Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The idea of graduating from college is both exciting and nerve-inducing. It’s the start of a new chapter, and the opportunities are endless. However, there’s no telling what the future could bring. The job market is in a really bad place due to the pandemic, and there aren’t as many opportunities, so there is a possibility that after years of work and commitment, someone could end up unemployed after graduation.

The good news is that if you build your resume, do your research and apply to as many places as possible, then there’s still a good chance that you could find a job. Here are five helpful tips that have helped me thus far in my job search! 

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute 

Don’t wait till the last minute to start searching for a job. I know in the movies, they wait until graduation, and a job just stumbles into their lap at the perfect time, but unfortunately, that’s not how it works in the real world most of the time. Since most people will have to financially support themselves following graduation, it’s important to start your job search prior to graduating.

There are some places that are looking for immediate hires, so they won’t offer you the position, but there are still plenty of companies looking for recent graduates. The on-boarding process at certain companies can take months, so if you’re applying months in advance of your availability, that may not be an issue, and they can adjust their schedule to meet your needs.  

Do Your Research 

Research the companies you’re interested in working for. Find out what the company culture is like, what your responsibilities would be, what your salary would look like, the hours and level of commitment that would be expected and the company’s turnover rate. A great way to find out all of these things is by using Glassdoor. You can check company reviews from employees, estimated salaries and job openings.

Beware of any reviews that sound too good to be true, though, because some companies persuade their employees to write good reviews or write good reviews of themselves to entice people to work for them. Also, do your research on what that company hopes to accomplish and incorporate that into your resume to show them the value that you will bring should you be hired. 

Use LinkedIn

Take advantage of your LinkedIn profile. Connect with other professionals in the field you’re interested in or people that work at companies you want to work at. Networking is so important when it comes to finding jobs, and you never know if reaching out to someone could lead to an unexpected opportunity.

LinkedIn also has a great job search algorithm that shows you jobs in the field you’re interested in near the location that you’re looking to live in. It even has a feature that allows you to apply for jobs, which is really convenient—although I still prefer to go directly to the company’s website to apply usually.  

Don’t Rely on Job Search Engines 

Don’t rely on job search engines to find jobs. Many companies won’t have their job openings listed on the internet; you have to actively search for them on their website in the careers section. If they don’t have the particular job that you’re looking for the first time around, keep on checking it; jobs are posted more frequently than you think. Most job postings only stay open for a short period of time, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to applying or you may miss out on the opportunity. 

Update Your Resume 

Make sure your resume is up to par! Go on LinkedIn and check out the resumes of people in positions that you want and keep in mind the keywords and language they use on their resume when creating yours. Don’t just send the same cover letter and resume to every company; make sure each is originally curated to that specific job description. Use the key responsibilities section of the job posting to figure out which of your skills should be listed on your resume.

Skills or work experience that are not applicable to the job you’re applying for will not matter to hiring managers, so make sure you’re showing them information they care about to increase your chances of getting an interview. Don’t apply for jobs that you know you are severely underqualified for, but be willing to apply for jobs that you are slightly underqualified for. You never know what could happen if you sell yourself properly. They may overlook the fact that you lack some experience or education if you show you’re passionate and a quick learner. 

I hope that all of these tips can help you out on your job hunt!

Britney Simmons is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University who is majoring in Mass Communications with a Concentration in Print/Online Journalism. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child, and is an animal lover. She loves to travel whenever possible, and you can usually find her binging some new series or napping.