You’ve got a degree. Now what? Helping you get your first job

On average, four million people graduate from college each year. That means there are four million people vying for their perfect post-grad job. It’s not uncommon for it to take up to two years for grads to find a fit. In fact, only 27 percent of college grads find a job in their field of study. But there are things to do to up your chances of landing in your career of choice.

Samantha Schilke, Executive Director of Team Strength, a CEO coaching and peer forum group, says odds are in your favor — “great people are hard to find and almost all of my member companies are looking for them right now.”

Her first piece of advice, look for a company — not a job — you want to be involved with.

Schilke encourages new grads to “Start on the ground floor and really work your way up, using some really strong worth ethic in the beginning can help get you a seat at the table.”

Next, don’t dismiss internships. Schilke advises that internships are “a great way to get your foot in the door.” Lastly, don’t let your experience, or lack of it, stop you. Schilke states, “I think people are really looking for candidates who fit culture, especially if you’re coming into the market without a lot of experience. Pursue different opportunities, see what fits and, and be willing to test things out.”

To help you find what you’re looking for, networking is key. Although tempting, Schilke cautions against putting too much pressure on the first job – “I think the first job will teach you a lot about yourself and about what you’re capable of and about what works really well with your strengths and opportunities for growth.”

Another tip, it’s hot right now to apply for jobs on LinkedIn. If you send cold messages and don’t get a reply, that’s a sign you need to change your script. If you go on four interviews and don’t get any callbacks, it’s time to work on your interview skills. The good news is, more than 72 percent of all college graduates in the U.S. are employed. Having a degree is a distinguishing factor when applying for a job.

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