Tips for New Grads Job Searching Without a lot of Previous Work Experience

Being a new graduate means you probably do not have a ton of work experience, and in this rocky job market, there are more people with years of experience fighting for entry-level jobs. Sure, you were involved on campus through student organizations, volunteering opportunities and an internship or two, but now you’re competing with fellow job candidates who might have a year or two of experience more than you. How can you measure up? Follow these tips for putting the professional experience you do have in the best light:

Part-Time Jobs

Our first part-time jobs gave us more than pocket change, they taught us many important lessons that we will carry for the rest of our career. Although they may not be relevant enough for your resume, they make good talking points during job interviews, so talk about the lessons you learned when it comes to teamwork, time management and accountability. 

School Projects

To prepare you for the “real world,” professors assign projects based off of day-to-day tasks you may face during your career. Again, these aren’t something you can necessarily list on your resume, but they are good topics of conversation during an interview. When talking about your school projects, directly relate them to the job duties and requirements.

Student Organization Fundraising 

Many students have been involved in fundraising at least once during their college experience. Whether you sold t-shirts, organized a raffle or hosted a big event, there are opportunities to use this experience for talking points during a job interview and to bolster your resume. Hiring managers like to see results on resumes, so mention how much money you raised and what it went toward. During your interview, talk about your experience working with your team and goals you accomplished together.

Leadership Positions

It is well known that hiring managers like job candidates with leadership experience. If you were a leader of a student organization, you have a lot to add to your resume and to talk about during an interview. Talk about how many people you led, the goals you accomplished and difficult times when your group relied on your leadership.

Teaching Assistant Opportunities 

When an interviewer sees “Teaching Assistant” on your resume, he/she will be impressed that a professor trusted and respected you enough to choose you for this role. Not only it is an honor, being a teaching assistant requires a lot of organization and presentation skills, all of which can be applicable to many jobs out there. Talk about that experience on your resume and during an interview by mentioning the number of students in the class and what you taught.

Internships 

In this blog, we frequently mention the importance of internships, because they provide new grads invaluable career experience. Due to their relevance and importance, internships should be one the first things listed on your resume. Again, hiring managers like seeing results on resumes, so highlight your accomplishments. During an interview, not only can you mention the things you learned and accomplished, you can talk about how you successfully juggled your roles as an intern and being a full-time student, as hiring managers also like candidates with good time management.

As a new grad, you might not have the amount of experience as your competition, but that does not mean you lack quality experience. College gave you opportunities, so if you are able to properly relate these opportunities to the jobs you are applying for, you are sure to have a leg up on you competition.

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