You did it! Four (sometimes five) long years of studying, cramming, long nights in the library have finally paid off. You are now a college graduate. What does that mean? Well, it means that you now need to get a job to pay off all of the debt that you accrued while pursuing your college degree. That sounds much easier than it actually is. While the job market seems to be getting a tiny bit better, it is still a tough world out there. Long gone are the days of having a job waiting for you the Monday after graduation. The new reality is that many college graduates are having a very tough time getting a position in the field of their degree. It is not uncommon for it to take months, maybe even years to get a position that you feel you deserve after all of your hard work. It is very common now for many college graduates to have to settle for part time positions, two jobs and even living back home with mom and dad because they cannot afford to be on their own. The payment on student loans, in some cases, rivals some people car payments and even mortgages. Gulpfish is here to try to help make the transition from college student to full time employee a bit better. In addition to the many job listings that we have on our Gulpfish site, we will try to provide you with some information and tips on how to find full time employment.
Careers don’t just happen, they are made. If you want to have the job and career that you want and need, it will take an enormous amount of work on your part. Many graduating seniors mistakenly believe that it is the responsibility of their career service officers to get them a job. Not true. Until you are ready to take charge of, and own, your career, you won’t have one.
Owning your career takes discipline and true commitment. Sending 20 standard cover letters and résumés out blindly and hoping for a response isn’t enough. To land the job you want, you need to make it your full-time job. Make a commitment to yourself and to your job search by claiming your career as your own. By pledging to do this, you will stop being a victim of the job market and will begin to take control over your future.
Know what it takes. Different fields have different application requirements, and you need to know what those are for the field you are interested in. Do you need a résumé, a cover letter, a writing sample, a portfolio, etc.? You also need to know what these materials look like in your field and which skills and experiences you need to emphasize. A legal résumé is different, both in form and content, from a management résumé, which is different from a marketing résumé. Don’t have a clue? Try to arrange an informational interview with a professional in the field to which you aspire to learn what it takes.
Always have business cards for planned and unexpected networking opportunities. I’ve talked with students who think they need to wait to get business cards until they have a job to list on the card. Having business cards can be a key part of helping your get a job. Most of the business cards collected include the person’s name, email, cell phone, blog and/or website, and a list of skills.
Lastly, as we keep mentioning in many of our blogs, network. Update your online profile, such as LinkedIn. Let your friends, relatives, former teachers and former employers know that you are looking for a job. That kind of networking often leads to hearing about jobs.
Times are tough, but you made it through a tough four years at college, now its time to put those skills you learned to work. You earned your degree, now it’s time to hit the pavement and earn a job!