Originally Posted: Aug 1, 2018
Last Updated: Oct 4, 2018
Looking for a job as a college student can be a stressful and tedious task. It takes time to create a strong résumé without a lot of experience under your belt, but it takes even more time finding jobs to apply to.
To save time and make the process easier, you have to be strategic in your job search. If you do some research to find out the approach that works for you, it won't be so bad—we promise.
Before you begin your search, check out these top nine job search resources for college students.
Related: 5 Tips for Finding Your First Job
Free to use and easy to navigate, LinkedIn is a no-brainer when it comes time to search for available jobs. There are lots of strategic ways you can use LinkedIn to your advantage, including searching thousands of job postings. To make the process easier, create a job search profile and save your searches so you can always view the most up-to-date listings.
You can also use LinkedIn to make use of your connections and look for new connections to help you in your job search. Connect with alumni in your college network and reach out to people that work for companies you're interested in. The more you network, the easier it will be to get a foot in the door or land an interview.
2. Indeed and Glassdoor
Indeed and Glassdoor are similar, but they both provide great job-hunting resources. To save yourself time, create a user profile on each site and save your preferred job searches. You can apply directly for positions you’re interested in, get some insight on what to expect during an interview, read company reviews, and check out what current and former employees have to say. If a company has dozens of negative reviews, you may want to steer clear of that opportunity. Just be sure to take the comments with a grain of salt—even the best companies have a few disgruntled employees.
3. Your college advisor and career center
Your academic advisor and/or career center should be able to provide you with resources to help you find various opportunities. Whether you're looking for an internship or a post-grad position, ask these on-campus resources for guidance.
Schedule a meeting with your advisor to figure out what your next steps should be and develop a solid plan. Do you know exactly what type of job you want? Is there a particular city you want to live in or move to after graduation? Are you unsure about what jobs you're most qualified for or interested in?
Have the answers to these questions in mind before you meet. Be honest about what you want and talk things through one-on-one. With their assistance, the process should be much easier.
4. Job for a day
One Day One Job is a site that matches entry-level job candidates with entry-level positions for one day. You can search by city, industry, and field of study to find the job that's perfect for you.
If you aren't completely sure what kind of job you want after graduation, this is one resource you'll really want to take advantage of. Working for one day won't tell you everything you need to know, but it will give you some insight into the position. When the day is done, you'll definitely know more than you did before!
5. Seasonal work
Not sure what your post-college plans are? Consider working a seasonal job until you figure things out. To find seasonal employment in some really amazing places, check out Cool Works. Conduct your search by state or by season—you might even be able to land a job in a beautiful national park.
Working a seasonal job may not be ideal for your long-term career plans, but it's a great place to start. When the season is over, you can resume your search to find the perfect full-time job.
6. Updated résumés
If you're serious about finding the perfect job, it's always a good idea to give your résumé a facelift. When you don't have a lot of experience in one particular field, it's key to customize your résumé for each job you're applying to.
Use a tool such as Canva to create an eye-catching résumé and other documents. Unless you're a graphic designer, the use of a résumé tool will help you stand out and look professional, even when you have little or no experience.
7. Job listings via email
A lot of job search websites have great newsletters you can subscribe to that will keep you abreast of new job listings. Sign up for newsletters from sites that collect job posts such as Job-hunt, The Muse, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. You'll receive daily or weekly emails about available opportunities and be on top of every new position that gets posted. When you sign up, make sure you specify your areas of interest and desired locations. Otherwise you'll receive thousands of listings that won't be relevant to your search.
8. Social media
For creative individuals such as copywriters, web developers, and graphic designers, you may be able to use social media to find a job. The first thing to do is make sure your social media accounts are on point. If you're a copywriter with typos all over your pages, you'll only turn potential employers off. Use specific hashtags to help you comb through posts. If you're interested in freelancing, using freelancer-specific hashtags will help you get noticed. At the same time, you can use these same hashtags to find potential openings too.
9. College and community career fairs
Arm yourself with multiple copies of your résumé, create a business card with your contact information, and head to a career fair. You'll have instant access to dozens (sometimes hundreds) of employers in one location. You can network with people at all levels of your field, and you might even discover potential opportunities that you never even knew existed.
Job fairs are a great way to put yourself face-to-face with a prospective employer. They also allow you to showcase your personality and enthusiasm in a way that your résumé can't. To make a good impression, dress and act professionally. Even at a small job fair, you might meet someone who can help you get your foot in the door.
Related: How to Stand Out at Career Fairs
College is stressful enough without having to worry about finding a job. But if you create a plan and know where to look, you'll get through it.
PS: Don't expect your first job out of college to be your last. Find an opportunity that pays the bills and gives you some time to figure out your long-term plan. With the right attitude and a bit of perseverance, you'll find a great job in no time!