If you just graduated or 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 networking and felt totally unprepared to job search.
It’s still a valuable tool to use as much as you can.
Here’s why: You’re FAR more likely to receive a job interview if you get introduced to a company by someone they know and trust.
So 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.
You could do this for any companies actually. Applying directly on company websites is a great method for finding a job after college.
But I prefer growth-stage companies in particular. Here’s why…
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 entry-level.
They tell me they’re frustrated because every job seems to require experience.
And the companies MOST likely to hire someone without experience are growth-stage companies, startups, etc.
They want talented people and are always looking to grow their team for the future.
This is how I landed my first job as a Recruiter actually. They were hiring 10 people at the time, for entry level spots. All due to growth!
This is the challenging part. There’s no magic recipe.
Search on LinkedIn, where you can filter by company size.
I’d also recommend checking out INC’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing US companies.
Then I like to 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.
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 job boards because you can often apply directly through LinkedIn’s website. Just attach your resume and hit “send” and you’re done.
Here’s a case study and video explaining how to apply to jobs as quickly as possible on LinkedIn.
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.
If the 3 main 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 a great job in the past on a Craigslist posting. So you never know where you’ll get a high quality job interview lined up.
I promised at the start of this article I’d give you a few other tips and resources that’ll help you land a great job, so here they are…
When you do get interviews lined up, use this job interview preparation checklist to walk in prepared.
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 them, based on my own experience as a recruiter for many years.
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!