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Landing Your First Job

As a recent college graduate, the prospect of having your first real job in the workforce is exciting! But before you send out a bunch of resumes - one of the first things you should do is get clarity. Think through: what makes you awesome, what skills do you have in the bag & which ones need to be developed, what you’re looking for in company culture & fit (and what you’re definitely not looking for), what experiences or coursework can you bring to the table, and what types of work do you enjoy doing? Connect with alumnae from your school (either on LinkedIn or if your college has an alumnae portal) see where they’re working & if someone is in a relevant field - ask for a few minutes of their time to learn more about them & their career. Begin narrowing down the types of work you’d like to pursue. 

Now that you feel sure about yourself and have an idea of the job you want, you need a course of action. This will start with your resume. Look at your resume, update things that are relevant and reconnect with any references that you’ve listed. Have several versions of your resume, tailored to specific employers or types of work, and make sure any experiences listed are in line with that company or job. Always write a cover letter – even if the application says “cover letter optional.” Check out the company website to get an idea of their mission, values and goals. If you know the name of the hiring manager, try to find that person on Linkedin and send a request to connect & learn more.

FOLLOW UP. Emailing resumes and connecting on LinkedIn is not enough! Companies wants to see that you are interested in them. Email to check on the status of your application, and don’t be afraid to email or call.

This is a new experience for you, so it’s normal to be freaked out or feel alone! Nobody gets it right the first time but if you’re confident in yourself you will be able to conquer anything.

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