Selecting Your First Job Out Of College?

May 13, 2011

Choosing your first job out of college is a tricky task. On the one hand, today’s economy doesn’t necessarily provide the most open doors into those “dream jobs.” Holding out for that dream offer may cost you just as great of opportunities in the mean time. Many graduates instead intern for free at companies, take time off to travel, or choose to go to grad school because that opportunities just aren’t there.

The challenge then becomes how to pay off student loans. With interest beginning to acrrue just a few months after graduation, the reality of the real world can be scary for many.

As as career seaker fresh out of college, what’s most important to you? Is it the pay, the prestige of the company, the experience, the room for growth or something else? Our advice to job seekers would be to:

First, use more than craigslist. Don’t stop at craigslist, monster.com or any of the other online job boards. Tap into your network, ask your parents to ask their friends, ask your relatives. You’d be surprised how by asking people if they know anyone hiring how often they do!

Another tip is to not be cocky. It’s great that you graduated from college with a 4.0 and Honors, but there are also thousands of other great students who just graduated this year as well. Be honest in your interviews, and be yourself. Talk about how you’ll be a great fit for the company and what makes you stand out from the other candidates. Don’t just focus on your GPA or degree, but the things outside of your resume that you’d bring to the table.

And lastly, start sooner than later. Beef up your resume now, send out some cover letters. Don’t wait until after graduation like 80% of your classmates will. Take the jump early, even if it’s just a few weeks. This will give you an edge, and any advantage is good!

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