“Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead.”—Nora Ephron
Graduation season is upon us. It’s the time of year when college students are throwing up their caps, saying good-bye to university life and making their way into the real world.
That means that once the celebratory dust settles, many new grads will be on the hunt for their first real job, ready to start their careers.
Now, some college students might have internships or full-time job offers already secured. And, that is a great feat! However, most students will have to navigate the job search process just like any other professional looking to further their career.
For accounting or finance majors, you’ve likely already decided whether you want to go into public accounting or industry—as each has its own path. But either route you choose, you are entering a labor market rich in open positions and where your skill sets are in high demand.
So, what type of advice is out there for recent graduates starting their careers? I came across an article on Forbes that talks at length about this topic. I thought I’d highlight some key points in the 6 Tips to Help New Grads Land Their First Role below.
1. Have a plan.
Throughout your schooling, it’s crucial to know what you want to study and what you want to do post-graduation. While neither of those things are easy to do, when you have a plan of action along the way, it’ll help you in the long term. Many colleges and universities have specialized programs for accounting and finance that prepare you for entering the workforce in public or corporate accounting. Starting your planning early will inevitably help you along the way. If you’re graduating and still aren’t sure, find an internship or temporary position so you can get hands-on training. This should help you decide before moving into a full-time role.
2. Leverage social media.
Social media can be a great tool for recent graduates when looking for a new position. Many hiring managers and recruiters use various social media platforms to seek out potential hires. Be sure to clean up any content on your personal profiles that you may not want future employers to see. Also, create and optimize your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the number-one professional social platform and a great way to search for a new position.
3. Post to job boards.
Be sure to update your resume, as well, including your graduation date and any work experience you’ve had during your schooling. Then, post your updated resume to all of the major job boards including CareerBuilder, Monster and Zip Recruiter. You can catch a hiring manager or recruiter’s eye there, as well. You can also set up to receive alerts when new positions come on the market.
4. Use your college resources.
Many colleges have programs in place to advise students on how to enter the workforce following graduation. Be sure to take advantage of these resources. Set up meetings with a career advisor and see what they recommend. Search for any published materials that may give you valuable career tips. You can also speak with your professors and ask them how they approached their careers.
Entering the real world can be a little intimidating. Get a feel for what you’re getting into by talking to like-minded professionals who are already in their careers and ask them questions. Attend a networking event or an alumni event and have conversations with those in a similar field. Be sure to prepare a short elevator pitch that tells your story or what you’re looking to accomplish in your career. That way you can get the advice and feedback to help you in your job search. You may hear about available job opportunities, as well.
6. Be patient.
It can be easy to compare yourself to others around you, especially any classmates with roles or internships already secured. However, new grads (and all job seekers for that matter) should resist the urge to compare themselves to others. Each of you has your own path and goals and is moving at your own pace. Take your job search one day at a time and you will eventually get the position that best suits you.
What are some other tips for recent graduates looking for a position to start their career? Comment below and let us know!
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