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How to Get Hired Straight Out of College

College students smile after graduation

If you’re about to graduate and don’t have a job lined up, you may be feeling the pressure. But don’t worry: You can still score the perfect job to kick-start your career. Take a look at these four ways to make it happen:


  1. Audit your social accounts.

During the hiring process, 7 out of 10 potential employers will search for you online to see what pops up. What will they find? Cleaning up your social media activity to impress potential employers is tricky. You shouldn’t eliminate your online presence completely: CareerBuilder found that 57 percent of employers admit they’re less likely to interview a candidate they can’t find online. But then, 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles. You need to balance the two.

The key is to remove provocative and inappropriate photos, videos, information and comments. These includes drinking selfies, discriminatory comments, bad-mouthing previous employers, and unprofessional screen names. Successfully clean up your act and you can be rewarded: 44 percent of employers have hired candidates based on their social media activity, usually because it highlighted their professional qualifications, excellent communication skills, professional image, and creativity.

And if you think you’re too cool to be on LinkedIn, you’re missing out. Nine out of 10 recruiters use LinkedIn to vet job candidates. Use keywords for your ideal job throughout your profile to increase your chances of appearing in searches and follow these other helpful hints to maximize your LinkedIn profile.


  1. Use your connections.

Yes, you have them! LinkedIn can be a great tool to help you connect the dots. Maybe a childhood friend’s parent is an executive at the company you’d love to interview at and you never realized it! Try to connect to at least 200 people you know on LinkedIn and see where those connections lead you. Utilize your school’s career center and alumni networks like the University of Texas Hire a Longhorn Job Bank. Many fellow alumni are more than happy to help a new graduate find their first job. If you interned during school, be sure to connect back to your internship supervisor and let them know you’re on the hunt for a full-time position.

Then, simply, get out there. Networking opportunities in cities like Austin, Houston and Dallas are abundant. Our favorite is the Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting Mixer. Digital job seekers can attend for free while recruiters and employers pay a small fee, so you know the folks you want to meet are invested in meeting and hiring new talent. We also love the Launch Pad Job Club, which hosts a series of regular meetings and events to keep job seekers active and networked. For more networking events in your area, search Eventbrite.


  1. Ace the interview by showcasing your soft skills.

Don’t overly rely on your degree or education to score that first job. Employers across most industries are more desperate for new recruits with soft skills like excellent verbal communication and a knack for collaboration. In fact, in the IT sector, 67% of HR professionals admit to withholding a job offer from an otherwise talented candidate due to a lack of soft skills.

To showcase your soft skills, go into a job interview ready to impress: Practice being calm and courteous, research the company so you can ask the right questions, and find ways to illustrate your willingness to learn and be a team player. After the interview, PLEASE remember to send a thank you card or email. Those small touches can go a long way when it comes to showing off your winning personality.


  1. Consider a temp job in the meantime.

New grads still on the job search are often told they should take on unpaid internships or volunteer opportunities to keep their resumes relevant. But let’s be realistic: Most recent grads need one thing more than any other: a paycheck. Thankfully, most employers in most fields understand and won’t fault an entry-level candidate for getting paid to work at Starbuck’s over volunteering to fetch executives coffee in a glorified post-degree internship.


But here’s a compromise: Why not find a temp job or contract work while you’re job searching? You’ll hit the ground running with a paycheck, potentially learn or put into practice a variety of new skills, make great career connections, and may even find yourself in a great temp-to-hire situation in which your temp or contract job turns into the permanent job you’ve hoping to get. Visit our Find a Job page to search open jobs and to submit your resume.

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