job search advice for recent graduates

You’ve handed in your final paper and walked across the stage in a cap and gown to receive your diploma. You’re officially a graduate, congratulations! Now what? The world is slowly coming out of quarantine, and you are entering the job market after “The Great Resignation” and amid reports of tech companies laying off employees. This may seem like a challenging time to start your job search but there are many companies that are hiring. As you get prepared to start a your career, we’re sharing helpful job search advice for recent graduates.

Job Search Advice for Recent Graduates:

1. Know and accept your career type.

I have found that there are three different types of people, when it comes to careers. Those who know exactly what they want to do, and probably have known since they were five years old. Those who know what they enjoy and what they are good at, and are not sure how it translates into a job. And those who know where they want to work, and will accept just about any role to get started there.

The person who knows exactly what they want to do with their lives after graduation isn’t any better off than others. Once I accepted, without judgement, that I was part of that second group, it was much easier to make a career plan that fit where I was at the time.

2. Be organized and resourceful

School’s career services office. It was by making an appointment with a career services advisor that I discovered I wanted to work after graduation, instead of completing a master’s degree. My advisor listened to my concerns and interests, and recommended I apply for a role that would afford me exposure to learn more.

Through our campus recruitment program, I interviewed for a position and accepted an offer prior to graduation day. As an alumnus, I continued to connect with my advisor who helped me with resume reviews, mock interviews and connecting me with other alumni.

Internships. If you had internships during your college career, continue to connect with your former supervisor and colleagues. Many times, having previous internship experience at the company you apply to will stand out to hiring managers.

Talent communities. If you are the career type that knows the companies that you would like to work with, visit their career page and start the research process. Many companies have talent communities that you can join to be notified of openings when they become available.

LinkedIn. Be sure to have an active profile, which will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to find you. Recruiters are also a great resource for knowing the job market and openings. When it comes to interviewing, they can guide you through the process of getting hired. Be open to the outreach you may receive and consider contract opportunities to test out a certain type of position on a short-term basis.

Job tracker. Keep track of the jobs you apply to and where you are in the process for each. You may also want to include where you learned about the job and any notes that may help when you get to the interview stage.

3. Find a mentor

I can’t tell you how much I have heard from others that having a mentor has made the biggest impact on their career growth and success. Think about the person who you admire most professionally and ask them to be your mentor.

Your first job as a new grad will likely not be your forever job. There is a skill and a lesson to learn in every experience, even if it is leaving a job knowing that you don’t want to do that type of work ever again. While I’m sharing our job search advice for recent graduates, this is your career journey – it may be a very straight path to your dream job or there may be some zigzags along the way. The more you check in with yourself along the way, the more grounded and truer to yourself you are likely to remain.

Congratulations, class of 2022. I can’t wait to see what you continue to do in this world.


Deanna Silva
Deanna Silva

Deanna is a Senior Recruiter on the Direct Sourcing Team, one of 15+ job titles she has held over her 20 year working history with over 10 employers since graduating with a degree in human services and counseling. Her candidate-focused approach to HR and recruiting is rooted in her personal job search experience, her background in career advising, her formal education, which includes a professional certificate in adult career planning and development, and her deep interest in bettering the candidate experience and discovering its impact on overall employee engagement and retention.