How to Land Your First Job After College

Different surveys have been put forth to try and explain the menace that is unemployment. Unemployment exists in different types. These types are; voluntary, structural, seasonal, frictional etc.
College graduates are not spared by unemployment either, giving rise to what is called graduate unemployment. Every student joins the college with the hope of a better future.
Unfortunately, with tons of experience and skills gathered in the college years in preparation to face life afterwards, most graduates are unable to secure a first job. Job seeking can be a draining task which needs a lot of determination and effort.
To ease the task that is job seeking here is how to land your first job after college.

Invest in Career Counseling

It’s every tutor’s joy to see their students in a stable first job. While still in college, make use of programs and resources that the college administration puts in place to make their students more employable.
These resources and programs include career offices. Where visiting students get advice on what opportunities exist within the college and how they can tap into those opportunities.
Most college students, go in with unclear minds of what they intend to do after college. Students find it more difficult to land a first job due to lack of focus. Thankfully, there exist career guidance programs in college.
The student, therefore, has to take the initiative of reaching out to a career counsellor. Counsellors depend on an individual’s information about themselves. Together, you get to do an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, passions and experiences if any.
After the analysis, the counsellor connects you to services for which you are best suited within the college. If none is existent, from the counsellor’s interaction with different people, they can connect you to real employers. And just like that, you land your first job.
The analysis can also aid in design cover letters and resumes that will catch the employers’ eye. Using their years of experience and study of your passions the career counsellor can help you develop a plan on a job search.
Have you been to an interview? How comes you didn’t clinch the position? The counsellor will share wisdom on “making your interviews a success”. If you study in a reputable college, recruiters opt to recruit directly from college.
Make the most use of their visits by presenting your resume to them. Make sure to be present in the next career fair be it on your campus or those neighbouring you. Are you a recent graduate, have you joined your campus alumni group? If not, you are doing yourself a disservice since you are losing a lot of networking opportunities.

Create Lasting Relationships

It’s hard networking, but meaningful relationships will lead you there. Don’t keep reminding your friends how desperately you are in search of your first job. Otherwise, you will appear as nagging, and people will avoid you.
Want to land your first job after college? Invest in networking. Effective networking is indirect networking. Instead of directly asking for a job, request for information relating to posts you think you are best suited.
Have you identified people working in the field that you aspire to join? “Curiosity killed the cat”, is what they said. However, there is a real curiosity where you learn the requirements for your dream job. Walk in the shoes of your predecessor, so you are well informed on the nature of interaction needed.
How did those working in that field land their current jobs? The response will guide you into pitching and landing your first job after college. Could your resume be the stumbling block? Reach out to human resource managers and let them tell you. If need be, update as they direct you.
“Hey friend, is there a job opening in your workplace that I can fill?” If there is, ask for contacts that are concerned with recruitment. If you fail to get the job, at least you got a contract that will hire you if an opportunity arises.
Keep networking and let people in your circles know your skills, experiences and interests. Since you are job seeking, most of them are likely to share opportunities that may land you the first job.

What Contacts Do You Keep?

The world has become a global village, thanks to technology. College students and graduates alike can take advantage of platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook groups especially those made up of your college alumni where professionals in a common field meet.
Most of these professionals are very generous with information which will increase college graduates and students skills.
From the alumni groups, identify those that you can quickly get along. Since experience is the best teacher, request that you accompany them to their place of work. Accompanying them familiarises you to the working environment.
Make it your duty to network and reach out to alumni. You’ll never know how vital volunteering within your field is. Not until you have reached to volunteer alumni. The experience of volunteering is a plus to your resume.
People are a great resource in your job hunt. Hoping you haven’t burnt bridges that connected you to your past employer, trainers and spiritual authority, ask them to join you to potential employers.
Career conferences are not new to you, are they? The next time your college organises one, be on the forefront to support it. You get to learn from the industry move whose passion is mentoring beginners — volunteer at the registration desk, that way you make more constant contacts with potential mentors and employers.

Learn on the job

The beauty of job shadowing is that you don’t have to synthesise a lot of theories waiting to practice them. Job shadowing means accompany somebody in the field of your training to work.
Some students may be lucky since their colleges organise job shadows. For those that don’t, job shadows become the students initiative either when in college or after graduation. Some of the benefits of job shadowing are; the student gains quality work experience for resume development.
Secondly, while job shadowing; they have the opportunity to earn leadership skills. Lastly, it leads to the career development of the student due to exposure to the real situation. Job shadowing follows up after creating a good rapport with a professional.
To organise a job shadow day, both the student and the professional have to agree on the day that is most convenient to both of them. To win a professionals heart to let you job shadow them, start by appreciating their skills and years of experience. Also, have background information about where they work. This information proves your seriousness in job shadowing them.

Drop The Beginner’s Syndrome

Yes, it’s true you are seeking to land your first job. However, gain some skills and accomplish some projects with which you can market yourself. Nobody wants to hire an employee with skills that cannot be substantiated
If given 30 seconds to pitch to your first employer, what would you tell them? To catch their attention and make a lasting first impression, package your strengths, interests and competitive edge so you can market yourself to as many people as you meet.
For English lovers, a winning pitch would be something close to this. In my campus days, I majored in English, and I love writing. Some of my achievements are; organising events and funds drive in support of our college choir.
I’m also intrigued by fashion, and for that, as the women fraternity, we organised campus fashion shows yearly.

Customise Your Resume And Cover Letter

A majority of college graduates are of the school of thought that says, your cover letter and resume should indicate all your experiences, projects, skills etc. However, if you can’t match each of those skills, experiences, projects and coursework to the job you are applying, better drop them like hot.
If you are stuck in customising your cover letter and resume, seek help from your advisors. Your contacts may come in handy.
To make your cover letter and resume top quality, effect constructive feedback from your advisors and contacts. If you are not sure about your grammar after proofreading, Use spell checkers to make sure your documents are error free.

Diversify Your Job Search

You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to give you your first job after college apart from your college’s career office. To identify who these people are; search for “graduate employment opportunities” on the web.
What are your dream organisations as an employee? Do your research to ascertain if any of your college alumni work there.
You can research alumni groups on platforms like LinkedIn. If you find any, Link with them to access jobs in that organisation that are within your career.
Are you in need of more leads to job opportunities? is the site for you. To land career specific jobs, use niche boards. To get noticed by the employer, use your resume and cover letter as a charm offensive.

Schedule Your Job Search

Job hunting is not for the weak hearted. For a successful job search, there needs to be a plan. Keep a record of all application you send and the name of organisations to which you submit. If still in college set aside 10 hours in a week for job searching.
The need for a job escalates when out of college or on breaks. In such times 20 hours a week may be sufficient.

Invest In Internship

Landing your first job is a journey that should starts when one is in college. When still in college, take up as many internship opportunities as you can. If after graduation you are still under qualified, don’t shy from an internship.
Most employers are known to hire interns who invested their time and effort in the organisation. If your primary focus is to make a living from your efforts, consider part-time internship so the rest of the time you can run side gigs.

Don’t Die In Job Searching

When you are so desperately searching for a job that is not forthcoming, remember to remain sober. Eat a healthy diet, sleep the recommended six to eight hours and don’t let stress related to job search keep you up in the night. Also, invest in exercise.
To remain positive minded, immerse yourself in what you love to do. Your hobbies will keep your energy levels so high. Keep your expectations about your first job, to a manageable level. It’s an easy way of avoiding too much pressure build up.
If you are not careful, the job searching process may leave emotionally wounded, tired and broken.


Are you counting days to your college graduation or did you graduate recently and wondering how long the search will take? Don’t let the thought of job hunting make you sick; here is how to land your first job after college. Take career counselling with the weight it deserves. To add to that create lasting relationships from which will come contacts leading to employment.
Look for a professional in your field whom you admire and job shadow them. You cannot afford to face potential employers clothed in beginner’s syndrome. Package yourself in a manner worthy of pitching.
Customise your resume and cover letter while at the same time diversifying your job search. Schedule your job search to make it more effective. Grab as many internship opportunities that come your way whether in college or after, internship strengthens your portfolio. Lastly, don’t die in the job search. Don’t give too much to job hunting that you are left bankrupt emotionally, physically and even socially.

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