Continued: Navigating the Career Search After Graduation

June is Youth Employment Month! We are wrapping this month up with helpful tips to help you navigate the career search after graduation. Click here to read the first part of the article.

Use Your Network

According to CNBC, several recent graduates had a great piece of advice: Use your resources! Being early in your career, you may not think you have a lot of connections. However, professors, career mentors, bosses, and personal contacts can help your career search. They can help you with job leads, interviews, and advice. Studies find that you are 10 times more likely to land a career when you have a referral. However, in order to get references, you need to network. The next step to finding a career after graduation is becoming an avid networker.

One way to build your professional network is by getting involved with alumni events. Typically, universities hold networking and career fairs. Alumni and current students attend to meet employers and network. Other face-to-face networking opportunities can include trade shows as well as conferences. Additionally, network through social media platforms such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to connect and network with people you may know, or meet new people through connections. You can also follow relevant tags and companies to keep you updated in your field.

Once you have built connections, request information interviews. An informational interview allows you to ask your connection about the career or job field that interests you. This lets you learn how they got to where they are, and the steps you can take to get your foot in the door. Having connections helps give direction to navigating the first steps early in your career. Connections can help negotiate job offers, read cover letters, and practice interviews. Your network helps overcome career confusion, and stress, and can even lead you to your first opportunity.

Begin Applying For Careers

Once you have prepped your resume, set goals, and built a network, it is time to start applying! One of the most popular ways to secure a career after graduation is through networking platforms. Most job applications and job board sites are posted online. LinkedIn is popular because you can create a detailed professional profile, make connections, and apply for careers all in one platform. However, there are smaller, and more specific job boards as well. This helps narrow down your search. For example, Pure Michigan Talent Connect connects Michigan’s job seekers and employers.

If you have recently graduated college, college career services are another important source. College Career Services offers access to useful services including job listings. In addition to providing job listings, career services put you in touch with alumni and help determine a career plan. Most College Career Services do not just limit themselves to current students. If you recently graduated or graduated years ago, career services typically extend their resources to alumni.

As mentioned previously, networking is crucial when securing a career after graduation. Most job searching tools have moved all online, but face-to-face networking is still available and a helpful source. Keep an eye out for local job fairs, alumni gatherings, and industry meetups. You can potentially meet prospective employers and mentors. Most importantly, it is a great way to make in-person connections that may help you find a job.

Get Started With Michigan Works!

If you are still struggling with your career search, contact your local Michigan Works! Career Center. Michigan Works! can help provide the resources needed to succeed. Michigan Works! even has a Young Professionals program designed to support 16-24-year-olds. Our Young Professionals Program is geared towards educational achievements, career exploration, job readiness, and opportunities for skills and training. Our goals for our job seekers include education, empowerment, and employment. No matter where you are in your career search, Michigan Works! can work for you.

If you are looking for more experience, Michigan Works! can aid in additional training and tuition assistance. Our program also provides several resources to empower job seekers. Additional services include resume development, interview preparation, and career exploration. We can even help prepare you for your interviews by providing work clothing and transportation. At the end of your experience with Michigan Works! our goal is to guide our job seekers with successful employment. This includes providing a placement specialist, paid work experience, and even on-the-job training.

If you are looking to get started with the career search after graduation, contact your local Michigan Works! Career Center today!