The Job Search

Chloe O'Connell
June 21, 2016

If you're like me, still riding on the graduation glory from last week, or a college senior approaching graduation, you’re probably searching for a job.  You may also be about to start searching, scared to start, or just plain putting it off. I'm here to offer a little advice on finding that first job based on my experience in helping over 100 recent graduates find jobs in the past year.

The basics

The best way to start your job search is just to start. Rip off the Band-Aid and get out there and start digging, no one else is going to do it for you.  Start by making sure your resume is in A+ shape. That means updating, editing, and having someone proofread it to make sure of this. You do not want to be the candidate who sent out a poorly done resume.  You also need to make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and well done. Building an online presence and brand is important for making yourself look attractive to employers. (Tip: Check out LaunchSource's Career Preparation Course for tips on putting your linkedin profile and resume together.)

Be strategic and start networking

Keep your job search organized, create a strategy that outlines a plan for your search to stay on track.  Searching for a job is overwhelming, especially if it is your first time.  To begin, you need to have an idea of what you want to do.  To help answer this question, do research on various roles that you are interested in, read reviews on the role, and network with people who are in the role or have been in the role. Networking may be scary at first, but most people are willing to give you 15 minutes of their time if you approach them the right way.

The best way to approach someone is to ask them for 15 minutes to chat about career advice. Be upfront with your intentions, and be prepared with good questions about a person's job or career. What is their day-to-day like? What kinds of skills did they have coming into the job? What is the career path like? These types of questions will help you understand the type of role you may be interested in.

Remember: nearly everyone was in your shoes at one point. If you approach them respectfully, they will most likely be willing to help you out.

Determine your ideal workplace

So you now understand what the roles you are interested in pursuing.  Next you want to determine what type of company you want to work for, a small company? A startup? A larger, corporate company?  Is company culture important to you?  Again, to answer this question, network with people who have worked in various sizes and cultures.  Do research through, blogs, and company websites.

Is there a certain industry you want to work in?  Alas, you need to understand what your salary range is.  This is unique to everyone and it depends on where you are going to be living, how you live etc., and what your experience level is.

Execute your plan

Execute your well planned job search strategy.  Use the many online resources and tools to search for these jobs.  Many popular job search sites include, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and many others.  These sites are great because you can search specifically for what job you are looking for as well as specify salary and other requirements using various filters.  You can also go directly to the company websites you are interested in, and looking at what positions they have open.

Now, if you are a graduating senior or alumni of a university that offers career services and university career pages, take advantage of those!  Networking is a huge tool in job searching, over 70% of jobs landed result from networking.  Take advantage of your college alumni page on LinkedIn, chances are there are some helpful connections.  LinkedIn also offers tips and occasional networking workshops to help you leverage yourself and brand both online and in person.  Attending networking events can be a useful tool in getting to know certain company’s, understanding roles, and making connections for potential employment.

Of course, if you're interested in sales and technology, LaunchSource can help you find a job. LaunchSource works with high tech startups in Boston, New York, California, Washington D.C., and Atlanta who are looking to hire ambitious entry-level candidates. You can apply by checking out our Jobs page.

Happy Job Hunting!