How to Get a Job after You Graduate

Barry Lenson

How to Get a Job after You Graduate

Even though hiring is picking up across the U.S., many recent college grads are still having a hard time finding jobs.

In response, they’re polishing up their resumes, buying interview outfits and chasing job postings on Monster.com and on the websites of the companies where they’d like to work. Those are all important steps to take. The problem is, they don’t really get you on the inside track to jobs. And if you want to get a job, not just an interview, the inside track is where you need to be.

Here are strategies to apply before you graduate college . . .

Take summer internships at companies where you’d like to work.

Sure internships don’t pay anything. But they give you a tremendous advantage over other college grads who are hitting the job market. And another thing – when you get an internship, WORK YOUR BUTT OFF. If you really want to get hired as a regular employee, you need to showcase your smarts, maturity and formidable work ethic so you stand out as the greatest intern that the company has ever seen.

Network like mad.

I don’t mean that you should just join LinkedIn. If your parents have friends who are working for companies where you’d like to work, ask them to hook you up to available jobs.  Also hit up college professors, former bosses, clergy members, your high school principal – EVERYBODY! Don’t be shy, because shy people don’t find out about jobs.

Work your college’s alumni.

They are a great, and often overlooked, source of jobs and job referrals. So visit your college’s alumni relations office and find out how to get involved. You can sit on panels of students that appear before alums. You can have your college singing group appear at alumni functions. You can write an article for the college’s alumni magazine. You can give campus tours at reunions. Heck, you can wait tables at reunions when they happen on campus!  The point is, you need to BUILD TIES TO THESE PEOPLE. Many of them are eager to help a student who has graduated from their beloved alma mater. Why shouldn’t that lucky student be you?

Be persistent.

If you interview for a job and don’t get hired, ask the person who interviewed you about other jobs you could apply for. If you met the head of a department in a company that didn’t hire you, write him or her a personal note saying that you want to come on board if jobs become available. This is not being pushy – it’s stating your interest strongly, which is another way to stand out from the pack. Regarding jobs, my favorite college professor told me, “If they throw you out the door, come back in through the window.” That’s great advice, and more important today than ever before.

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