Advice to Recent College Graduates

The class of 2020 has virtually thrown their caps in the air and received their diplomas in the mail. They have been preparing for this day – the day they enter the workforce – for the past 4 years. But given the unprecedented times we’re living in, recent college graduates might be struggling to find their first job. The crew at GattiHR has a few ideas that might help.

1. Treat the job search as if it is your full-time job. Block off specific times during the week that you cannot be distracted, and dedicate that to your job search – applying, interviewing, writing cover letters, attending virtual career fairs, etc.

2. If you have free time on your hands, use it to volunteer and network. Your social interaction at different organizations will provide you opportunities to show your interests and passion with leaders and other volunteers. Their networks will expand yours. Attend webinars, listen, and reach out to the speakers on LinkedIn. Follow industry leaders on social media, and engage with their posts. You never know who will have an opportunity for you.

3. Prepare for your interviews. Find and research companies that interest you. Understand their mission and culture, follow them on social media and attend their webinars. Reach out to the speakers and the company’s HR team. If they get to know you, they might help you get a foot in the door or suggest other opportunities. Make sure you’re doing something of value, while searching for your job so you have an answer to the question, “Tell me what have you been doing since graduation…”

4. Utilize companies like TalentMarks.com – a service marketed to students and parents to help them prepare for work while they are in college. This is a great tool to help prepare college graduates for the workforce.

5. Understand that your first job is not going to be your dream job. You don’t have too much experience yet, so don’t expect the $100k job at Google. Once you do land the first job, whether it’s an assistant position or even internship, it opens doors to so many other opportunities. Consider the next role a potential 1-3 year investment into the next step in your career. You want to find something close to your goal, but it does not have to be exactly aligned. Careers are made up of zig zags, it’s definitely not a straight line.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, and good luck on your job search!