mind. (For “PR manager,” I found “writing, marketing, social media, editing, blogging” and “communications.”)
- CollegeRecruiter.com. On this site, you’ll find informational articles and employer spotlights. In addition to searching for positions by keywords such as company name and location, you’ll find information on scholarships, loans, military careers and even health insurance.
- CoolWorks.com. As its catchy name implies, CoolWorks.com specializes in seasonal jobs, but also includes year-round opportunities at national parks, ski resorts, camps, ranches, theme parks and the like. The site’s job map lets you search globally for the perfect fit for you.
Get a Jump on the Competition
In this difficult job market, don’t rule out taking a contracting position. A successful six-month stint at a top tier firm in your geographic region (even if the pay is lower than you expected) gains you tremendous status. I cannot emphasize this enough. You will demonstrate that you can show up for work, perform assigned tasks and work well with your manager and peers. Ask for a letter of recommendation when the project is finished. Suddenly you are no longer in the “no work experience” category and all the associated risks an employer takes without a proven track record are vanquished. Finally, many of these positions can turn into full time positions when the economy turns around.
Generally, when a company hires a staffing firm, the target is candidates with at least two years’ experience. But you can get a head start by sending your resume to the Select Group now. Then you’ll be in our candidate bank and we can touch base as your plans move forward. I look forward to the opportunity to help you find your first position out of college. Contact us today so we can help jump start your career!