Sep 04, 2017

Graduating But Don’t Have a Job? Here Are Your 5 Next Steps

Graduating from college is supposed to be a thrilling and triumphant moment in your life, but if you haven’t yet secured a job, you may be feeling more anxiety and worry than elation. While your classmates are discussing the finer points of choosing a career path, you could find yourself wondering how you’ll make your student loan payments come September. Take heart: you’re not alone. At least 10 percent of all recent college graduates find themselves without a job as of their graduation day, and many more are underemployed. What’s more, there are meaningful steps that you can take to improve your odds of locating a job related to your field of study. If you find yourself graduating but not yet employed, here are the five things you should be doing right now to set yourself on the path to a meaningful career.


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Set up a meeting with your college’s career office

Of all resources that you have at your disposal, your college’s career office is one of the most helpful. After all, one of the main statistics that colleges are ranked on is the number of employed graduates, so your career office’s staff have a vested interest in helping you secure a job. From resume and cover letter help to information about networking opportunities, your career office provides you with access to a valuable support system that shouldn’t be ignored. Left your college town for your parents’ home for the summer? Your career center will almost certainly be able to set up a phone consultation with you.

Stay active in your job search throughout the lazy days of summer

Since summer has equaled vacation for so long, it may be tempting to take time off from your job search with plans to pick things up again come Labor Day. However, graduation day is the perfect time to face reality: summer breaks are likely a thing of the past. You don’t need to spend all day every day committed to job search activities, but you should plan to spend at least a few hours each weekday pursuing opportunities so that you don’t fall behind your peers.

Fine tune your cover letter and resume

Those that are new to the job search game may not realize the mistakes that they’re making with their cover letter or resume. For better or for worse, employers may decide not to give an otherwise qualified candidate a second look due to an easily fixed error on their resume. Seek out advice from your career office and other trustworthy advisors in order to make sure that your cover letter and resume are as polished as possible.

Seek out informational interviews

As you’ve probably found out by now, getting interviews can be difficult. Informational interviews, on the other hand, can be easier to obtain if you apply a little leg work. Connecting with alumni from your college or friends of your family who are in job roles similar to the one that you desire can help you gain valuable insights into how to secure a job of your own.

Network, network, network

Merit and skill are important, but in a tough and competitive job market, who you know is just as important. It takes a while for many recent graduates to understand the importance of networking, but those who grasp its critical role are more likely to secure a job offer sooner. From alumni to family friends to your own friends who have been lucky enough to find a job already, reach out to those who work for companies and in industries that you’re interested in to see if they know of any available job openings. Desirable jobs are often filled through personal and professional contacts before they’re even posted to job sties, so honing your networking skills can help you gain access to a much wider range of job opportunities.

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