7 Top Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates

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7 job hunting tips new grads

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Today on the blog, I wanted to share job hunting tips for new graduates! I write a lot of tips for job hunting, as well as salary negotiation and resume tips – and today I wanted to help people who are recent college graduates and trying to figure out how to start hunting for a job!

Job Hunting Tip #1: Get a LinkedIn Profile

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - linkedin profile

I know that we all love to roll our eyes at LinkedIn, but having a LinkedIn profile is CRITICAL to your job hunting success!! No, it’s not just about ~networking~ (although it is great for that.

LinkedIn is critical for job hunting, because most companies have really outdated and terrible software that they use for application. Have you ever noticed how clunky or AWFUL these systems are when applying for a new job? I know I have!

Because of this, many hiring managers and recruiters will just make a google spreadsheet. They’ll take the list of applicants, and then go find their LinkedIn profiles, and review candidates there!

No LinkedIn profile? Then you’re taken out of the running!

Many new graduates have empty LinkedIn profiles (if they even have one at all). Get over yourself!! Get a LinkedIn!!

Job Hunting To-Do List Item: Fully fill out your LinkedIn, describing job duties and listing all positions, volunteer work and internships.

Job Hunting Tip #2: Leave Breadcrumbs on Social Media

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - online branding

A potential employer is absolutely going to look you up on social media before hiring you, but this is a good thing! I recommend that you intentionally *give* employers something to find!

I tell my career coaching clients to leave “bread crumbs” on the internet. You can write a few blog posts about school projects and post to Medium, start a Twitter account to begin networking, etc.

Because new graduates may not have a lengthy resume, having other information about you online helps a potential employer get a better feel for your work style and personality!!

Try googling your name! If the only thing that shows up when you do this is your stats from a high school sports game or theater production, then you MUST create something for employers to find!!

Job Hunting Tip #3: Check Out The Alumni Group for Job Postings

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - alumni network

One of the best ways to get a job is by knowing someone. Spending all of your time on job hunting websites isn’t the best use of your time.

Instead, check out the alumni group of your alma mater. See if they have mixers or a job board for alumni. If you find a position you’re interested in, then reach out to the alumni who posted it and ask for an informational interview. Many companies offer a bonus for employees who refer someone who is hired, so the person will likely be happy to chat with you about the position!

One of the best places to plug-in to a ready made network is an alumni group. As a new graduate, other alumni will want to help you – but you have to ASK!

Job Hunting Tip #4: Volunteer for an Industry Conference or Event

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - volunteering

Remember how we just talked about the importance of networking? Figuring out how to do this (and not be sleazy) can be tough!!

One of the best ways to network with other people as a new graduate is by volunteering to help run or organize a conference or industry event. You can choose an event by the type of industry, or an event that’s focused on someone with your skillsets or degree (or your desired job).

Industry events will likely have the biggest benefit, because you’ll meet people with a variety of job titles who work in the same industry.

Many new graduates who are hunting for a new job stick to their comfort zone, which leads to frustration. Get outside of your comfort zone!!

Job Hunting Tip #5: Track the Jobs You Apply For

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - track jobs

One of the biggest mistakes new grads make when looking for a new job is failing to TRACK what jobs they’ve applied for.

I recommend having a Google sheet (ie a spreadsheet), where you track the following:

  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Date Applied
  • Job Description (Copy & Paste)
  • Date of Follow-Up
  • Additional Notes

After you’ve applied for a few dozen jobs, it can be hard to remember what job is which! And, it seriously SUCKS to get an invite to interview, only to realize the job description has been taken down!! New graduates need to be prepared for an interview, so track this data as you go along!

Job Hunting Tip #6: Research the Company Before Getting on the Call for an Interview

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - research

Before getting on the phone, you need to spend at least 15 minutes reading about the company or organization. You should be able to answer:

  • Who founded the company? What’s the origin story?
  • What product or service does the company offer?
  • What do you think of the company’s presence on social media?
  • What is the company’s mission statement?
  • Has the company recently been in the news? What for?
  • What interests you about the company?

You also MUST research the names of the people interviewing you. Look them up on LinkedIn and do a search on Google News. Jot down a few notes!

It is painful to interview a new graduate who hasn’t done their homework, so be sure to do your research before getting on the call!

Job Hunting Tip #7: Send a Thank You Card After the Interview

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - volunteering - thank you notes

I recently shared this tip on my Twitter, and I was shocked at the number of people who don’t know this!

After interviewing for a job, you must send a thank you email. This email can be short, and you should thank your interviewer(s) for taking the time to interview you. Bonus points if you send an actual physical card to the office. You should put the card in the mail the same day of your interview.

Why is this important?

Honestly, this rule can be a bit a bit classist or gatekeeping. That said, employers like to see you go the extra mile. They want to see that you know and understand business etiquette.

Job Hunting Tips for New Graduates - College

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