How To Conquer The Post-Grad Job Hunt

posted by Chris Valentine

Finding a job after graduation can be scary, stressful, exhausting…the list goes on. You’ve spent years focused on this point of your life, when you’re finally done university. You’ve probably thought about your future and dreamt of never having to take another course again, but you may not have realized how much work it is to find a job. Until now.

Unless you have a job lined up or have family or friends who can link you up with someone they know, chances are you’ll be on the job search just like most of your peers. This overwhelming task may be frightening, but if you take these steps you can make the process seamless.

Resume/Cover Letter/Portfolio

This step is first because it’s the most important. You’ll have very little chance of landing the job of your dreams if you can’t showcase your talents on paper. Having a professional-looking, well-written resume and cover letter is a non-negotiable part of the job hunting process. Your future employer will want to know what relevant work experience you’ve had, your education, and any skills and certifications you’ve earned.

The cover letter is used to show your motivation behind wanting the position. It’s a chance to show your personality and your career goals, and how that job can help you get there. One drawback to cover letters, is most applications ask for them. That means you could be writing 50 of them in one day. Doesn’t sound fun, right? We suggest writing a base cover letter, showcasing your education and experience, and where you are in your career currently. You can always edit your specific work experience and skills to match the position you’re applying for, but this will help save you time.

Lastly, if it’s relevant, you should have a portfolio of your work. This can be either print or digital, showing your best work. This can include papers, advertisements, websites, presentations, etc.

Online Job Boards/Print Ads

Once you have all your materials gathered, it’s time to start your search! Most employers use job boards or their own website to promote their openings. If you’ve earned a foundation degree, a niche job board might be the best place for you to find your dream job.

What is a foundation degree? Foundation degrees involve both academic and vocational credits, giving students the opportunity to focus on their chosen career path and gain hands-on experience. If you’ve finished this type of degree, or are currently in a program, then you’ve already done the easy part of looking for a job after graduation: picking what job you want to have.

Word of Mouth

Even if you don’t think you know someone who knows of a job opening or someone in the industry you’re interested in, you never know who may be able to help. Talk to family members and friends, and see if they can speak to their acquaintances. A friend of a friend may have an opening at their business, so keep your mind open. To make this step easier, you could also post on a social media network and have your friends share your post.

Remember to have an open mind while on the job hunt. Just because a job description doesn’t sound exactly how you’d like, some businesses are open to tailoring a position to a great candidate. Don’t say no to entry level jobs either, as most workplaces offer advancement opportunities—and they may not take as long as you’d think.

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