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Job Search Strategies for Career Starters

While new college graduates are facing an uncertain job market, there is some good news to share. According to the 2023 Guide To Kickstart Your Career published by LinkedIn, while many have lost jobs in the post-pandemic workforce, there has been a robust bounce back in jobs. According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers are planning to hire about 4% more new grads than they did in 2022.

I was excited to read about the fastest-growing jobs and industries with and without college degrees. If you are searching for a job and do not have a bachelor’s degree, or you just graduated from college, I’d like to share some interesting tidbits to know about your job search.

  1. Employers are increasingly focusing on skills for career starters with and without a bachelor’s degree. It’s about who can accomplish the tasks for the job.
  2. To become familiar with your skills, complete a skills inventory online or through your college Career Services department.
  3. Consider the skills you acquired from internships, community service experiences, and volunteering. If you have job experience, identify the skills you picked up at the job that can be added to your resume.
  4. Craft a resume using a job description you are interested in as a guide. Resumes need to be targeted to a specific job title.
  5. Sign up for a LinkedIn profile. There are a lot of tips on LinkedIn to help you get started. Be sure to highlight your skills to attract recruiters.
  6. Start building a network on LinkedIn with family, friends, and your alumni network.
  7. I help my clients build a networking resume. It’s a document that summarizes education, employment, internships, classes, and any volunteer work that can highlight experience. It starts with a summary that contains character traits, academic achievements and education, and any previous experience. This type of resume demonstrates your skills and achievements. Add a section that includes a Target List of Companies you want to explore and another section on Preferred Roles/Functions. You can find tips and samples on indeed.com.
  8. Seek jobs in your area using LinkedIn. Identify ten companies you are interested in working for.
  9. Review the job description before preparing for interviews and speak to prospective employers about the specific job responsibilities.
  10. Interviews: in starting out, seek out family and friends to practice informational interviews. The goal of an informational interview is to investigate careers you want to learn about. Conduct yourself in the same way you would for a professional interview. You can call or meet in person. Have prepared questions to ask, like: what do you do on a typical day? What do you like best about your job? What type of education and training is required for this job? What’s the entry-level salary?

It’s essential to have a Job Search Plan as the first step in the job search process. That will help you to focus on targeted job titles, tasks you want to work on as part of a job, target industries, geographic areas to consider, hybrid/remote work, and whether you are open to travel. It will include your support system and networking plan. A Career Coach can assist you with getting started with your job search, creating a plan, resume help, a networking strategy, and a LinkedIn profile. Your coach can serve as your accountability partner to assist in planning and tracking your progress.

Finally, I suggest being open-minded to new and different opportunities that may arise. Having a variety of job experiences will help to discover what you enjoy doing. Pay attention to the job tasks that you enjoy. This will help you discover unanticipated passion. Also, be open to learning about tasks you don’t know much about. Explore, be curious, have a positive attitude, and always ask for help when you need it.

Victoria Roche, MSW, PCC

Victoria Roche, MSW, PCC

ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach