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How to Find a Job After College

Updated on August 23, 2012

Is a College Degree Worth It?

People are starting to wonder, is a college degree even worth it anymore? Heck, we all know a handful of proud graduates still without employment. For my generation, it seems like a fairy tale, the idea of graduating college and actually having options for occupation. Thankfully, I’m a freelance writer; otherwise I’d be a part of the unemployed! I tried to go out and get a job with my new-earned degree, but everyone told me I didn’t have the “experience.”

The thing is, if I had done a few things differently I would have a job- not that I want one, I’d rather write from home anyways. But for most people, the reason you’re going to school is to get a better job. So trust me, without following these tips it’s not likely you’ll get it.

Volunteer, Volunteer, Volunteer some more!

When you go to write that resume for a job at a big corporation and your only experience is a shoe store, don’t panic—so long as you’ve been volunteering.

Work experience can include relevant volunteer work! You might not be able to get your boss at the mall to let you coordinate a staff meeting, or undertake a large, public project, but you can always do it alone. For example, if you host a book drive you can drop buzzwords in your resume like, community outreach, campaign management, marketing, and leadership-- just to name a few. Without self-initiation, these words are not easy to prove for fresh college graduates.

Internships are a Must

Most colleges require some sort of internship to graduate, the problem is one internship is not enough- and neither really is two. The more places you can get your foot in the door and gather experience, the better.

Let’s say your major is business, research a few local companies and then call them up, ask if you can spend a few hours interning under someone’s guidance. Be sure to say which college you attend, businesses like to be affiliated with local campuses. By assisting for free, you are learning the tricks of the trade from an insider perspective, as opposed to only in a classroom.

If you’re any type of social science major, like I was, look for large nonprofits that hire a lot of people, I say this because these jobs- especially in certain areas, like San Diego- are rare and quickly swooped up. If you are already close with a company that has hiring power, you are very likely to be picked up after you graduate. Basically, who could do the job better than the person already trained for it?

Get Chummy with Your Professors

A professor is a professional in your area of study, what better contact could you have?

They have friends who have businesses and networks in the field you are studying. Get to know them, if they like you enough- and are a good enough teacher- they will go above and beyond to help you find a career after graduation.

Another reason to get close with your teachers, if you decide to go onto graduate school you will need more than one letter of recommendation and a professor is an excellent source-- if you can find one willing to write it for you. Most teachers have rules about not writing letters for just any student, while others admit they won't write any at all.

Make an impression on your teachers, in a good way of course, so that a few semesters from now they remember you when you send them an email asking for that letter of recommendation.

Career Center- What’s That?

Don’t wait until the last month of school to find the career center located on campus. The career center was sending me emails before my senior semester even started, advising me to come on in. I couldn’t understand why I would need to go there so soon- I didn’t need a job for months! Looking back, I was wrong.

Creating a productive resume, learning what to say in an interview, and uncovering potential jobs takes a long time. Also, if you work closely with staff in the career center, they will be sure to help you uncover jobs that others will not even be made aware of.

It might seem annoying to trudge across campus and find the career center, especially in the heat of September, but it will defiantly pay off. Just think, instead of moving back home with mom and dad after college, you can snatch up an apartment of your own.

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