College to Career, Pt. 2: How to Secure Your First Job After College

By Kristy Sipiorski Mar 21, 2016
Recent Graduate

This is the second in a three-part series to help prospective college graduates prepare for a smooth, successful transition between college and a career in the real world. Part one focused on steps you can take right now. Part two is offering advice on conducting a successful entry-level job search. Part three will help you prepare for your first day on the job.

Once you’ve taken the steps in part one, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful career after college. But this is where the rubber hits the road. For all your classes, extracurriculars and hard work to pay off, you ultimately need to land a job — ideally one that actually matches your major and skill set. Use the job search tips below to increase your chances of securing your perfect first job after college.

How to conduct a successful new job search:

  1. Do your research – Take the time to research the companies you are applying for. Visit their websites, look at their core values and ask yourself, “Do they match mine?” Make sure the company’s culture is one that appeals to you. Once you get a job interview, showing your knowledge of the company will help you stand out as a candidate.
  2. Customize a cover letter – When you apply, take the time to show the individuals reviewing your application that you are interested in their specific role. You can do this by explaining briefly in the cover letter how your skills match the job description for the role you are interested in.
  3. Apply to roles you’re qualified for – I know it’s tempting to apply for a leadership position right out of college, but be patient. You will need to put in some groundwork first. Many companies offer a variety of career paths to help proven performers climb the ladder quickly.
  4. Put yourself out there – Now that you have a killer resume, give companies visibility to it. Create profiles on the major job boards. This will help recruiters find you and your skills. Make sure that your profiles include industry keywords and buzzwords. This will help you stand out over other candidates.
  5. Continue networking – Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” There is an element of truth to this. Attend local networking events, reach out to companies and ask for an informational interview. Get your name in front of influential business leaders and make an impact.

Schneider offers a wide variety of entry-level job opportunities for recent grads, all with the potential for career advancement. Perhaps you hadn’t considered a career in transportation and logistics, but it takes an incredible diversity of skill sets to move the economy. As long as things need to get from point A to point B, rewarding opportunities will be available for talented people like you.

Focus on implementing the advice from parts one and two, and we’re confident you’ll land a great job. Then check back in April as graduation approaches for part three on how to prepare for your first day on the job.

Do you have any questions about landing your first job after college? Comment below, and we can help.

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About the Author

Kristy Sipiorski IMG

Kristy is a logistics solution design manager who has been with Schneider since 2011. She has also managed Schneider’s corporate social media initiatives and college recruiting strategy. Kristy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication.

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