Finding a job after college can be tough, finding a job after college with no relevant work experience can be even more difficult. The problem, many times, is that in order to get a job you need experience, but you also need experience just to land a job. It’s an awful Catch-22 and unfortunately, one that many recent graduates face. Finding a job after college with no experience is tough, but thankfully there are a plethora of ways you can build up your resume and experience to help you.
Now, before you sulk back into your chair and fill with despair, there is some hope! Although, it is going to take some effort and time from your end. This is especially true if you’re in your junior or senior year of college.
First, let’s really consider what experience means. For a seasoned, corporate veteran, experience typically entails number of years and core responsibilities within a specific industry. However, for a recent college graduate, experience means something entirely different. For college students, it’s about what you did outside the classroom.
Did you actively volunteer on or off campus? Were you the president of a chapter or club? Were you active on a certain team, athletic or otherwise?
Experience can mean something different for everyone. Just because you don’t have corporate experience, doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Look back over your college career and try to pinpoint certain times and instances where you gained life experience. What is something you did that was different? That’s your current experience.
Secondly, find an internship. Now I know, that’s much easier said than done. But the internship has replaced the entry level job. Your greatest likelihood of securing a full-time job after college with little to no experience is by gaining it through an internship.
We, obviously, recommend finding an internship that is paid to help you with monthly expenses and bills. But if the only internship you can find or are accepted to are unpaid, then you should still take it. Try to supplement your remaining time with a part-time job to help you month-over-month.
Which leads to our next point quite nicely. Get a part-time job. Part-time jobs are a great way to get out and explore the working world and to build your network. You’ll interact with a variety of differing people and will begin to earn a paycheck to help you in school.
Fourthly, do something different. Times have changed since our parents and grandparents went to college. Many times, they were constricted by the opportunities made available to them. Nowadays, with the proliferation of the internet and smartphones, you can find and create opportunity.
Want to get into marketing? Great, start your own blog and market your blog. The things you learn you can place on your resume. Likewise, want to get into social media management, or being an editor, or iOS development. Do it yourself. Build a website, build an app, make a blog. Do something unique, that other college students may not have and differentiate yourself.
Think differently. A lot of the options I listed were great for my years in college, but times are changing very quickly. Find a niche or a vertical that you understand and capitalize on it. Employers are looking for new talent that can help them address upcoming problems, so be a problem solver.
Lastly, network, network, network. Utilize LinkedIn, your alumni network, your friends and family. See if they can refer you to an entry level position or internship to get your foot in the door. Once you’re in, absolutely blow them away with your work ethic and your abilities.
You need to make the opportunities you want available to you. This isn’t easy, but it is doable. Find your passion, find what you’re good at, and focus on it to differentiate yourself. You can build your own experience and that should help you find your first full-time job.