Job Search Advice for Recent College Grads


Congratulations! You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and graduation is almost here. All of those long hours you put into studying for exams, writing papers, and working on projects will soon be a thing of the past. But before you start celebrating, now’s the time to ramp up your job search efforts. Take these tips into consideration as you search for that first post-grad job.

Make sure your social medial profiles are cleaned up.

We all know you enjoyed the parties and festivities associated with graduation, but your future employer doesn’t need to know the details. Keep your social media settings private so your boss doesn’t make a judgement call about you.

Optimize LinkedIn.

Use a professional looking photo, not a selfie you took in the bathroom mirror. Showcase internship experience and other skills and abilities to make it easier for recruiters to find you.

Network, network, network.

Create a wide network of who you know, who your parents know, and even who your aunts/uncles know. Let everyone know that you are graduating with your degree and what industry/career you are looking to enter. You never know whose company may be looking to hire. In fact, referrals still rank as the preferred way for many companies to hire.

Customize your resume.

Each position you are applying for has different requirements, so it makes sense that your resume will be different for each position. Try highlighting classes you took, projects you worked on, or aspects of your internship that align with the requirements of the specific position.

Utilize your college’s Career Services Center.

You may not think to use Career Services after graduation, but companies continuously contact colleges when they are looking to fill entry-level positions. Small-to-medium sized companies often don’t reach out to Career Services until they have a need, unlike the larger ones that plan months ahead for their hiring classes.

Consider volunteering or an internship.

If you’re having trouble finding a paying job, consider an internship or a volunteer opportunity. Companies are just as willing to hire college grads for internships as they are students. Keeping busy in a productive manner is a great use of your time while job searching. Not only are you adding valuable experience to your resume, but you never know when the internship or volunteer gig could turn into a paying job.

Don’t dismiss a position just because you haven’t heard of the company.

For every new graduate hired by a well-known Fortune 500 company, there are dozens hired by smaller local companies. Unless you’ve done business within their specific industry before, chances are you won’t be familiar with what they may have to offer. Many of these companies can be great places to start your career since you will likely have a larger impact than at a larger organization where you are just another employee. Be open-minded and take every legitimate opportunity seriously.

Have goals, but be realistic.

Not everyone walks right into their dream job. Heck, some people never get there. Taking an entry-level position can be a great way to get your foot in the door at a company or industry you want to work in.

Utilize employment agencies.

There are countless employment agencies out there, so try and find one that specializes in your industry or the area of the country you wish to work in. Employment agencies have developed relationships with companies and are often working on positions that may not be posted anywhere else online.

Here at Key Resource Group, we’ve been placing administrative, accounting, legal, and HR candidates in direct hire, temporary-to-hire, and contract positions in Western New York for over 30 years. If you’re looking to begin your career here in Buffalo, get in touch with one of our recruiters today.