How to Get a Job After College

senior graduate

When you’re looking for a job, you have to stand out from a crowd of applicants. In the United States alone, there are about 4.5 million degrees awarded every year, including two million bachelor’s degrees. Most people will find that standing out immediately after graduation isn’t easy.  The good news is that a little preparation goes a long way towards avoiding the common issues graduates have finding work, including job rejections. Remember, making the extra effort can help you find popular job opportunities for graduates that wouldn’t have occurred to you otherwise.

What To Do While You’re Still in College

Set yourself up for a successful job hunt by getting a head-start with job experience and networking. Job experience is the best possible thing you can use to separate your resume from hundreds of near-identical applicants. For many people, this can be done by taking an internship. This hands-on experience isn’t just a valuable asset for your resume, it can also help you figure out if you like doing the work. When the internship is done, you might also get a job offer, a lead on a job, or a letter of reference from someone in the industry.

Internships and Clubs Can Help While Still in College

When internships aren’t available to you (either due to undergrad status or for other reasons), student clubs can suffice. Meeting other people who plan to work in the same industry helps lay the groundwork for your professional networking.

Use Social Media Early and Wisely to Start Networking

It’s impossible to build an active social media page overnight. A great social media page is constructed out of relationships and content that take months or years to build.  That’s why you should start growing your LinkedIn network as early as possible. People tend to get jobs through the people they know, and LinkedIn is a great way to make your name visible in your industry.

Here are a few tips for using LinkedIn to start networking:

  • No work experience? No problem! If you’re light on work experience, use LinkedIn to list classes you’ve taken that are relevant to your field.
  • Mention extracurriculars. Talk about extracurricular activities you’ve been involved in. You may find a common bond with someone in your network who has similar interests.
  • Complete your profile and update it regularly. Having a professional, complete, and active profile is a crucial first step to expanding your network to people you don’t know.
  • You can learn a few more ways to prepare and network by checking out our college graduate timeline.

Issues That Other Students Experienced While Job Searching

Depending on dozens of factors, there’s a good chance you won’t be working in your field right after graduation. Sometimes the entry-level jobs you want won’t be available. Sometimes there’s a recession happening. Maybe there aren’t many jobs in your field where you’re living.

That being the case, you can take whatever transferable skills you’ve learned in school and see how they apply to other fields. No matter what your degree is in, you develop a number of valuable soft skills while earning it. For example, an English student entering a sales job may seem like an odd mismatch, but there are plenty of sales jobs where written communication abilities are exactly what you need to thrive.

Get Advice from Other Students on How to Get a Job

Ask almost any graduate what they wish they had known before starting to look for a job, and you’ll hear a mouthful about how they wish they had prepared. If you ask people specific to your degree program or industry, you’ll find a goldmine of great advice.

  • Find a mentor in your network. Find graduates with your degree at your school, or online, and ask them what they’ve learned while looking for employment. It’s better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than to make your own. If you find someone who’s particularly helpful, be sure to cherish them. Having a mentor in your industry can help guide your professional career away from common missteps.
  • Use job sites to gather info. When you have no idea what kind of job to pursue, you can use job sites like Indeed or Monster to find which industries are looking for your degree. This can help you better assess how your skill sets apply to different industries. You might find you’re qualified for a variety of some of the best entry-level jobs out there that weren’t even on your radar.

Let's go! Check out some new job search keywords to try based on your personality

Popular Jobs for Marketing Graduates

Marketing students may not have pictured themselves working in the insurance industry, but they’re perfectly equipped for careers in product marketing or social media management.

Product Marketers

In a changing world, product marketers try and keep a brand relevant and engaging. They develop and implement a marketing strategy designed to grow a brand. If you can think of two or three  insurance company mascots, then now you know who to thank.

Social Media Managers

Social media managers are similar. Nobody visits social media to follow anonymous, impersonal brands. Social media managers help humanize a company by giving a face to the brand, interacting with fans on social media, driving traffic, and monitoring progress with analytic tools. Both are great jobs for recent college graduates that open the way to a variety of careers.

Popular Jobs for Data Science Graduates

Data Analysts

Very few majors are more perfectly suited to the insurance industry than data science. Insurance companies need analysts who can turn meaningless data into information you can act on. By manipulating data, data analysts can do anything from improve customer relations to advance product development.

Risk Managers

Data science also applies to risk management, where insurance companies make use of loss distributions and predictive models. Do blue cars get into more accidents than green cars? Insurance companies have data from countless different sources, including website analytics, satellite data, CCTV footage, credit reports, social media, and smartphones. They need data science graduates to spot trends in the data that can save both money and lives.

Popular Jobs for Business Graduates

Insurance Agent

A business degree opens the door to employment opportunities as an insurance agent or risk analyst. An agent develops new leads, assesses clients, and helps people obtain the right policy for their needs. They typically have considerable autonomy, and tend to work on commission. That means immediately after graduation, you can expect pay that reflects your performance.

Insurance Risk Analyst

If you’re looking for work that’s a little more behind-the-scenes, insurance risk analysts are consultants that identify and limit potential losses. They advise clients on how they can reduce risk, gather and assess evidence of risks, and make sure everyone understands potential risks and the likelihood they occur.

If you’re looking for more job opportunities in the insurance industry, you can find them by taking a look at our some examples of how different majors can lead to a career in insurance. Having a job you want in-mind is a good start, but it can take time for even qualified candidates to find employment. About one in twenty graduates are unemployed, and more than one in ten are underemployed. But a little preparation is all it takes to set yourself up for success.