How I Landed My First Post-College Job

How I Landed My First Post-College Job
by Lauren McGoodwin
Photos Joe Kathrina | September 26, 2014

“I just started my senior year of college, and it seems like a lot of my friends are ALREADY landing jobs and interviews for next fall! I’m getting a little stressed out about my own job search (which is, as of yet, nonexistent), and I have no idea where to start. How did you land your first post-college job?”

- Aerin, Fairfield, CT

Great question! Your senior year of college is already a busy time, so figuring out how to search and apply for jobs in the midst of everything else can get super stressful.

I graduated in 2009 and the job market was dismal, to say the least. During my senior year, I knew finding a job was going to be difficult, so I started early (props for sending this question in the fall!) by working with career center counselors to polish my resume and cover letter, and even to perfect my elevator pitch that I would be giving at career fairs. Yes, I was that person who went to every career fair.

I also signed up to participate in mock interviews. Mock interviews are essentially a fake interview held with real employers, and the whole thing is videotaped. It was a very eye-opening experience—I couldn’t believe how much I touched my hair or talked with my hands! I definitely encourage anyone with access to a mock interview program to utilize it. 

Next, I secured a part-time marketing internship working with a local marathon and started applying to jobs. I did most of my job search on my college’s career website and through on-campus interviews with employers who I met at career fairs.

In May, a month before graduation, I still didn’t have a job. Feeling defeated, I started to look into summer travel plans when, out of the blue, my internship manager sent me an Event Coordinator job posting. I applied with my manager’s referral, interviewed and landed the job two weeks before graduation.

Lesson? You never know when or where an opportunity will arise. Be proactive and always do your best work!