If you've graduated college recently, you're all to aware of the common things said about the current job market. "You won't find work so easily. Everyone expects you to have experience. Maybe you should just go to grad school to set yourself apart."
While job offers weren't falling out of the sky, they also weren't impossible to find. I did attend grad school immediately after earning my masters, but it was in no way to avoid the reality of having to join the workforce. If you're approaching graduation or just want to be better prepared for when the time comes, keep reading to see how I managed to get a job within two weeks, without perfect grades or any connections.
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Maintained my gradesJust because I didn't graduate with a 4.0 doesn't mean I cruised through my courses. I worked my butt off to earn the best grade I could, but a few Bs or Cs weren't the end of the world to me. Work to keep your GPA above a 3.5, otherwise, be sure to have something else to flaunt come interview time.
Especially within my degreeYou know those Bs or Cs I mentioned earlier? Well they definitely were not for my psychology or women's studies courses. Make sure your best grades reflect the courses you're supposed to be focusing on, meaning the type related to your field. That C I got in Microeconomics wasn't such as big deal to my grad school since all of my psychology courses illustrated how well I knew the relevant content.
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Took courses outside my fieldI'm a big proponent in double majoring, if only because you might as well get two degrees for the price of one! Can you tell I love a good sale? If you don't have the time or the desire, consider taking classes in fields that may be relevant later, like business or marketing. Skills like these are necessary no matter where you end up, and they're a great way to show you're open to multiple opportunities.
Participated in internshipsDo not graduate, I repeat, do not graduate without completing at least one internship. Why? Well only because it's the easiest way to get amazing job experience without having to have any actual experience to get the position. Did you get that? Basically, internships are this magical thing where you can get hired with no real skills, and leave trained to do a job, plus with a few recommendations.
I recommend you do a minimum of 1-2 internships, both on and off campus. I totally understand the struggle of working for free but trust me when I say it makes all the difference on your resume.
By the way, I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to career tips + resources for twenty somethings like you.
Had something other than college to talk aboutAs someone who majored in one of the most popular fields nowadays, I knew I needed to stand out come application time. With everyone having internships and trips abroad, I chose to talk about my writing and social media experience to set me apart. And guess what? It worked!
Find the one thing on your resume that no one else will have, then make sure to mention it either in your cover letter or resume. Blogging may not be applicable to all jobs, but a knowledge of SEO and social media tools definitely can be.
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Went where the jobs wereThere's definitely some truth in the fact that some cities don't have as many jobs as they used to, but don't think all places are that way. After graudation I moved to Washington DC, where I've easily managed to have three jobs in my two years living here. If your area isn't posting offers for the type of job you'd like, hop online and find where is.
Took advantage of fairs hosted by my universityCampus career centers don't get the praise they deserve, with revising your resumes and hosting grad school and job fairs year round. If you haven't made the effort to attend a job fair, do so before it's too late. Job fairs invite companies looking for applicants with similar skills for your level of experience, so get your resume polished and go mingle with prospective employers.
Are you struggling to get a job offer after graduation, or even an interview? Leave your questions in the comment below!