Job Search

How to survive the post-college job search

It’s about that time of year when graduations are in full swing. For college graduates, that also means it’s time to begin the job search, find a career, and enter the “real” world. If you’re lucky, then you already have a job that you will be starting following graduation. If you’re like the other  86% of graduating college students (according to a study that you can find here) then you’re still searching.

Following my December 2014 graduation (I graduated early because I’m an overachiever, no big deal) I began working for a company that I had interned for the previous summer. However, it was not a job that I could make a career out of, so the job search continued.

Over the course of about a year I applied to at least 200 jobs, had seven phone interviews, four in-person interviews, two Skype interviews, and one temporary job, before I was offered my current position. Even though it  was not ideal, I did learn a few things in the process.

10 tips on surviving the Application/interview process

  1. Choose a few key words that will bring up positions in your field. Try to keep it broad. That way more positions come up in your search. The more you search for jobs the easier it will be to figure out what those key words are and what jobs you actually want to be applying for.
  2. Sign up for Indeed and other job search sites. You can set it up so that they will email you about job postings in your field. Some will let you create a profile that you can then use to apply for jobs directly through the site (cutting out a little bit of extra work).
  3. Unless you are absolutely set on working/living in a certain area, don’t limit yourself by location. Moving halfway across the country for a job could be an adventure.
  4. You don’t necessarily have to change-up your resume and cover letter for every application. Save a few different versions for the different types of positions you are applying for (geared towards marketing, admin, web, etc.). Then you don’t have to spend the time rewriting/editing for every single application.
  5. Try to set aside a certain amount of time every week for job applications. I usually tried to spend 1-2 hours a week applying for jobs (if you have time to do more I definitely recommend it)
  6. Don’t be discouraged by rejection letters. Everyone gets them and it doesn’t mean that you won’t find a job. It just means that job wasn’t for you. I’m still getting rejection letters and I stopped applying for jobs six months ago.
  7. Pray. A lot. Seriously, that is one of the few things that helped me from becoming completely discouraged.
  8. Don’t stress too much about interviews. The whole purpose of the interview is for them to get to know you. Once you know yourself, your skills, and your professional goals, they get easier.
  9. Do research on the companies you are interviewing with and the position you are interviewing for before speaking with anyone. It will show in the interview.
  10. Keep sending out applications. The more positions you apply for the more opportunities you have to find a job.

Don’t give up

Applying for jobs is time-consuming, frustrating, and seemingly never-ending but I promise you, once you find your dream job, it’s worth all the hours spent applying for all the duds.