How to Begin Searching for Your First Job

December 19, 2021

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Here you are, finishing up the first semester of your Senior year wondering, “Where did all the time go?"

Well now, the next question is, “What’s next?” Beginning a job search and finding a career after college can be daunting, especially if your only experiences are in clubs or classrooms. Job searching can be frustrating, but here are some helpful tips to steer you in the right direction: 

  1. Start early! 

Waiting until you have already graduated to begin your job search already sets you back behind other college students. Job searching can take up a lot more time than you think, so waiting can leave you jobless for several weeks up to several months. It’s smart to start looking into jobs as early as possible in your college career by attending career fairs, networking events, and securing summer internships. It’s also best to start gaining come interview experience before graduating. This can be attained through real job and internship interviews that you have applied for, or through the campus career services. Remember, it’s never too early to gain experience or begin a successful job search. Allowing yourself time to research, practice, and gain a better understanding of what fields you are interested in will only benefit you.  

  1. Create a strong resume. 

Entry-level jobs can potentially attract thousands of applicants, meaning your resume could be one out of one thousand. It is important to build a strong resume that successfully displays who you are, what you have accomplished, and your experiences, while simultaneously attracting the attention of the employer. The standard of turning in a successful resume comes down to this: Make two resumes. One resume will contain every single achievement, job experience, award, you name it, and can be however many pages long. This is your baseline resume for yourself. The second resume will be the resume that you actually give to the employer, and will be tailored and rewritten according to the company’s standards and the specifics of the job title. Every job application that you fill out will include a completely new resume that you have rewritten to cater to the requirements of the job description. This is tedious work, but greatly increases the chances of getting your foot in the door for an interview.  

Check out these useful tips for creating a strong resume

  1. Continue to build a strong foundation of networks. 

Take advantage of opportunities such as career fairs, networking events, and building strong relationships with your professors. All of these networking opportunities can help you build a foundation of relationships and connections that can lead to potential job opportunities in the future. A relatively new way to propel yourself into networking is through Linkedin. Linkedin is a social media designed primarily for professional networking and career development and allows employers to post jobs and potential employees to post and network as well. This is such a useful tool in the job search process and has drastically changed the hiring process for many businesses around the world. If you do not already have a Linkedin account, make one ASAP!  

Check out these useful tips to perfect your Linkedin profile.  

  1. Do your homework and thoroughly prepare for interviews. 

Just because you managed to get an interview doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Making for a successful interview requires thorough research and proper preparation. It is critical to conduct some research into the job position you have applied for, the employer, as well as the company as a whole before entering an interview. This will show the employer that you are taking the interview seriously, are knowledgeable on the position, and know what you are being interviewed for. Prepare yourself by writing answers to commonly asked questions and practice delivering them with a partner. Be sure not to sound too scripted or rehearsed, give yourself some room to improvise. Employers can usually pick up on when someone is not being their authentic selves. When it comes down to detail, use positive body language: Smile, give a firm handshake, use good posture, and be friendly to those you meet. As always, at the end of an interview, be sure to ask a few questions and thank them for their time! It’s also thoughtful to send a follow-up thank-you email to build some rapport.  

  1. Clean up your socials! 

Many employers will research your digital footprint before deciding whether to bring you in for an interview or not. You’ll want to take some time to clean up your social media profiles and anything unprofessional or potentially hindering. These posts include but are not limited to: 

  • Party photos 

  • Photos involving alcohol or drugs 

  • Posts that are overly political or otherwise divisive  

  • Posts with inappropriate or offensive language 

This is pretty self-explanatory: If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, don’t post it or take it down. If it is difficult for you to part with certain posts, consider switching your social media from public to private. However, keep in mind, some employers may ask to make your page public for them to see!  

For more advice, check out the UNH Career and Professional Success services!  

Finishing up school and moving on to build a career can be scary, but with the right approach, searching for your first job can be that much easier. It’s important to note that career building is not linear. You will have great successes and great failures, but it’s all a part of the learning curve. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and take the path that is right for you! Take advantage of the resources here on campus: Talk to your advisors and schedule an appointment with the UNH Career and Professional Success (CAPs) department.  


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