Career advice for recent college graduates

Minnesota Public Radio published a brief article on Jeremy Epstein’s debate question and the difficulties that recent college graduates have in finding employment. In the article, the author posed the following questions, which were answered in the comments section:

What advice do you have for new college grads who are on a job hunt?

If you are a new college grad, how are [you] handling the applications, interviews and networking?

The responses to the questions have been really informative, and I’ve included a few of them in this post (you can read the rest here):

Emily’s response:

My advice: I mean this in the kindest way possible, don’t think that b/c you are a college grad you have years of experience. Classroom experience does not equal work experience. Be patient. I thought I easily was qualified for the “5 years+ experience” jobs I was applying for, when truthfully, I was not. It is humbling, because I truly thought that my 4 years were an instant qualifier. Don’t be ashamed to start at the bottom and gain experience, and work your way up in a few years.

Steve’s response:

Unless you’re on track to be an engineer or doctor, don’t think of the purpose of your undergrad work as getting a good job. Think of it about finding your passions, learning how to think, and learning how to write. Then, after college if you can’t immediately find a job, take any job. I started as a part-time secretary in the 80s and a barista. Then I volunteered in my chosen field to get experience. The volunteering landed me in my career.

Paul’s response:

I graduated from a 2-year college with an AAS Degree in Graphic Design. I spent a year and a half sending out resumes and applying for advertised jobs with no success. While working at my previous retail job, I spoke with one of my college instructors shopping at the store. After a conversation, he asked if I would be interested in working part-time which, six months later, turned into a full-time career as a web designer for Maurices. I was taught in college that networking is important and is definitely true by my experience.

Morgan’s response:

I graduated in 2008 with a civil engineering public sector job. In 2010 I relocated to the Minneapolis area and worked retail for 1.5 years until I found a new career job. My internship was the reason why I got a job out of college right away. My college had a great career center, they did mock interviews and helped you put together a resume. Always go to interviews even if you don’t want the job. You can always say no to the job, and you’ll get great interview practice. If you don’t get a job, contact the company and ask why and how can you improve your interview.

I’ll soon be posting Part 2 of this blog post, with a follow-up article where career experts give advice to college students on finding employment.


About David

I'm an aspiring writer and filmmaker in my twenties. I also run a blog where twenty-somethings share their stories and advice on beginning a career in this economy. Check it out at

Posted on October 25, 2012, in News & views and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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