Job Search Advice For College Grads
Looking for a job after college produces a special kind of anxiety for many soon to be
grads. For some, graduation is an exciting new beginning and the official start of adulthood.
However, for many others it can be a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. We’ve all been told
“college is the best 4 years of your life”. The thought of the best years of life being over with (at
22) does not exactly elicit much excitement for many people. Furthermore a competitive job
market makes it increasingly more difficult to find a job not only enjoyable, but also well
There are many things college students can take advantage of to boost their chances of
landing that first post-grad job, and alleviate some of the anxieties which come along with the
hunt. A person’s social network can be their greatest asset. Job opportunities can come from
relatives, friends, friends of friends, your boss from your crappy high school job, your former
babysitter, you name it. I’ve noticed sometimes getting a job through connections is looked
down upon. “Joe got a job at Google, but he got it through his uncle so…” is the type of
statement I’ve heard some of my friends make. While it’s commendable to get that first job
without any help, there is no shame in getting assistance from wherever you can get it. This in
fact is how I got this internship at BNA and I’m not at all ashamed by it…I am working!!
Students should also look to take advantage of the services their school or university
offers. Most career offices offer services such a resume and cover letter workshops, mock
interviews, and job search tools. These services can be invaluable, and should be taken
advantage of while you’re still in school and have access, as these services are only usually
available to current students.
Upon entering my junior year of college, I was nervous about my summer internship
search. The past three summers I worked at a sleepaway camp. While I have no regrets, camp
counselor is not exactly the resume booster. Before working as an intern at BNA, I applied to
numerous internships through LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job search services. I received very
few responses, let alone interviews or offers. Despite going to a good school and getting good
grades, my internship search was unsuccessful. I did not take full advantage of what my
university had to offer and was not making the most of my network. The countless emails in my
inbox from companies that started with “unfortunately”, spoke for themselves.
I was once told during an interview my resume was boring, because I didn’t list any of
my interests or hobbies. While my grades and extracurricular activities were impressive, my
resume didn’t allow me stand out from my peers. Chances are there is somebody out there with
an almost identical transcript and resume as you do and it can feel almost impossible to stand
out. Use your resume to show who you are and what you are passionate about. Employers
look at those skills just as much as they do your transcript and GPA.
To get your foot in the door and land that first job after college, use the network you have
built up over your entire life, take advantage of job search services while they last, and provide a
bit of humanity in your resume.
Written by: Andrew Shlafmitz