What it is ACTUALLY Like to look for a Job After College

By Amanda Paul on November 18, 2015

Education is a doorway to opportunity, through which thousands of students step in hopes of bettering themselves, expanding their minds, and eventually making the big bucks post graduation! Entering the job force is on most students’ minds as they near graduation, because let’s face it, it’s normal to want a stable income and to dream about you ideal career in a field that you are passionate about. While earning an education may make it easier for you to obtain you goals, that doesn’t mean that your future will be handed to you. The work doesn’t stop with the degree, so here are some lessons that I have learned from my job hunt:

1. Looking for a job IS a job

Job searches take time, and they should! You need to wade through all of the job postings that you can find, constantly edit your resume, find references, and tailor your cover letter for each application. Then, if you get an interview, you’ll need to prepare by researching the company and the position, and perhaps endure numerous interviews. There is a lot that goes into applying for jobs, so don’t underestimate it because it really does take time, effort, and stress to just get your foot in the door!

2. Rejection Happens

When you are shooting for the stars, it is only natural that you may encounter some rejection. No one said it would be easy to get your dream job! There’s nothing wrong with not getting a call back or flubbing the interview, in fact, it’s normal. Most of us don’t have much experience under our belts to put on a resume or apply to an interview by the time we graduate. Rejection is just part of the process. Learn from you mistakes: maybe your resume needs some polishing, how could you have better answered the interview questions. Think about what you can do to improve from every rejection.

3. Broaden you Horizons

Often times we pigeon hole ourselves into one specific career branch. We picture ourselves in one type of job, and this can be very limiting (especially if competition is fierce for that position). So while on your job hunt, don’t be afraid to explore different types of job opportunities, because you might actually find something that you like! There is so much out there, and while we are young, why not explore?

Now’s the time to try out different career paths to figure out which one is right for you! Your first job isn’t going to determine the career that you will have for the rest of your life, so don’t be afraid to take up something outside of your dream job because even if it’s not for you, you will still have something else to add to your resume!

4. Utilizing Resources

You don’t have to go about the job hunt all by yourself. While you are in school, check out job fairs, resume workshops, and the career center to get professional help for free! Many schools even extend career center privileges to recent graduates, so see what your school offers. Your resume and cover letter should evolve and improve through out the application process, so be open to critique because it is for your own good.

5. Joining Starbucks

There is a long-standing joke about writers, philosophy majors, musicians, etc. working at Starbucks, but the reality is we all have bills to pay! Don’t be ashamed to take up job that pays the bills even if it’s not what you want to be doing long term. Whether at Starbucks or elsewhere, lots of people have jobs while they look for careers post grad. Just look for a position with a flexible schedule so that you can still arrange interviews!

6. Who knows what they want to do?

After graduating, or even when nearing graduation, it is easy to feel lost! People tend to think that they have to have some master plan about their career, and even their lives, by the time they graduate, but you really don’t need any of that. Most people are still figuring themselves out when they leave school, so it’s natural to not really have a clear idea about what path you should take. Remember, you are just looking for a job, not your future! The job you find isn’t going to define who you are or how your life will turn out! Don’t feel like you need to have a clear vision of what you want to be doing ten years from now, just put out some applications and see what you get.

Ultimately the job hunt is a right of passage for graduates to see what they are made of and step into the work force. It’s going to be tough, but it’s normal to struggle in a job search, so don’t get discouraged. Just keep sending out your resume, you never know whom you will hear back from!

By Amanda Paul

Uloop Writer

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