Are you unsure about the best way to find a job when you're finished with school? When graduating college or high school with no work experience, you'll start your career on a high note if you can get a job quickly. All it takes is a bit of planning and effort. Whether from college, high school, or trade school, let's go over the steps to start your career after graduation.
Polish up your resume
When you first graduate, you're probably one of a huge number of people your age who are moving straight from that level of education into the job market. As a result, the level of competition for entry-level positions is always going to be fairly high. Fortunately, entry-level positions are also more common, and the longer job hunt will give you a chance to perfect your resume template.
The reason why creating a good template for a resume works during an entry-level job hunt is being able to quickly customize it for each job posting. That way, when you upload a resume and cover letter to a job you're excited about, your chances of getting an interview are at their peak.
Learn new skills
Every industry has its preferred hard and soft skills, but new skills become valuable over the years. Digital design and word processor skills were big once, and with the rise of remote work, skills related to technology, timeliness, and communication are particularly important now. It's wise to look up industry trends and the blogs or news sites that cover them, to help provide clues about what skills are worth investing your time into.
Just because you've graduated doesn't mean you can't get certifications or take online classes related to your career path. You'll need a balance of both the harder skills like programming or mathematics and soft skills like leadership and conflict resolution. For example, if you'd really love to get an entry-level accountant job, you might follow related news sites and social media groups to learn what technology skills are becoming popular in that career. Then, you steadily put time into learning them, even as you hunt for your first entry-level job.
Practice video calling
In a GetVoIP study, 45% of companies said they use video calls every day. More and more business interactions are virtual and easy to prepare for thanks to online video calling and conference calls. To get the most out of your video calls, find or clear out a space where you won't be disturbed, with a clean and professional background. It's helpful to use headsets with an external microphone, as well as test-running your equipment and settings beforehand.
Start networking early
Your time at school will probably leave you with a few connections, and keeping up with them could pay off. That said, now is the time to branch out and meet whoever you can and the more people you meet, the better. As you grow a reputation and meet friends of friends, it can help when you need references and recommendations for a job in their field. It helps to identify a role model in your industry of choice and see if you can follow their tips for success. Who knows? You might end up meeting that person one day.
Look at part-time jobs
Getting a part-time job is a great idea during college, but even directly after college will pay off. It can help you stay afloat or live comfortably while you look for a full-time position, or the position might lead to a full-time opportunity. You'll also be forming a habit of working a job and bringing in money, boosting your experience level and confidence.
Depending on the state, anywhere from 14%-30% of workers are part-time, so there's a big enough market looking to find a job that values your skills. There's also potential jobs that are posted by staffing firms for temporary or contract positions. Adecco jobs and others by similar human resources or staffing providers might include positions that are temporary and work-from-home.
Use your school's resources
If you've gotten a degree from a college or larger trade school, you've become part of a community that can help you in your career. On-campus alumni or career centers can help set you up with great local job opportunities that are highly relevant to your education. Even just attending events relevant to your line of work can help you make introductions. College graduates often visit their campus career center to find a mentor, practice tough interview questions, and more.
Graduating can bring out a lot of emotions. After celebrating, you can find industries that might suit you and their best entry-level jobs with job-search platforms like CareerBuilder. You can easily search for local jobs by salary and narrow it down from there. Make full use of those early post-graduation days, and have fun with it!
More job hunting advice:
- See what the highest-paying entry-level jobs are.
- Read about some of the best entry-level jobs by industry.
- Considering a move? See a map of the top 20 mid-sized and small U.S. cities for jobs.
- Learn how to choose a career path so you can focus on your choice.
- Interested in a marketing job? Check out a sample cover letter for marketing professionals.