5 Tips for Landing a Job Out of College

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The following is a guest post by Marc Prosser.  His bio follows.

So you’re newly out of college, wide-eyed and ready to wander about the world in search for the perfect job. However, there’s plenty of competition out there, so it’s important to show—not just tell—your future employers the ways in which you stand out from the crowd. Feeling nervous and unsure as to what to do next? Here are 5 tips to help you land that promising position, even as a fresh graduate!

1. Plan Proactively

Be proactive during your search for a job. While it might do you good to look around job listings that are already posted on job search engines like Indeed, try to take initiative. Look up companies that fall under your desired field. Do your research and make good note of each place. Once you’ve compiled your research, look up the hiring authority and send them an email requesting an informational meeting. They will likely be impressed with the extra mile you went to reach out to them, and you could be one step closer to finding yourself hired!  There are also niche specific job boards you can visit. For example, if you pursue a career in business, you can browse marketing specific jobs from websites like AngelList and GrowthHackers.

2. Use Job Platforms Like LinkedIn

Once you’ve secured an interview with a company you applied to, it’s important that you continue your research. If you know the person who will be interviewing you, try to look them up on a professional social network or job platform like LinkedIn. This will give you the chance to connect with them before your interview. Leaving a little note saying something along the lines of “I have an interview with you soon. Looking forward to connecting with you!” will really drive the message across that you’re very interested in the position.

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3. Stay Focused, and Practice

The day of the interview is here, and you’re anxious to get it done right! Try not to fret too much though, since the key to any successful interview is staying focused and getting everything down correctly. Practice your elevator pitch; have a 2-3-minute long answer prepared for the inevitable “walk me through your background” question. Mastering this is a great way to look confident, collected, and capable in front of the hiring authority. This is also true when you’re explaining your passion for the field as well. There’s nothing wrong with practicing a little just to make sure you’re getting everything you want to say across properly.

Ultimately, showing them that you have all the right insights on the “whys” and “why nots” of your experiences will bring you closer to success. Keeping your focus, avoiding distractions, and practicing will help calm your nerves, and the results leave a great, lasting impression on your interviewer!

4. Show That You’ve Grown

As a fresh graduate, you’re probably worried that your experiences aren’t as valuable as those who have had more time on the playing field. An interview is the best time to demonstrate your capabilities and maturity. Talk about a time you had taken up a project that didn’t go so well, and explain how you came out of it smarter and stronger. Do not be afraid to talk about failure when being interviewed, as it’s a natural process that everyone goes through plenty of times throughout their careers. The important thing is that you convey that you have grown and learned from the experience.

5. Follow Up!

After thanking the interviewer and ensuring that they’ll be in touch, all that’s left to do is wait for the results. If you don’t hear anything, send a follow-up email after a week has passed to remind the hiring authority that you’re still very much interested in the position. It happens often that paperwork piles up and applications can be set aside and forgotten about, so there really is no harm in following up and checking on the status of your application.

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Landing a Job:  The Bottom Line

The hiring process can be a jittery one, but as long as you have your wits about you and you play your cards right, as well as keep these tips in mind, you should be savoring the sweet taste of employment in no time!

About The Author

marc prosser author image

Marc Prosser is the co-founder and managing partner of Fit Small Business, a small business informational website that reaches over 800,000 small business readers a month.


Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.