4 vital steps to earning a post-college job

Posted January 15, 2016 by
ryan de la rosa

Ryan De La Rosa, guest writer

While college is, for many, the highlight of their pre-30s lives, it becomes the slow sinking in of reality, and what follows are the challenges of true adulthood. This is in part due to unforeseen situations that take us and sweep us off our feet. One of those things is the career we end up in. Here are four techniques that can help track down the job you deserve after college graduation.

1. Writing a resume that counts and marketing yourself

Not only will college graduates be expected to deliver high caliber resumes to potential employers, they’ll also need to use the latest job search sites to their advantage. This day and age, networking is everywhere. Sites like LinkedIn, Behance, and Meetup offer new ways to sift the workforce for potential candidates.

The convenience factor here makes one think finding employees for specific tasks will make these websites thrive in the future, as well as those who use them. Using their experience throughout school, students can highlight their interest in an industry and the skills that follow. They should explain in cover letter format what their goals are and where they hope to take their careers.

For graduates new to a particular field, search out thought leaders in the community and befriend them. I’m not saying these connections will earn jobs with the leaders themselves, but prospective employers will notice graduates attention to the niche. This ensures knowledgeable or at least outgoing potential employees.

2. Making the move

Students all over the country spend four years in one place, and then, with degrees completed, uproot their lives and make the move for the first jobs that come into view. These days, it’s simply the way life works, and although it would be preferable to stay put or move to our dream town, it’s not always possible. If we’ve found our way into a specialized field, moving is usually a must.

With student loans tight on our heels, the number crunching begins. First, we’ll want to know if we can afford to be in the housing market where the jobs are located. How does the housing market compare in the city we’re relocating to? If we can wrap our heads around this, it will allow us to plan savings for relocation. Students should also research relocation costs in the specific cities they are considering. The cost of relocating from Chicago to Miami is roughly $4,500, for example, while the average relocation cost is estimated to be nearly $10,000.

Let’s keep in mind as college graduates, we haven’t exactly accumulated a family household-worth of belongings. The proper steps toward relocation can be done in this order: start a moving checklist months before the big move. Next, figure out the distance, and then estimate gas costs. Packing supplies can add up, especially if we have collected enough junk to support a small family. We must decide if we can move ourselves, need friends, or are in dire need of professionals, and add this to our costs, so we know what to save.

3. Looking the part



Regardless of what job we’re on the lookout for, it’s best to be prepared by looking nice. This doesn’t qualify as dressing up in our dad’s business clothes either. Professionals like to hire those who look professional. We’ll need to locate someone who is capable of doing a fitting and measuring our dimensions properly.

  • Avoid excessive jewelry, makeup, and go without cologne or perfume.
  • Press or iron suits; leave the wrinkles behind.
  • Rather than using our interview attire as means of showing status, use it as a chance to seem familiar with the company norm.

4. Preparing for interviews

Graduates shouldn’t just show up. They need to do some background research on the company or contractor they intend on working with, and make sure they have a few talking points that show they’re well versed in the job. Practice the interview in front of a mirror. The best scenario is the interview evolves into a casual conversation, and this can easily occur if candidates feel confident about speaking on the subject matter.

Some typical interview questions graduates should be prepared for include:

  • Discuss a challenge you overcame at work.
  • How do you perform under pressure? What was a high stress situation you felt confident in?
  • Talk about how to approach a coworker who doesn’t like you.
  • What makes you qualified for the position?

When finding a post–college career, there will always be unknowns. Facing these will be challenging but with a solid education; it’s possible to make a mark in the field we’ve spent years preparing for.

Ryan De La Rosa is a writer and designer working from the road. Some call us digital nomads; others don’t even know we exist. Follow his exploits on twitter @fernsandmoss.

Throughout January 2016, College Recruiter is publishing content designed to help college students searching for entry-level jobs upon graduation or summer internships. Check out our focus in “Connecting the dots: Creating a 2016 career action plan.“ Check out College Recruiter’s blog and connect with College Recruiter on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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