Schools Training

How to Find Your First “Real” Job

24 OCT 2013
Career Path : Career

You may be in your last year of university or maybe you have already graduated, but your concerns are the same, finding a job after you graduate. With all of the post-grad horror stories you’ve heard, you’ve become determined to be one of the lucky few who lands their first “real” career job right after graduation. Although it won’t be easy, the more you prepare in advance, the more likely it is that you will find your first “real” job. Though there are probably some lucky ones who manage to have their dream jobs land in their lap, for most people in this tough economy it takes hard work, determination and careful planning.

Decide Where You Want to Work

If you’re not sure which career you would like to do, neither will your potential employer. Simply applying to any and every available job opening won’t be the best use of your time. Before sending out your CV, take the time to make a list of positions that you are interested in. Check your school directory for the best career option for your education, if you’re really unsure. Focus on jobs that target new grads, or positions where only a few years experience are requested. Even if you may not meet all of the skills required in the ad, it never hurts to apply. Most employers write ads with their dream candidate in mind and are aware that prospective employees may not meet all of their requirements.


This goes without saying, but networking is essential when you’re on the job hunt. From attending workshops at your local employment office to attending industry events in your field, it is important not to give into the temptation to hibernate at home. As many of you have heard endlessly, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And even more have found their job connections through friends, family or even friends of friends. Reach out to your network.  Keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry through your alumni newsletter or school news. Tell anyone and everyone about the type of job that you’re looking for. You never know when someone’s company will be hiring!

Improve Your Skills

Once you’ve narrowed down the exact type of position that you would like to do then get out there and volunteer or even better, work as an intern. Since the work world is becoming increasingly competitive with many entry-level jobs requiring a few years of experience, the best way to gain experience without experience is to volunteer. Try going to a volunteer office and speaking with a counsellor to find a position that will combine your current experience with your aspirations. Educational articles from your school are also a great way to find volunteer opportunities. And who knows? Maybe that volunteer position will lead to an actual paid position.

As time goes on and you make the transition from school to work, the job hunt will get easier. And if it makes you feel better, many have been in the exact same position where you are and eventually found their way into the world of work. Good luck!