To Graduates Looking For A New Job


Ahh spring. Tulips are poking up from the soil. Birds are chirping away in the trees. And many students are graduating and looking for their first full time job.If you don’t have all of the answers to your family and friends seemingly endless questions… “Where will you live?!” “What will you do?!” “When are you going to find a job?!” Congratulations, because you are in a special place my friend. You are in transition from old to new. And new is what helps us expand and grow as people.



So to graduates looking for a new job, to answer their questions (by the way, even though it’s annoying, they are just asking because they care about you and know you are amazing and want something great for you), you might say things like “I’m expanding my network on LinkedIn and contacting my connections for potential opportunities.”  Or you can confidently reply, “I have two networking events this week that may lead to promising job prospects.”

With your family/friends questions answered for now, you can focus on you. Think back to when you were in a similar position – when you were in high school and applying for colleges. It seemed scary to think you wouldn’t get into any colleges at all or into your favorite school. You may have felt fear.

But it may have felt exciting too. So you wrote essays, submitted applications, and highlighted your best strengths. Look at me! I got an “A” in AP English! Check me out, I worked for the school newspaper and got a varsity letter in Cross Country! You used your own experiences to help you through the seemingly daunting college application process. And when you got accepted, you probably felt peace.

The same fear-peace feelings apply for the college-workforce transition. It can feel scary, but you can make like Tris from Divergent and let this fear wake you up instead of shut you down. Here are a few steps to get you started.


 Step 1: Create a LinkedIn profile (if you haven’t already)

–       Highlight your experience and skills in your profile

–       Connect with your college professors, former bosses, parents, parents friends

–       Once you’re connected, ask for recommendations from your connections


Step 2: Draft a resume

–       Use bullet points to communicate your experience and accomplishments

–       Mention all societies, groups, and extracurricular activities (i.e. volunteering)

–       Highlight any awards and honorable mentions

–       Save as a PDF (I’d hate for someone to type notes on your word doc resume and fwd along that version)

–       Don’t stress about it…many believe that resumes are extinct and that a quality LinkedIn profile serves as your resume (See! So do step 1 really well)

updated resume 0126

Step 3: Join in

–       Go to alumni events, business networking events, and yes even parties with your parents to expand your network

–       Create a mobile business card to “Share Contact” via text/email at said events

–       Find an activity that you enjoy…gardening, run club, Toastmasters, intermural ultimate frisbee…whatever your heart sings for, join other people who love doing it too. You will meet new people, expand your network, and have fun.


Step 4: Follow up

–       Hand written thank you notes are classy and gracious. Write them.


Step 5: Stay positive

–       It’s easy to let the worries creep in…”What if I don’t find a job?! What if nothing works out?!!!!.” Take 3 deep breaths and 10 sips of water.

–       Get a mantra, i.e. ‘I am great!’ and repeat it to yourself frequently (I know…can you tell I went to yoga today?!)

–       Know that everything will work out for you

–       Remind yourself that you will learn and grow from whatever new opportunity finds it’s way to you. New will be exciting and cool and good, even if it’s scary at first.


How did you find your next opportunity? Let me know in the comments or @kellymc247

Author Archive

Photo credit 1

Photo credit 2

Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

You may also like...