I Have a College Degree. Now How Do I Find a Job?

Congratulations! You’ve spent the last 17 years learning, cramming, test-taking and now you have the ultimate prize: your college degree! But now what? How do you turn those years of hard work and accrued knowledge into a career that pays well, offers opportunity, and helps fulfill your dreams?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over half a million jobs were added to the market over the summer.* And what’s even better, Upper Iowa University’s Office of Career Development will aid you in your job search by helping:

• Polish your resume and design a strong cover letter
• • Identify valuable skills and market them
• • Find employers that match your career goals
• • Provide insight into job search techniques
• • Offer honest feedback on how you can increase your odds of landing that first great job

To prepare you for the next step, here are a few tips:

Get interview ready.
Hit the internet and make a list of 25 sample interview questions and then practice your responses. Select a variety of questions. Your interviews will cover a wide range of topics, so be prepared. Recruit a friend who’s also looking for work and role play. After the interview, go out for coffee, and share what worked and what didn’t. Support goes a long way.

Demonstrate your skills.
Did you work part time while getting your degree? When you sit across the table from your future employer, they will be impressed when you describe your acquired customer service, and organizational or technical skills. Provide them examples of how you will bring those valuable skills to their organization.

Translating your skills and experience into qualities that your future employer will benefit from is key. During your interview, demonstrate how you served a critical role in a school project = you are a strong team player. You can share a volunteer cause that you’re passionate about = you are dedicated to working hard.

Do your research.
Compile information to help you find the best fit for you AND your future employer. Include things like company size, types of jobs, required skills and experience, salary ranges, etc. When you find some businesses that seem a good match, check out their competitors. You may find a few more to add to your list. Then start applying.

Remember to follow each company’s application guidelines. Customize your cover letter and resume for each position you apply. This is the first test to prove you know how to follow directions, pay attention to details, and are serious about the hiring process.

You may have thought the studying was done when you crossed the stage and accepted your diploma, but in truth, “studying” for a successful job search is just as important. Use the resources available to you. Call Upper Iowa University’s Office of Career Development at 563-425-5229 and schedule an appointment today. Your future is in your hands.