They say that college is the best time of your life, but what happens after those four years of independence, memories and parties? While we may hope our lives will turn out to resemble Anna Wintour’s, getting a job is difficult, especially right after college. With the competitive job market and the slumping economy, “it’s very difficult to stand out in the crowd,” says Chelsea Pech, a recent Boston University graduate. But fear not collegiettes, although we can’t guarantee you a job on a silver platter, our top 10 tips will point you in the right direction for snagging an awesome job.
1. Attend job fairs
Obviously, job fairs are an incredible way to meet potential employers. Since job fairs are more relaxed than a formal interview, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a breath and network, network, network! Like many other schools, Boston College’s Career Services Center provides students with career fairs and preparation meetings for job fairs. If your school’s helping you meet professionals, don’t pass it up! At a job fair, it’s an absolute-must to be outgoing: employers can’t do all of the work themselves! Check out how you can make the most out of your college career fairs.
2. Follow up with former internship supervisors
There are so many perks to scoring an internship during college: work experience, the occasional free swag, and most importantly, the connections. Whether you sporadically email your boss or ask her out for a cup of coffee, hold on to these connections. Your former bosses not only know you, but they understand how difficult it is to find a job after graduation. Since they know you on a more personal level, your old boss will be happy to help and glad you came to them for guidance. Not only might they have a position for you, but they can write you a stellar letter of recommendation.
Before Talie Tebbi became the Web Editorial Assistant for Oprah.com, she was a full-time intern for O, The Oprah Magazine. “One thing that was really important then and still is now is keeping track of every assignment,” says Tebbi. “Bosses want to know that they can count on you.” In addition to being on your intern A-Game, it’s important to do it with a smile. “I think it’s easy to forget, but we’re lucky to have the chance to work at these wonderful places in any capacity.” Internships aren’t the most glamorous, but they do pay off, especially if you keep in touch!
3. Set up a meeting with career services counselors
There’s no need to feel like you’re being intrusive at your college’s career services center: it’s their job to help you! Career services offices are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to scoring a job. Boston University’s College of Communication has its own Career Services Center that helps students connect with professionals where they hold weekly workshops, edit resumes, do individual counseling, and host biannual networking events. “We also have three employer relations people that work to get companies on campus to do recruiting and info sessions,” says Kelly Forde, counselor at Boston University’s COM Career Services. Every school has different things to offer, so stop by your college’s career services—the sooner the better! “We hope that the first time we meet you is not when you’re a senior,” says Forde.