How to Find Your First Job

Lunch today was simple… but good.

Tuesday's Lunch

You know that’s how I roll.

My midday meal included a goat cheese and carrot sandwich (don’t knock it ’til you try it), served with cucumber slices and a cup of strawberry banana Chobani for some sweetness and protein.

Goaty and Good

Cukes

I used my lover, Chavrie goat cheese in the sandwich because it’s fantastically creamy and mild enough not to overtake the entire sandwich.

Chavrie

Before I run off and marry this goat cheese, perhaps we should move on?

Job talk!

How to Find Your First Job

I remember when I was about to graduate from college in 2007. I never doubted that I would find a job. My main worry was whether or not I would find the right job and whether or not it would pay well. Today it seems that the sentiment is a bit different.

College Graduation, 2007

With fewer jobs available, many students are concerned about finding a job at all, not just finding a job in their field of study or a job that pays well.

My sister will graduate in the spring of 2011. Last night I spoke with her a bit about her post-graduation plans. It brought a lot of feelings back. I remember feeling so frustrated that every job that interested me required 3 – 5 years of experience. How do I get three to five years of experience if no one wants to hire someone fresh out of college?

Over the past couple of months I’ve received several emails from readers asking me about finding a job right after graduation. (In case you didn’t know, I majored in public relations and advertising and worked as a PR and marketing assistant after graduation. I then worked as a marketing manager before beginning my current – and favorite – job as a writer and editor.)

Below I’ve compiled a list of tips that proved successful for me when I searched for my first job. These may be more applicable to those searching for a job in public relations, marketing or general communication, but hopefully they will also prove useful to those in other fields:

  • Utilize Your Professors: I had a fairly close relationship with some of my college professors. I met with them to discuss my career interests and goals to make them aware of the direction I was hoping to head post-graduation. Our professors were often approached by companies who were interested in educated and impressionable employees. Since my professors knew who I was and what my goals were, they were able to refer me to some of these organizations. I actually got my first paid internship in college working for one of my professor’s husbands!
  • Apply, Apply, Apply: I must have applied for 50 positions before I had someone express interest in me. I sent out a billion cover letters and resumes and heard back from such a small percentage. But all you need is one! Don’t apply for one job that’s your “dream job” and wait around to see if they contact you. Most companies will not follow up with people they are not interested in, and you’ll be left waiting for a long time.
  • Use the Websites of Professional Organizations: Yes, Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com have a ton of job postings, but it can be hard to sort through the junk and find a decent job on these sites. I constantly scanned the websites of professional organizations in my field for jobs. The Public Relations Society of America has an entire section of their website dedicated to jobs. I found my first job as the Public Relations and Marketing Assistant for the Orlando Museum of Art on the Florida Public Relations Association’s website.
  • Let People Know You’re Looking: I cannot tell you how many people I know who found their current job through a friend, a relative or an acquaintance. By letting people know you’re in the market for a job in a certain field, they can let you know of an open position they may know of, or a job that will open up soon. Ryan is constantly contacted by friends and random acquaintances from college who know he works for a large company. Most of the time there aren’t any openings, but occasionally someone reaches out to him at the perfect time and he can help them get a foot in the door.
  • Have Another Person Look Over Your Resume: Having someone look over your resume will not only help you identify any spelling or grammatical errors, but they can alert you to sentences that may need further explanation or descriptions of jobs that don’t make sense to an outsider. This person can also tell you what they find most impressive, so you may better highlight these statements.

Good luck in the job search, kids! It’s a crazy world out there! πŸ˜€

Questions of the Afternoon

  • If you’re already in the working world, how did you find your first “big kid” job?
  • If you’re still in school, what field of work do you hope to end up in after graduation?

Comments

  1. steph says

    i graduated in May and was unsuccessful til November when I landed a temporary admin. assistant job through someone I knew.

    Although, this job is temporary (and ending soon) and im NOT looking forward to going through that job search process again… i appreciate your advice!!

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  2. Jenn says

    I’m just like your sister — graduating in Spring 2011 and can’t find many job postings that don’t seek 3-5 years of experience (I’m a marketing major). Honestly, I’d like to work in sports apparel, no matter what I end up doing, I’d like to be happy with the job. I want to be able to love every day of the week – not just Saturday and Sunday.

    Good luck to your sister in finding a job for next year!

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  3. Elizabeth says

    Julie! We have super similar job backgrounds (and education). I’m actually now looking to move from an editorial position back to PR. I had a phone interview last week and a skype interview on Thursday. Eek!! Your tips are really great. I would also add for college students to get involved and volunteer in the field you are interested in. I volunteered to do PR for our student government and it was great experience. It doesn’t need to be paid to be experience! Just do as much as possible!!

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  4. Linda says

    I did Americorp right after college. It gave me experience and the nonprofit wound up hiring me full time once my year was up. Plus I got some money to pay off my student loans!

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    • Lindsey says

      I did Americorps right after college too…Looks GREAT on a resume only I did the NCCC program which was not like Vista where they have a chance to hire you after your service year. However, NCCC gives you tons of opportunities to network. I have many friends who got jobs after our year of service through organizations we worked with.

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  5. Katrina says

    I applied for a purchasing position with a small business. To kick off the interview, the owner of the company said, “My name is Blah and I’m an (expletive).” Of course, not much can go right from there and I left feeling like nothing good would ever come of that experience.

    Fortunately, an actual gentleman worked there (not for long after that, though) who’s wife was looking for an assistant. He picked up a stack of resume’s, one of which was mine, and handed them all over to her. One good interview later and I was hired.

    5 years later I’m all kindsa spiffy with State & FINRA licenses & a designation πŸ˜‰

    Sometimes, your resume really will do the trick. Make sure it conveys all of your abilities.

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  6. Jessie says

    After spending a year and a half in a research-orientation graduate program, I realized my heart was really in education. I found my job on schoolspring.com – which I totally recommend for anyone looking for a career in education! Actually, they found ME! I only half completed a profile on the site, and I was contacted about an opening. I’ve been teaching high school science for a year, and I’ve definitely found my lifetime career :)

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  7. Sara says

    Upon graduating law school in May of 2009 I was hit hard with the bad economy. Its hit the legal profession harder than most. I just scoured and scoured and applied to every job I found. I hated the first job I got but stuck it out for the experience. I kept looking the whole time I was there but since I already had a paying job I had the luxury of only applying to jobs I wanted. Now, I have my dream job!

    My biggest advice to grads is to take anything you can find to get started, then you can afford to be picky for your next job.

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    • says

      I completely agree with your last sentence, Sara. You’re first job probably won’t be your dream job, but accepting it — and taking it as serious as if it were that dream job — is the first major building block to getting to where you want to go.

      Julie, I also graduated with a PR degree and during my job hunt became frustrated with jobs looking for those with 3-5 years experience.

      When I graduated in 2009, I was obsessed with the idea of working in fashion PR. I didn’t find a job in that exact niche (few and far between in Orlando!), but luckily, I am at a job that I love and they have surprised me in my ability to grow and expand my horizons. It’s important not to get boxed into your “dream job” early on, because like many college majors, they evolve with time and next thing you know, your dream changes and you find yourself on the right route toward it.

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    • jenika says

      Yup, I’d also have to agree with this! My first job wasn’t ideal, but it got my foot in the door and I eventually transferred within the company to a more fitted job.

      As for my first job, I actually found it through a temp agency, but it turned into a full time position within 3 months — something to think about!

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  8. Bethany says

    I went to nursing school just because I needed one more class to get in. I loved health and fitness, but I knew I did not want to work in a gym. I started working in trauma ICU NIGHT SHIFT and was scared to death. I learned so much, but just kept looking. No one hires brand new nurses, so I knew I should be thankful and just soak in what I could. Eventually, I found a job in Employee Health as the Wellness Educator for the employees in the hospital. My advice would be this: OPEN UP YOUR MIND to doing something harder than you think you can handle… Do your best and strive to excel…. doors will open because you went above and beyond what was expected. I hated night shift, but now, as an educator, I can relate to the nurses that have such different lifestyles.

    I HOPE THIS HELPS!!!!

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  9. Natalie says

    I took a co-op position in college, which really had nothing to do with my major. However, upon graduation, they hired me full time. The job has great benefits and regular promotions. It’s not my chosen career, but once I’m somewhat established with some good experience on my resume (and the economy picks up) I’ll look for something I’m more passionate about. In the meanwhile, I try to get involved in any project that even remotely utilizes the skills I learned in college.

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  10. says

    Utilize connections from summer internships – and do really, really good work at your sumemr internships. I got hired on straight out of school at the agency where I interned the summer after my junior year. I didn’t even really bother to apply for other jobs.

    Of course, when you are a nuclear engineer, there are only so many places to work anyway, so it’s a little more clear.

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  11. Natalie says

    By the way, just because a job posting asks for certain qualifications, it’s important to remember this is just the hiring company’s “wish list.” Apply for it anyway! What can it hurt? Maybe nobody will have every qualfication in the posting and the job could be yours, even though you don’t have the three to five years experience.

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  12. says

    My husband graduated in June and thought he would find a job rather quickly, but he’s still looking. Thankfully he has a job right now, but he’s still looking for one to utilize his degree.

    Jen

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  13. Lauren says

    My best advice is one of your advices, tell everyone you know that your looking for a job. I got my current job by talking to a work associate who moved into another group – it was a promotion for her. I was suppose to get another job that fell through so I talked to her… four weeks later I was in her group and got an awesome promotion out of it.

    I did the same thing in college that got me a part time job with a major company. Once I graduated, I started looking around the company for positions and just applied. It turned out that one of my friends’ husband need someone in his group – that’s how I got my first job out of college.

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  14. says

    I graduate May 2011 with a double option in choral music education and piano performance. I am hopping to makes some connections while student teaching and get some leads as well as looking on the education state databases. I want to teach music but right now I am not picky where the job is as long as I can teach. If I can’t find a job in a school than I will look at teaching private piano students again someplace.

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  15. says

    It took me almost a year after graduating from law school to find a job. It was tough and disheartening, but eventually it happened for me! I applied like crazy and also had to accept that I needed to take almost anything with a decent salary and benefits. So, that’s what I have now, a very boring job with a decent salary and good benefits πŸ˜‰ But several months without a job really gives you a reality check as to what’s important. At least I’m getting experience while I continue to search for and apply for the dream job. I think it’s important for fresh grads to realize they may have to twiddle their thumbs for a bit while they gain experience and that it might be a couple years before they can work at their dream job. But it will happen eventually! (I hope, lol)

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  16. says

    I am a structural engineer, and luckily didn’t have difficulty finding a job out of grad school (which was 4 years ago). I looked at the “Best Structural Firms to Work For” list and currently work for one of them!

    My fiance (also a structural engineer) had a difficult time when he wanted to relocate. He looked for about 8 months. I think we used our colleagues as contacts to all of the major structural firms in the area. And applied, applied, applied. Oh yeah, and called them a few times to “check in”.

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  17. says

    Welll, I JUST graduated in May 2010, and had to work in restaurant management this summer before I landed my current job, a.k.a. the new love of my life.

    Believe it or not, my dad found this job, Electronic Media Specialist at a non-profit private school, on craigslist! Sounds pretty crazy, but my boss put the job out there for all to see.

    I was told I landed the job after two interviews due to my fresh enthusiasm and can-do attitude. I highly recommend just “going for it” with no reservations, because that’s what made me successful!

    I’m sure proving I was a great video editor helped. After my first interview, I was asked to prove my video skill by shooting a fresh video for them. I had my “audition” video in their hands in 48 hours, and I’m told I’m the only applicant who did so.

    Also, I’ve learned a lot of what I do here by actually DOING it. Don’t sell yourself short – tell interviewers you can do it all, and if you can’t, that you’re a quick learner.

    Last but not least, hold your head high! I got turned down by so many people before I found this, and I firmly believe that I am where I was meant to be.

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  18. Kaella Carr says

    My lesson is “sometimes you have to take something to get you closer to what you really want.”

    I graduated from college in 2003 (I was in school for broadcasting…news reporting/radio and tv anchoring) anyway so I spent 3 weeks searching and sending out a TON of resumes/cover letters etc. I finally got a call from a radio station 19 hours from home that was hiring a full time promotions girl. It was absolutely NOT what I wanted..but I researched the community and discovered they had a news department in the station and a CTV tv station down the street. I figured it was a foot in the door…so I took it! the VERY day I arrived to start my “promotions girl” job, someone in the news department had quit, and they offered me my first news reporter/anchor job (what I wanted!!) from there I moved over to the tv station after a year of experience, and a year after that I was a senior reporter and tv anchor for a big station back in the province I went to school in. It definitely makes you realize you have to take a chance sometimes… Great post :)

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  19. says

    My first job found me. I was working on my PhD and went to a seminar hosted by Northrop Grumman. I left the speaker my resume so we could maybe colloborate on some of my thesis work. The next day, they called to intereview me. I had an offer within 2 weeks and accepted shortly thereafter. Needless to say I did not completel my PhD program and only left with a Masters and some random credits and research πŸ˜‰

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  20. Stephanie says

    Let People Know You’re Looking – that is exactly how I’ve landed all of my jobs. To the point that I’m not even sure how to start a job search on my own without it. Probably a detriment now. =/

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  21. Erin says

    So true that it’s who you know! I got my internship my last semester through KD and then my job through a friend & classmate! Network network network! And make cute business cards :)

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  22. Lindsay says

    Does anyone know if the name of the college or grad school you attended really makes a difference? I’m heading to grad school soon and need to decide if I want to go to the well-recognized school for its name, or to the lesser known school for its amazing contact possibilities and locale. Anyone?

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    • says

      in my company, a big-name school will definitely get you noticed. BUT it dwon’t guarantee you the job if you interview poorly or have a crappy resume/writing samples (which i’m sure you already assumed, but i thought i’d share anyway).

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    • Terry says

      I think this might depend on what you studied in undergrad. For myself as an engineer, where I went for undergrad was important, but as far as grad school goes, where you M.S. comes from is definite a big concern. I don’t know your major so it’s hard to say, but I would definitely try to scope out schools that are reputable for what you are studying. Just my two cents!

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  23. says

    Don’t shrug something off because it doesn’t seem like the perfect fit! I started my career working for Sesame Street and I almost didn’t even go on the interview because it was for a temp job. Little did I know until I started that it would lead to a full time position, a promotion and 4 solid years working for a great company!

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  24. Holly says

    I agree with several people, you won’t get a job that you don’t apply for. Apply early and often, even if you don’t meet their requirements. You never know what will happen.

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  25. says

    i definitely got my big hookup in a practicum class i had that had a lot of industry leading companies come in and do interviews. it was huge in my ability to get to know the recruiters and find a company i thought i would mesh with!

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  26. says

    Great post! My boyfriend is currently looking for a job. I really hope he finds one (and one that is what he wants to do any pays well). I am still in school to become a pharmacist. When I went into school there was such a HUGE demand for them. Now the demand is a lot less, especially where I live because there was already 2 pharmacy schools and now a third has opened. Hopefully I will luck out and get hired by the pharmacy I currently work at as a student!

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  27. Claudia says

    Internships! Of all the friends I graduated with, those of us who completed an internship during college are the ones with the best jobs now.

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  28. Juliene says

    This is so relevant right now given the current situation with jobs and unemployment. I graduated in May 2007 and took quite a few months to find a job. I think I had false expectations of what would be out there for a recent college graduate. I finally started applying for just about everything and it paid off. I got a great job working for a Property Management company. Granted it wasn’t something I ever envisioned doing but it was a great, fun, well paying job. From there the experience I got brought me to my current job where I have already been promoted 2 times in just over 2 years.

    Like others have said, don’t be picky and don’t sell yourself short. Even though it might not sound like you’re qualified, apply and let the company decide if you meet their qualifications!

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  29. says

    Job searching is definitely different these days. I totally agree that utilizing professors is a great idea – my first job out of college is with a professor I worked very closely with during undergrad and subsequently developed a relationship with.

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  30. Lindsey says

    I worked at Vail ski resorts for a while. While it was not a real job, it definitely gave me some time to look for a big kid job and figure out what I wanted to do with myself. Don’t stress too much b/c even though I did Americorps then went to Vail, I’m still making the same amount of money now that my friends are making and they went straight into the big kid jobs while I put it off and had some fun doing it.

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  31. says

    These are some GREAT tips! I am looking for internships right now, OUTSIDE of my academic major. So it’s a bit more of a challenge for me. I would like to pursue something completely different for my master’s degree than what I am going for now as my bachelors. I’m currently a musical theatre major but want to study nutrition at the graduate level.

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  32. says

    Great tips!

    I found my current job through our online career website at my university. I started as an intern my senior year and continued on full-time after graduating. It’s not my dream job (entered the job market in 2009 so it was already going downhill) but I’m gaining experience and I know I’ll find the right path soon.

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  33. says

    Great post and advice from readers! I am going to bookmark this one, for sure.
    I have been the marketing manager for a non-profit concert promoter group in Milwaukee for 7+ years, and am happy to call it my dream job! Free rock concerts? Love it!
    Everyone asks how I got started, and I tell them – “working 2 hours a week in the box office.” If you want to get your foot in the door, take ANYTHING that is available. I quickly moved on from the box office into the marketing department. The role has expanded as the company has grown from one venue to three.
    My other advice? Seek out internships… do a different one each year or semester (or summer) possible. This will do wonders for your resume and give you all sorts of experience, not to mention it’s possible that one of the companies you intern for may want to retain you full-time.

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  34. Allyssa says

    Thanks for the advice. I graduated in May and I’ve yet to find a job. I took two unpaid internships over the summer just to get some experience. But the job search continues.

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  35. says

    My advice- don’t pigeon-hole yourself. Look at a variety of fields when applying for positions. Especially in a bad economy, it’s hard to find positions if you don’t have a good amount of professional experience already, so sometimes you need to look far and wide to get experience in other areas before you can break into the field you want to work in. Just because you start working in one field doesn’t mean you’ll be there forever. But, you may surprise yourself! My current job is definitely NOT what I thought I’d be doing when I graduated, but I think I actually like it more than what I had in mind at the time.

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  36. Terry says

    I was able to get a job by going to a career fair on my university’s campus. It was with a company I had never heard of, or really understood what they did. All i knew what that they did something within the field of civil engineering so I was hired, lol. That job was great. I learned a lot. When things just didn’t seem to be promising i posted my resume online (i.e. Careerbuilder, Monster, etc) and withing a week I was contacted by an employer. I am in the process of moving out to Portnald, OR, for a job in the same field, but with a nice promotion. As women we are sometimes hired for the wrong reasons, but if you prove yourself, you can really take that advantage and squash the competition!

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  37. says

    My college (Notre Dame) had a great career center that would give you endless resources if you USED IT. So tip #1 is USE THE RESOURCES YOU HAVE! DOn’t be afraid to set up an appointment, and do it EARLY. Like Freshman year people.

    I found my job through a friend – he recommended the program to me, contacted HR for me, and got my foot in the door. After that it was just charming them through interviews:)

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  38. Megan says

    I am so happy to finally have found someone that likes carrot sandwiches!! I have carrot and bagel sandwiches all the time and everyone judges me lol!!!

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  39. says

    Great tips! It can definitely be a struggle! I also majored in marketing/advertising! It’s funny that most people find a career that is very different from what their major was!

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  40. says

    I’m still at university, so this doesn’t really answer either of the questions per se, but I just wanted to share anyways! :) I had a wonderful, fascinating, & enriching internship at President Clinton’s foundation in Harlem this past summer (in the correspondence department). I had heard that many of the interns in the past had been from Ivy League schools and discouraged as I was by learning this, I still applied. After a number of phone interviews, I got “the job!” My point/advice is that sometimes you just have to say what the heck to what you’ve heard, the “odds” of getting it, etc…because someone has to get the internship/job and why couldn’t it be YOU?

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  41. says

    Julie, thank you SO MUCH for this post. Like your sister, I’m about to graduate in May 2011, and I’m an English major…which is a pretty difficult major to place directly into a conventional job. Over this Christmas break, I’m drafting my resume and trying to find jobs that I’d apply to in my metro Nashville area, but sometimes it just seems a bit overwhelming–especially when most employers request some sort of experience.

    I’ve always looked at friends who had concrete dreams with their lives and envied them a little bit because they were on a definitive path. My problem is that I can see myself doing TONS of things, so it’s hard to just pick ONE path to follow. Perhaps this will help me while sending out resumes!

    All I know is that I don’t want to feel stagnant, and I want to help others. I want to feel like I’m DOING something good, and maybe I won’t find that in my first job. But right now, I’m still hopeful to find something that I’ll enjoy, give me experience, and pay the bills.

    Long story short, I’d love to get into writing, editing, publishing, teaching, cooking…goodness, the list could go on! :)

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    • says

      i totally understand. i had a really hard time picking a major b/c i have a lot of interests. by getting out there and working you’ll begin to realize where your passions and interests truly are. it’s exciting!

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  42. Ally says

    I studied creative writing in my undergraduate degree, looked for a full time job for nine months, and got NOTHING (just some part time freelance stuff).

    After my Masters (Advertising), I was a bit luckier. Our last major assignment involved creating a campaign for one of my University’s departments..which just happened to have a spot opening. My professor put in the good word, I interviewed, and…I didn’t get it.

    BUT! They must have liked me, as a couple of weeks later I was offered a three month contract, which then got extended. Since then, I’ve landed a couple of more contracts in other areas, before finding my current job, which I’ve been in for 1.5 years.

    Frankly, I got damn lucky. If I’d never gotten that job right after my Masters, I don’t think I’d be where I am today!

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  43. Ally says

    One other thing – I was very focussed on a ‘particular’ career path (advertising, which I studied). Then I realised there were all of these other great professions out there that involved the stuff I loved and was good at – marketing, communications, PR, etc.! Look outside the box and see if there are professions that are related to what you studied – you don’t always have to study writing and be a writer, or study advertising and be an account executive!

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  44. says

    I got my job (my first grown-up job — with benefits and all!) via an internship I’d done in college. I interned at a big children’s hospital in the Marketing/Communications office between my junior and senior years of college. They liked me a lot and after I left, I made sure to keep in contact — I emailed and occasionally even visited to check in and say hello. That presence not only garnered me some wonderful professional relationships, but when they received a job posting from their hospital’s adult counterpart at the medical center, I got a phone call from them asking me if I was interested in having them forward me the post. I’d been looking for almost a year and had been working a temp position that I’d just been told would eventually be cut back to part-time, fixed-term. OF COURSE I wanted to see that. :) I looked over the post, submitted my letter, writing samples, resume to my now-boss and it was my internship colleagues/friends/guardian angels who called my now-boss to put in a good word for me. Several, in fact. Anyway, the application process was quick, and here I am a year and a half later — so happy, so thankful. It’s HARD looking for a job that’s a right-fit, but if you have professional/internship/college/professor ties that you’re close to, that can often work in your favor.

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  45. Steph says

    I found my first job through networking networking and more networking! My best advice is to let EVERYONE know you are looking for a job–your professors, your extended family (that’s how I heard about my current job), your old neighbors, your first grade teacher–anyone that you still have a connection to, no matter how small.

    In this tough economy it’s tough to be picky, but I would recommend getting a job that, even if it’s not exactly what you want, will provide you with skills or future connections that can help you land that dream job.

    Good luck to all the job searchers out there. You can do it! :)

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  46. says

    i finished undergrad in may 2007 & interned with campus crusade for christ for 2 years. then i began a 3 year grad program and will finish in may 2012. sooo i don’t have much to contribute, but great tips.

    i know though that my husband would say to take what you can get and apply for promotions internally. he started off in a low-level position in his company, applied for a higher position 10 months later, and then was encouraged to apply for another position 10 months later. now he’s doing some writing, editing, etc. that he went to school for…so don’t be afraid to get a job that you think is “below you.” if you do that well others will notice and opportunities can arise to do what you love!

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  47. says

    Such great tips. I used to think that Id have no problem finding a job when I graduate in May but now Im starting to think that I may be searching for a while since my profession is so specific!

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  48. says

    I actually teach a class on resume writing and career building skills. THe most important thing I tell students today is to be persistent! So many young people think that jobs are just handed to them (because everything else in life most likely was). It takes hard work and determination to end up with a job you love and often, it takes a few not so glamour positions to work your way up.

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  49. Lauren says

    I’m hoping to get a dietitian position in clinical or an alternative site (maybe publishing/food magazines). We had someone come in to our school from Eating Well magazine to talk to us about getting experience, and she actually mentioned that she looks at people’s blogs for experience. It’s pretty cool! Thanks for the great advice!

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  50. D says

    I think the most important thing is to not get overwhelmed and just keep on applying. I applied for a ton of things throughout my last year of college and over spring break found out that I got an internship for the following summer. It made my last few months WAY less stressful having something in place, and it meant that I also got to somewhat avoid a total post-college depression situation, because I had something to immediately focus my energy on.

    I got lucky with my internship (it was at an institution associated with a university) and they offered to set up a GA ship for me through the university, meaning that I work for them part-time and they fund my grad school education. Starting in January and can’t wait!

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  51. Jessica says

    Right before I graduated, my husband and I were driving around the city where he lived, and where I would live once I graduated and found a job. I noted all of the different companies in the area and went to their individual websites when we got home. A lot of times the companies have jobs listed on their website that isn’t on monster.com or other job sites. Worked for me because I got a job at the one place we passed by. I applied for one position which ended up being filled already but they called me about another position. Definitely NOT the type of job I wanted but I just recently switched positions from that inital one to a job that I love. The key is to just get your foot in the door whether it’s an internship or a job you don’t necessarily love. BUT if you’re taking a job you don’t want/love at a company-make sure there’s room to grow and move up and that you won’t be stuck at that job if you take it. And network! Ask around-friends family, etc…referrals can’t hurt! Good luck to your sister and anyone else looking!

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  52. Lesley says

    Thank you so much for this post! I am graduating law school this May (2011) and feel stressed out job prospects. It’s a tough market for young lawyers, and it seems no one is willing to hire people straight from law school, even with good internships. Thanks for all the great tips, it’s nice to know I’m not alone :)

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  53. says

    I went on a lot of interviews, but the job I picked found me. I posted my resume all over the place, my employer found it, called me up and scheduled an interview.
    Everyone kept telling me that I would never find a job because I had no work experience at all. If you want to be a programmer, no one cares if you’ve worked in retail. Everyone was impressed by my GPA.

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  54. says

    These are great tips, and it makes me feel a lot better to hear that other new grads are experiencing or have experienced what I’m going through. Sometimes I feel like it’s just me. The search continues!

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  55. says

    I graduated 10 years ago from grad school *sob* but my first REAL job was at FSU. I did an internship there while in school (which also paid for my tuition – score!) and it turned into a full time job. I was there for 3 years before leaving for greener pastures. The wasn’t awesome, but the “prestige” was and I don’t regret it for a minute. The most important thing I learned is that sometimes you have to take a job you aren’t crazy about to find your niche. Good luck to your sister!

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  56. Mimi says

    I’m one of those people stressing about finding a job. Fortunately I have another year before graduation, but it’s still a pretty constant thought. I would like to find a job in journalism: TV/paper, writing/editing… I don’t really care (at first).

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  57. says

    I eventually had to give up looking for a job in what I went to school for. No one in any office was willing to hire me for a job a monkey could do unless I had a 4-year degree and/or equivalent experience. Just to answer phones! Seriously? I now work very part-time (6 hours a week) in my church’s childcare.

    I definitely recommend your tips though! It can really work for some people!!

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  58. Kristin says

    I’m a senior adv/pr major at MSU. I agree with all your tips!
    Did you intern a lot through college? If so, did it help you out after graduation?

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    • says

      yes! i had a couple of internships and found them instrumental after college. you are at a great advantage if you have experience in your field and working for a company… not just typical “college student” jobs. i HIGHLY recommend applicable internships!

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  59. Alexandrina @ The Cardio Queen says

    Great post! I just graduated from college last week and the job market the way it is has left me feeling quite worrisome about my future. How did you find and obtain your current job? I want to be an editor and writer as well but I have yet to really get any experience. :/ Nonetheless, great post! Definitely going to keep these tips in mind! πŸ˜€

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  60. Michelle says

    I recently went through the job search process (graduated with a finance degree in May 2009), and one of the things I found to be most helpful was to make sure I came prepared to interviews.

    Before you go to an interview, it helps to research the company and come up with questions that you can ask your interviewer, whether they are intelligent questions about the company’s future direction, specific about the position itself, or about your interviewer’s experience. Almost always, the interviewer will give you the opportunity to ask questions at the end, and it helps to have some prepared.

    I have also found it helpful to think of different stories or situations that I could use to answer behavioral-type questions (e.g., “tell me about a time when you did __”). There are some great guides on the internet that provide common questions and will help to get you thinking. After spending some time thinking about how I could answer different questions, I found it much easier to answer questions easily and genuinely.

    Finally, practice! It’s great to sit down with a friend or family member and have them ask you practice questions. There’s nothing like actually doing an interview to give you some experience :) Many school career centers offer mock interviews to students if you seek them out.

    Hope this is helpful!

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  61. says

    Lots of great job hunting tips! We have a lot in common Julie, I just graduated from PR last spring and am still active in the food and fitness world. I am still looking for a job in my field, (maybe PR for fitness???), but I am continuing to put resumes out there, network and stay positive!

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