Top Tips for Graduating Seniors


Brian Ray offers valuable tips for college graduates who are looking for jobs.

Top tips for new grads looking for jobs

College grads - career direction?
A career services director for a major school recently told me that the #1 problem graduating seniors have in getting a job is lack of career focus. Answering “What do you want to do?” with “Anything” usually gets you nothing. Explore your gifts and passions with career assessments and occupational research. Target your searching by occupation, industry and location.

College grads - do your homework
The #2 problem for graduating seniors is not knowing much about prospective employers. An interview is like an exam, so do your homework. Know the size, scope and mission of employers - as well as what they sell to whom - products, services and customers. Start with this handy study aid - type the name of an employer into Google search engine and get instant info.

More school for new grads?
If the occupation you seek requires more education, then now might be a good time to go for another degree. If the career you want is hot, it might be right to jump into a job now, and go to school at the same time. Your new employer might even pay for it through a tuition reimbursement program.

New grads new to networking
Use every possible contact through your school to get personal referrals to potential employers. Check with alumni relations and school fundraising departments. Look through directories for past grads in current employers. Ask faculty, staff and other students. It’s not only what you know – it’s also who you know.

Extracurricular activities add extra edge
Whether you are an A, B or C student, extracurricular activities play an extra big part in demonstrating your personal initiative, leadership skills and ability to work with others. Be sure your resume has plenty extra activities, and your interview preparation includes extra stories. If you need some extra extras, sign-up for a community volunteer project today.

Internships - more than a foot in the door
How do you get experience when all the jobs require experience? What to do when the employer you want is not hiring? Consider giving them a free trial for three months - an internship. It will give you a chance to prove yourself. You will get valuable experience you need. And they might even ask you to stay and give you pay.

Go to church – find a job
They call members of a church a fellowship for a reason. It’s all of us fellows (men and women) in the same ship – ready, willing and able to help one another. Do not be shy about networking for personal referrals through your church to potential employers. Some churches even have ministries to help people find jobs.

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