What Recent Grads with No Job Experience Should Do Immediately

recent grads

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After graduation, the world is your oyster. Unless you can’t pay your rent. Then your parents’ spare room is your oyster.

Forgetting to accumulate work experience is surprisingly easy. Classes, social life, and a part-time job that has nothing to do with your major all take up a massive amount of time and attention.

If your resume is blank aside from some babysitting you did a year ago and your recent college degree, we have great news for you. These alternative job hunting methods don’t require tons of experience, and they usually end in amazing full-time job opportunities.

recent grads

Don’t Be Overwhelmed by Salaried Job Listings. Look at These Applications Instead.

You’ll be ready to climb the corporate ladder very soon, but first, practice this crucial step: getting your foot in the door. Applying for a mechanical engineer, data analyst, or creative copywriter position when you’ve just graduated college with zero work experience may only discourage you.

According to a recent survey conducted by NACE, 64.8 percent of internships resulted in full-time job offers. Paid internships for college graduates make it drastically more likely that three to six months down the line, you’ll be in a salaried position in the kind of company culture you’ve been looking for.

If you have no experience, but you want a paid internship, you must have impeccable application materials. Looking for an accounting internship? Make a mock excel report to showcase your software skills. Digital design? Draft a series of portfolio designs. If you’re a business major with no office experience, write a few business blog posts under a personal WordPress domain. You get the point. There are countless ways to demonstrate your passion and knowledge as you search for great work experience.

recent grads

Networking is the No. 1 Most Powerful Job Hunting Strategy.

A whopping 80% of jobs are found through networking. Recent grads are all tired of hearing about the power of a broad network–especially the shy ones. But, you’ll start noticing a trend that might motivate you. You’ll begin asking peers at parties and reunions where they found their jobs as tech workers, grant writers, business development associates—the list goes on. Time and time again they will say “my mom works at X company,” or “girlfriend’s brother recommended me,” or “my friend works on the sales team.”

Most companies even offer a bonus of anywhere between $500-$3,000 to employees that refer a new hire to the team. If you’re uncomfortable or not seeing results when networking, try our How to to Network Outside of a Networking Event guide. Or, practice with friends and family. Start conversations and ease into networking questions. Meet an employed friend or family member for coffee to ask them how they maintain their network.

Contract Work is the New First Job.

Many of us hear the words “temp job” and think of Ryan from The Office. We need to stop turning our noses up, because these roles are instrumental for recent grads who need to expand their resumes.

Be warned, many employers hire temporary employees to save money on benefits plans, wages, and long-term pay. However, many firms and staffing agencies quote 30 percent or more full-time employment rates from temp positions. The point is, this option is not about getting hired where you temp (although, that is a potential added bonus!) It’s about growing your skill set, office experience, and short-term income so you can start hearing back from the companies you want to work at.

Still panicking about your job search? We hope not. It’s normal for your very first job search to take some time. Try these strategies to make sure you’re hitting all of your bases. Your future professional self will thank you.


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