You’ve finally graduated! Your work is done, right? Wrong. Now you need to find entry-level employment so you can pay off those student loans and afford to live. That’s not always a simple task to accomplish right out of school. You’ll need to sell yourself effectively, and apply for jobs diligently.

7 Tips to Help You Find Entry-Level Employment After Graduation

Many graduates look at graduation as the ultimate finish line, but it’s not. In fact, it’s just the beginning to your journey towards the career of your dreams. Here are six tips to help graduates find entry-level employment (and entry-level freelance opportunities):

1. Apply to a Multitude of Jobs

When applying to jobs, try to apply to about 30-40 positions at one time. Think of job hunting as your full-time career for now. Don’t let this make you feel comfortable though. Keep applying, and continue pursuing alternate means of making an income. Seek out freelance work to help keep you going. If you receive multiple job offers, leverage them to negotiate better terms from the one you want most.

2. Choose the Right Type of Resume

Make sure to update your resume regularly when you’re trying to find entry-level jobs. Choose a functional resume because this type of format helps to put more emphasis on your strengths than your prior work experience. This is an effective way to create a resume for college grads. Be sure to highlight skills that will stand out to recruiters and potential employers. Remove all those years of jobs, skills, and responsibilities that are irrelevant to the positions to which you’re applying. You also want your personal qualities that will benefit the employer to come across in your resume.

3. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities

When you’re looking for a job, there are networking opportunities all around you. They give you opportunities to talk to industry experts, counselors, job specialists, business owners, executives, and other job seekers. You may also meet human resource and hiring managers hoping to employ new graduates. All of these professionals can be valuable to your job search efforts. F.I.R.S.T. Institute offers networking opportunities for graduates, including networking events where you can “rub elbows” with alumni for referrals and tips to find entry-level employment.

4. Apply in Multiple Locations

When you know of a company you want to work for, it’s always good to apply directly on its website. However, if it’s a local business, why not walk inside and introduce yourself, and see if you can apply in-person? You can also apply to jobs through school and local career fairs, as well as through social media networks and online job search sites (see tip #6).

5. Visit Your College Career Development Center

Your school should have a career development center. Its main purpose is to help graduates find entry-level employment within their fields of study, if possible. You’ll get resume assistance, tips on job readiness and preparedness, interviewing tips, and networking advice and/or invites. F.I.R.S.T. Institute graduates are also encouraged to become certified members of our Alumni Association, which is absolutely free.

6. Browse Popular Job Search Sites for College Grads

There are numerous social media and job sites where you can find entry-level employment after graduation. However, there are four that we highly recommend for helping you land a decent job you can be proud of:

  1. LinkedIn – Make sure you have an updated profile on LinkedIn, the social media network for professionals. Join relevant groups and network with others in your industry.
  2. Indeed – This site is one of the biggest single sources of jobs online, because it’s actually a job aggregator. That means it pulls job postings from various sites on the Web.
  3. CareerBuilder – This job search site is well known for its job “recommendations,” which have been valuable for college grads looking to find entry-level employment.
  4. – This unique job site caters to college graduates. Search online for jobs within a specific radius and industry. What makes this website so unique is its ability to let you search jobs according to your college or university, or within a certain radius of it.

Get Career Development Assistance

Once again, don’t look at graduating from college as the ultimate ending or the finish line. Rather, use it as a checkpoint for getting you to the next level… finding an entry-level position.

Need job search and career development assistance? F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Career Development program can help you jump-start your professional life. Visit the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Career Development Department to get started today.