Job Hunting 101: How to Be Sure to Land a Job When You Graduate

When you're a senior in college, you definitely feel some pressure as it gets closer to graduation. But, even freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can take some helpful tips from this blog post. How can you be sure to land a job when you graduate? Well - For starters, being prepared and starting early will bring you the best possible scenario. Not only that, it'll also give you the most options. Knowing what job you want definitely helps, but is not necessary - Once you start looking for jobs, you'll figure out pretty quickly what kind of work you want to do. Or at least what kind of job you want to start out doing. Let's dive deeper into how to land a job by the time graduation rolls around.  


I'm sure you've heard this before, but internships are an amazing way to get started in your industry before you've graduated. For some internships, you get school credit. For others, you'll get paid. Regardless, internships give you lots of experience. Personally, I learned so much in a very short amount of time - Internships are usually just one semester long. Lots of my friends landed jobs from their internships, so that's highly likely if you really love and excel in the company. More often than not, your school counselor/job coach/whatever their title is will help students get matched with internships - Especially if you're required to have an internship in your major, like I was. Work experience programs allow you to gain lots of experience in a short amount of time, experience what a workplace is like, and sometimes you can land a job after yours.  

Build a Good Foundation

Having a solid foundation is key to anything in life, but especially in the workforce!

Make sure you have a good work ethic in place before you go work for any company -

This includes good time management skills, prioritizing tasks, good routines, and not allowing yourself to get too distracted. These are all things that will be indispensable to an employer. Getting good grades, going to class, and working hard in school are all great foundations to start with. If you have a solid foundation in place, it'll make it that much easier to land the job you've had your eye on.  

Start Applying Before You Graduate

This is important - Unfortunately (and fortunately) for us, there are less jobs than there are graduates trying to get them. Which means - You'll be fighting for the job you want. Especially if it's an amazing opportunity. The good news is, if you're a strong candidate with great skills, you'll land that job no problem. Starting to apply before you graduate will give you that much more of a edge against the competition. You will have more options for positions, since they won't be swooped up yet. Starting early is always a good idea.  

Use All the Connections You Made in College

  job hunting 101   Networking is king. Think about how many people you met in college - Probably at least 50-100, depending on how big your school is. You can use your resources to help you find a job! That doesn't even include professors, staff, or professionals you've met in your college career. Most often times, people you know can help you find a job. Everyone is working for different companies in different departments. There has to be someone you know that works at the company you want to work for, or you have a friend of a friend who works there. This is all fair game. Most people will try to help you since they've been in that position before, and they know what it feels like to be job hunting. Don't be afraid to reach out. It doesn't hurt to ask, right?  

Have Informational Interviews

Informational interviews are key in the job hunting process. These are conversations with professionals in the workplace about the type of work they do and what they do on a daily basis. For example, if you wanted to work at a marketing agency, having an informational interview with one of the higher-ups at the company would be a really smart move. For two reasons. One, because you'll get an inside look at what their job entails - What their day-to-day looks like, everything they get to do, etc. And two, because it opens the door to a job for you at that company. If you apply for a position, that person you interviewed with will recognize your name in the stack of resumes and give you a good recommendation. That is, if you gave them a good impression. :) You can have informational interviews with:
  • Your parent's successful friends

  • Business people that are doing good work in your community
  • Anyone in your potential field of work


Practice Your Interview Skills

You don't want to have done all this hard work - Working hard in school, prepping your resume, applying to jobs, etc. only to bomb the actual interview! So, what do you do? Practice. Know what kinds of questions your interviewer will probably ask - There are the standard interview questions like, "What's your greatest strength?", and some standard questions specific to your field. Nothing a quick Google search can't fix. Having informational interviews is a great way to brush up on your interview skills. Especially informational interviews with people in your field - This way, they can let you in on some questions an interviewer might ask, or at least important things you should already know going into the interview. Another tip is doing LOTS of research before your interview on the company itself. Did the company just win an award? Go public? If you can weave these timely topics into your interview, it shows the interviewer that you are informed, care about what the company is doing, and sharp. How else can you practice interview skills? Friends, and family! Make them sit down with you and pretend it's the real interview. Do it without your notes in front of you, to make sure you're well prepared.  

Clean Up Your Resume

  job hunting 101   The dreaded resume - You need to have it updated in order to start applying for jobs. Not only updated, but also as close to perfected as you can get it. Luckily, you have resources. Your career counselor at your school can look over it to make sure it's good to go. So can your parents! (Hey, they've applied for a job or two in their day, right?) Getting your resume together is one of the best ways to prepare for life after college. You'll use it A LOT - more than you even realize right now. Plus, having a good resume right now makes it that much easier to update once you are ready to apply for that next job. So, what do you put on your resume? Skills, work experience, and any relevant extra-curriculars. As far as skills go, realize what makes you different and highlight that. Remember to write all of your relevant skills down first, and you can cut some later - Some skills that you don't even realize are valuable will pop up. Know Photoshop? That's a very valuable skill! For work experience, put every job you've had so far. Most likely, you haven't had many yet, and some may be in restaurants or retail. Put those on there! They show work ethic, drive, and valuable customer service skills that will impress employers. Lastly, include any extra-curriculars - Any work for non-profits, philanthropy, clubs you were apart of, awards you received, etc.  

Be Persistent

The follow-up. Almost the most important part of the whole process. Have you heard those stories, of people "bugging" their potential employer multiple times, and eventually they landed the job? This is persistence. Employers love when people follow up, follow through, and are persistent in their pursuit of their dream job. In fact, some employers won't call someone back if they didn't follow up, even if it's a great candidate for the job. Persistence shows that you really want the job, and shows that you will be a very conscientious employee in the future. They need someone that has their sh** together - pardon our French.   There you have it, sorority babes and fraternity dudes! You're sure to land a job after graduation if you follow everything in this article! Take it from our personal experiences - If you really want that job, are persistent in your pursuit of getting it and make sure you are prepared, you will be unstoppable!  
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