With December being another busy month for graduates, I thought I’d repost this article to give courage and say congratulations to those taking finals this week and graduating soon! Well done!!

It’s June and again that time of the year, when new graduates receive their diplomas and launch themselves into a career search. For many new graduates that didn’t begin preparing for their search while still in school, the question they ask is, “I’ve graduated…now what?” For the students that took advantage of their college career centers they probably received counseling and valuable career tools to get their job search started. A college career center is a great place to learn about career fairs, internships and job opportunities. It is estimated that 60% of interns are asked to stay on permanently after graduation, so it is well worth looking into. Plus, internships give students an opportunity to see and feel what work in their chosen profession will be like. Internships also become an impressive reference after graduation.

  • Students that choose not to take advantage of early preparation can still get ahead by taking time now to prepare before launching their job search. They first need to decide on the direction they will focus their career search. Many students are still unsure even after graduation. Making a list of potential industries and positions and conducting a preliminary research is a good way to find out where their interests lie.
  • If very unclear in their focus, I suggest hiring a career coach. Career coaches are very effective and have wonderful tools and exercises that allow graduates to realize their strengths and weaknesses and what they like and don’t like. Tools such as Behavioral Assessments, and Job Search Plans help graduates and all job seekers move forward and get organized in their search.
  • The next step is to update or in some cases build for the first time your targeted career tools. If you are unclear of how to write powerful and specific resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, reference sheets and other career documents it may be worth your time and energy to seek out a certified resume writer. They will have a wealth of information not only on writing your documents but job search strategies, interview information can put you in touch with many effective resources.
  • Digging deeper by researching companies, industries, and even specific managers, gives you a better feel for the work environment, company expectations and a feel for what your daily job will entail. Check out local industry newspapers and magazines, develop contacts that can provide information and insight and even look at the competition as a valuable source of information to help in narrowing your decision.
  • Expanding your contacts and developing a network that you can rely on may be your most critical move in finding a job in the field you’ve chosen. Utilize both professional and social networking forums to expand your contacts. Look up old friends, alumni and employers; join organizations and associations and get connected! Make use of online networks too such as LinkedIn and Facebook as well as local groups such as your Chamber association to make connections in the right places.

Fresh out of college the job market can be an exciting, competitive arena, offering great promise and opportunity for those who take the time to prepare for the launch of their career. Find the right job the first time and congratulations graduates!

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