Tackling Post-Graduation Stress: What to Do to Land Your First Job

By Kaylee Weatherly, Collegiate Outreach Chair

Congratulations, graduates! You did it. You made it through a long, stressful journey and now you have a bright, new degree. Many of you have probably worked at internships during school, and hopefully they have offered you a position at the time of graduation. But if you’re going down a different path or it seems like you’re tackling extreme job anxiety, don’t worry. Here are a couple of ways to help you through the graduation stress and help you land your first entry-level job. The important thing is to hang in there. You’re going to make it!

1. Take baby steps – You can’t expect to be excellent when you start out as a beginner. And that’s okay. What’s most important is to take small steps each day to get to where you want to be. Tweak a few sentences on your resume and cover letter. Reach out for guidance to someone you haven’t spoken to in your professional network and ask for recommendations and suggestions. Everyone has a different perspective and possibly new ideas for traveling down the career path.

2. Become a PRSA Member – I’m not just suggesting this because Young Professionals is a chapter of PRSA. But honestly, they have incredible amounts of resources on how to write a killer cover letter and tailor your resume. They also have a job board of hundreds of open public relations and communications positions. Check out their PRSA Job Center and listen to their free webinars that cover career resources.

3. Talk to your network – Don’t underestimate your contacts. Let them know you’re in the job market and what kind of job or industry you are interested in pursuing. You’re not asking them for a job — you’re merely asking them to keep their ear to the ground or to help make a connection on LinkedIn. You never know if they are friends or relatives with an industry professional that is looking for a new account coordinator or communications specialist.

4. Use social media – We’re in the industry where social media is an everyday tool in our jobs. So why wouldn’t we use it in our own personal job search? We can use our many different social media platforms to follow job search engines and industry markets on Twitter and Pinterest to search for infographics on interview tips and job tools. Click here to read about more ways to use social media in the job hunt.

5. Take advantage of your alumni’s career resources- Remember that awesome school you just graduated from? They probably have a great career resource center. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with a career counselor to go over your resume or practice typical interview questions. They’re there to help, and trust me – they are a big help.

Not sure if you want to enter the job search, continue with your internship or go on to graduate school? I cover that in my previous blog post here.

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