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What to Do When You Can’t Find a Job After College

Written by Peter Jones

If you’ve just graduated, left school, and started trying to set yourself up in your career, but find you can’t find a job after college. You’re not alone. It can take time after graduation to find the good, fulfilling full-time employment that will get your professional life off on the right foot.

Rather than freaking out about not having your first job, why not try taking these 4 steps towards getting hired? A few small tweaks to your job search strategy can make all the difference.

1. Reassess the strategy

Perhaps your plan was to get hired by a large company who recruits on campuses and hires grads before they’ve even turned in their final papers. But a very small proportion of the recent post-college workforce lands jobs like these. If you didn’t, don’t worry. Focus now on smaller and younger companies that recruit differently, but might be really keen for a candidate like you. Look to local businesses. Think outside the box. And refocus your energies to companies that stand a better chance of interviewing you.

2. Try applying to the same company a few months later

Alternatively, if you’re still jobless after a few months and you missed your shot with your dream company, you might still get another chance. Lots of these big companies underestimate how many recruits they’ll need and will often have a second round. Be ready and on the lookout to take advantage of this.

3. Don’t freak out about experience

Employers both know and understand that you don’t (and couldn’t possibly!) have the 1-3 years experience most job advertisements say a company requires. If you have the right background and skills, plus perhaps a relevant internship in your field, then companies will consider you for these positions. When in doubt, apply.

4. Apply to different companies in different locations

When in doubt, expand your horizons. Consider roles, companies, even cities that may not have been on your first list of options. Try smaller companies where you’ll be able to get tons of on-the-job training and experience. Try boutique firms, or training programs that will nurture you and invest in your development.

The bottom line is never to give up before it’s over. And it isn’t over. There are millions of opportunities out there for the college educated. And, with a little bit of luck and pluck and drive, you’ll get one of them soon.

About the author

Peter Jones