How to Graduate with a Job

After graduation, most recent college graduates are faced with the daunting task of finding a job, a feat that proves difficult in the current economy.

An article in the Washington Post begins with the headline “Starting college? Here’s how to graduate with a job,” a question that has been the topic of so many articles since the Great Recession of 2008.


The article’s author and Post writer, Jim Tankersley, disputes the growing rumor that a student must graduate with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) degree in order to secure a job after college. He qualifies that while there is a need for employees in these fields, there is hope for other careers.

The article offers five pieces of advice to college students about how to find their first job—something the author makes clear is different than their long-term or life-long job.

#1: Start thinking during first-year orientation about finding a job, suggesting students  begin thinking about life after graduation sooner rather than later and use the career-finding resources on their campus early on.

#2: Don’t pick a job just yet, advising students to evaluate themselves when they first arrive on campus, figuring out what their interests, passions, and values are, rather than committing to a job they may later find is not for them.

#3: Sharpen skills employers are looking for, such as critical reading, strong writing, problem solving, data analytics, and the ability to work in a group as particularly important skill sets for college graduates.

#4: Build your resume and your brand, stressing the importance of internships and applied experience, as well as using online mediums to market a student’s unique skill set.

#5: Prepare to begin humbly. Andy Chan, the vice president for personal and career development at Wake Forest University says, “People are trying to measure the value of your education by how much money you make in your first job out of school. I think that’s messed up.” The author points out that due to the changing nature of the job market, graduates “don’t need to worry as much about finding the perfect position, with the well-formed ladder of advancement attached.”

What other tips do you have to share?  Comment below.