If you just graduated and are looking for a job after college, this article will show you the 3 best ways to get hired.
Then, at the end of the article I’ll share a few of my other best tips to help you land a great job, so keep reading to the bottom.
Let’s get started with the 3 best ways to find a job after college…
Now you might not have a very big network, that’s okay. When I graduated I had done almost zero network and felt totally unprepared to job search.
It’s still a valuable tactic to use as much as you can.
Here’s why: You’re FAR more likely to get job interviews if you get introduced to a company by someone they know and trust.
So now let’s talk about how to find a job after college through networking and speaking to people directly.
To start, think about who you can contact who might have connections with companies you’d like to work for.
Now, if you’re very close with somebody, you can contact them and immediately ask for help. “Hey, did you used to work for XYZ Company? I’m interested in finding an entry-level job there and was wondering if you still have any connections there?”
However, if you’re approaching somebody you aren’t very close with… such as a friend from university that you had a few classes with but have only known for one year, you want to be more casual.
Ask them a question like, “do you have any advice for trying to get my resume in front of companies like XYZ Company?”
If they can help, they often will, and this sounds a lot better than asking for a favor right away.
Try to help them too, if you can. Ask if they need any help finding jobs as well. This will make them want to help you more.
After an initial question, you can ask them more directly for help if they don’t realize what you’re asking for. But it’s better to start with a much “softer” question.
Beyond this, consider going to local meetups, networking events for the industry you want to work in, etc. You can also connect with people on LinkedIn, tell them you’re interested in their industry, and ask what it’s like to work in their company.
(Again, you’re starting with a “soft”, casual question).
Then once you’ve exchanged a few messages, they’re a lot more likely to introduce you to a hiring manager in the company if you ask!
Don’t just approach strangers asking for a big favor right away. You’ll get your message deleted and won’t hear back.
This is another one of my favorite tactics for how to get a good job after college: Apply directly to growth-stage companies.
To start, search Google for the “INC 5,000 list.” Each year, INC publishes a list of the 5,000 fastest growing privately-held companies in the US.
This is a GOLDMINE for finding a job after college because these companies are growing quickly and need all sorts of people.
One of the most common complaints I hear from job seekers is that it’s *very* hard to find companies who want someone who is truly entry-level.
They tell me they’re frustrated because every job seems to require experience.
But these growth-stage companies are the MOST likely to hire someone without experience or someone who just graduated.
They want talented people and are always looking to grow their team for the future.
This is part of how I was able to land my first job as a recruiter. They were hiring 10 people at the time, for entry-level spots. All due to growth!
It also helped me get promoted in the future, because new management opportunities open up as a company grows, and many companies prefer to promote from within the organization when possible!
I found that job posting in a “weird” way, though, which I’ll explain further down in this article.
I mentioned INC’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing US companies. There are a few other ways you can find growth-stage companies, too. But it’s not an exact science to find these companies (aside from the INC list).
For example, you can search for jobs on LinkedIn, where you can filter by company size. That won’t show you the company’s growth rate, though. Only the size.
You can also search Google for terms like “New York startups list” (replace “New York” with your city or region).
To find relatively early-stage startups, check CrunchBase.com for companies that have received recent funding. They’re typically looking to hire more. If you want more stability, look for a company that’s raised at least a few rounds of funding previously (so, not just Series A or Series B), and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in total.
Once you find these companies, apply directly on their website if possible. Use the best email address you can find (even if they don’t appear to be hiring, it’s okay!)
Write a great cover letter or email explaining why they caught your attention, how you believe your skills will help them, and why you’d be excited to have an opportunity to discuss this further in an interview.
So now you know how to get a job after college by targeting fast-growing companies! Now let’s look at the next tactic to find a job…
The two methods are above are what I’d recommend for the best ways to find a job after college, or at least where you should start.
However, you might not have much of a network, or maybe you don’t want to work in a growth-stage company or startup.
So here’s another method you can try…
I find this to be MUCH better than other job boards because you can often apply directly through LinkedIn’s Easy Apply feature, without leaving the website. Just attach your resume and hit “send” and you’re done.
Here is a guide for applying to jobs on LinkedIn with Easy Apply.
This method lets you avoid having to create an account on multiple sites, and avoid having to fill in personal details over and over which is a huge waste of time.
And if you think you’re “missing out” by not sending a cover letter, read this. Cover letters aren’t as necessary as you may think when applying online.
The 3 methods I shared above are the best ways I know for how to find a good job after college.
However, if those methods above don’t work for you, then you may need to try a few methods that aren’t quite as good (but can still work).
This includes using job boards and career portals like Indeed, Monster, etc.
If you know what industry you want to work in, you can search for niche job boards as well. Here’s a list of the 45 best tech job boards, for example.
I’d recommend job boards as a last resort, or a small portion of your overall effort (10%, 20%, etc.)
But they CAN work. In fact, I found my first recruiting job via a Craigslist posting, when they were hiring 10 entry-level recruiters. I then got promoted to Project Manager in this role, too!
So you never know where you’ll get a high-quality job interview lined up. Don’t spend all of your time on job boards, but it’s okay to spend 20% of your efforts here.
However, you should start with the 3 best ways to find a job after college that are mentioned above. Those should be enough to get you a good job after college without needing to spend hours applying on job boards.
I promised at the start of this article I’d give you a few other tips and resources that’ll help you find a good job after college, so here they are:
When you do get interviews lined up, use this job interview preparation checklist to walk in prepared.
If you need help writing a cover letter, here’s how to write a cover letter with no experience.
Also, do NOT neglect to prepare questions to ask them. This is something most job seekers do not do a very good job of. So to help you, here’s a long list of great questions to ask the interviewer.
And as a final tip, if you’re talking to a recruiter, here are 5 questions I recommend asking recruiters, based on my own experience as a recruiter for many years.
You now know multiple strategies for how to get a job fresh out of college.
If you follow the steps and tips above, you will get more interviews, and succeed in those interviews so you can land a job in less time.
Remember, it only takes one job offer, so don’t get discouraged if you haven’t found a job as quickly as you had hoped. You’re one job interview away from getting hired, no matter what.
So keep going, and good luck!