February 23, 2024

I love working with recent graduates on job searches. After 12 years in school, they have become learning experts which makes teaching much easier. They are like sponges. They learn and practice. They don’t have bad job search habits so it’s fun to teach them because I can see how they react the first time they get a positive result.

the hard part? Job hunting for college graduates is terrible these days.

I already knew things were bad. I deal with this a lot when helping new grads find jobs. In fact, I can read their minds. That is because, after graduation, There are four things that make graduates really, really mad. My job is to help them overcome their anger and get hired.

If you know a recent college grad, pass on these 11 commandments of the job search to them. If you are a recent college graduate, take notes. These precepts are the laws you must follow as you embark on your next big challenge (finding a job) within the next six months.

1. I will not compare myself with my friends

First jobs out of college for young professionals


No two graduates are the same. Everyone has different skills, abilities, needs and desires. Just because your friend has a new job doesn’t mean he or she is better than you. Stay blinded and focus on your job search, not theirs.

Jealousy is a useless emotion that can hinder a job search. Also, your friends may be able to help you find a job. It’s in your best interest to be genuinely happy for them!

2. I will not take summer vacation

Summer after graduating from college, young woman on the phone looking for a job


Don’t delay your job search. Employers see this as entitlement and lazy behavior. Act now! Trust me, you won’t find a job for the next two weeks. And finding a job is not a full-time job.

Take time out each day to find a job and you’ll still have plenty of time to enjoy the summer. Improve your job search success before the temperature cools down! It’s about working smarter, not harder.

3. I don’t spend weeks designing my resume

College student / young professional stressed writing resume on laptop


Your resume won’t get you the job. The network is.

Don’t waste time trying to perfect your resume. At this point in your career, you don’t have much to impress employers with. The “wow” factor comes from being smart, articulate, and attractive — something that doesn’t show up on paper. You have to meet people to make this happen.

4. I will learn to network quickly!

Group of interns/young professionals networking/meeting at work


Networking is the most effective way of employment. However, most recent grads believe that because they have never worked, there is no one they can relate to. Incorrect!

People love helping recent grads. Learn “informational interviews” and schedule as many as possible. The sooner you learn to network, the sooner you will be hired.

5. I don’t expect too much from my first job

Recent college grads on their first day at a new job


Most recent college graduates feel they are overqualified for many of the entry-level jobs that are posted. However, most employers don’t think you are, and may even have unrealistic expectations for an entry-level position.

The brutal reality is that you don’t have any work experience beyond entry-level jobs. The sooner you accept entry-level jobs and work for six months, the sooner you can start applying for more exciting jobs that are currently out of your reach.

6. I will remember that every job is temporary

Young Professionals Consider Finding Jobs After College


While the entry-level job you land won’t be your dream job, that’s okay because you won’t be there for very long. You either do well at your job and get promoted, or you gain experience and are able to apply for better jobs.

“Every job is temporary” is one of our mottos at Work It DAILY, which is why you have to improve and commit to your career every day. Whether you’re looking for your first job or a new job, you need to maintain this mindset. We promise, it will pay off.

7. I will learn as much as possible about workplace professionalism

Recent college graduates attending job interview and shaking hands with hiring manager


The No. 1 complaint about recent graduates in corporate America is that they are perceived as unprofessional. Learn about attire, attitude, verbal communication style, and more. The more prepared you are, the better your first impression will be.

8. I will be very careful with my written communication style

Fresh college graduates apply for jobs online


The second-biggest complaint about recent graduates in corporate America is their poor written communication skills. Spelling, grammar and more.

Be very careful when writing cover letters, emails, and any other written communication related to your job search. One typo may result in disqualification!

9. I expect rejections (a lot)

Recent College Grad Gets Job Rejection and Stresses From Finding Jobs


You’ll apply to dozens of jobs and conduct up to 10 interviews before being offered an offer. Getting hired has a learning curve, and it comes through practice.

Be prepared to be rejected, and learn to deal with it. The sooner you pick yourself up and start looking again, the sooner you can get another interview and eventually an offer.

10. I will be a “professional” user of social media

Group of college students browsing social media on mobile phone


For the past four years, social media has been used for entertainment. Now, it’s time to use it to find a job.

Clean up Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, set things up on LinkedIn, and research how people use Twitter and TikTok to meet with hiring managers. Use social media to build an online presence, and when recruiters do their searches (trust us, they’ll look you up online), they’ll find recent graduates who are clearly ready to enter the workforce.

A strong social media presence can really land you an interview. Engage in social media best practices to advance your career.

11. When I finally get a new job, I don’t brag about it

Young professional using mobile phone and laptop discovers she has a job after graduating from college


Getting your first job will be exciting. I mean unbelievable. That being said, don’t post good news on the internet and make it the first topic of conversation with your friends. Why? Back to the first commandment.

Remember: you will be surrounded by people who have not yet landed their first job and will be jealous. Be the bigger person and keep a low profile in your new job. Of course, you can share the good news if someone asks, but try to change the subject afterwards.

Show how humble you are. You never know that someday in the future, that person will remember your gracious attitude and be willing to help you find your next job because of it. The friends you make now will be your future colleagues. Treat them well and it will pay off in the long run.

Follow the precepts above and your job search will be easier and more effective. And keep this checklist handy as a reminder that you will get it done. You can do this!

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This article was originally published on an earlier date.

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