Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How to Find Your First Job

It's very intimidating to try to find your first "real" job after college. I remember going to the Career Planning office at my college and pouring over job descriptions in a big binder and realizing that I might be qualified for....nothing! After developing a resume that highlighted my event planning experience, I decided to steer in that direction - particularly through applying for an event-related position at my alma mater - interning at the Alumni and Parent Relations Department. It was just a summer job but it bought me a little time to figure things out.

I won't bore you with all of the details of how I made a career out of a glimmer of an idea about event planning...but I will try to provide you with some ideas about how to pursue that first job.

1. Look at what is right in front of you: Your college! There may be job opportunities or internships that would be right up your alley or at least buy you some time and help you pay some bills while you figure out what you really want to do!

2. Employment Agencies: My husband started his career through working at a temp agency that placed him at a non-profit, where he discovered a knack for marketing and is now at an online marketing company. Employment agencies get paid by companies for finding them great staff members. They WANT to find a job for you because they get paid about 30% + of whatever you make per hour. Just look up your local agencies online and send them an application. They'll typically bring you in for an interview and then work on finding a job for you among the companies that they have contracts with. It's a great way to get into some companies and can turn into a permanent position. A lot of companies are doing "temp to hire" positions lately, so this can be a great direction to go in!

3. Online Job Postings: I suggest using a variety of online websites to look through job postings. Some people look down on it, but I think craigslist is a great resource. Most companies post there and I like being able to specify by area and use key word searches. Look at the local newspaper's websites for job postings as well. If you have a favorite company, set your schedule to check their website for job openings weekly. is a good site for non-profit jobs. Other great sites are, and yahoo hot jobs.

4. Networking! Tell everyone you know that you are a new grad in need of a job. For more info, refer to this post.

Happy hunting!

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