Job Searching from a Recent Graduate's Perspective: Mine.

The media constantly talks about the fate of college graduates in this economy. “It’s possible to find a job but it’s a lot more competitive!” the articles say.

No kidding.

Most of my friends are going to graduate school right away. They are not considering finding a summer job, because it’s not worth the effort. High schoolers and college kids have gotten first dibs.

As for people like me, who want to find work before getting my Master’s, it is very hard to even know where to look. The newspaper doesn’t post much, and is only once a week. and other specific companies’ sites will post job opportunities, but since you have to apply online or e-mail the person, the job seeker often does not get the information about the company that she needs. It feels like a blind process, and you barely ever hear back. is a joke. Other sites like it are a little better, but think of the millions upon millions of people checking this site daily. It’s like internet dating instead of dating in real life. It works sometimes, but wouldn’t everyone just feel better and safer if we could meet face to face?

As for networking, I’m trying. I suppose I could be contacting more people and letting them know that I’m looking for a job. But right now, so are thousands of other college graduates.

The field I want to go into–Urban Planning–is small. There are only a handful of urban planning jobs per city. Because of my major and general widespread interest and ability, I could do many jobs and still achieve what I want to achieve. But it’s hard to know what that is. As an English Major, I can’t just send my resume and cover letter out to tons of companies. I didn’t go to school to learn a specific field like finance or accounting.

People say you can fall back on Walmart and restaurants, but I haven’t had luck with that. Neither has my boyfriend, who applied to all those chains. They see you have a Bachelor’s and know you’re overqualified. They know you won’t stay there long. Yet, the entry-level jobs we’re supposed to be applying for seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Every single job posting I see requires 1-5 years of experience. How can I get experience if I can’t get anything entry-level?

I have applied to probably twenty different jobs, ranging from Subway to writing positions, but I have yet to be contacted back by any of them.

I’m selling plasma to make some cash right now, and other than that I’m waiting and watching. I’m taking this time off to write a novel, self-produce an album of covers, read Ulysses, and help out my family. It’s not just a matter of finding any job. I have to shoot high–I’m not going to get myself stuck working in the mall or factory. I worked too hard in college for that.

Finding a job will likely take awhile. I’m only a month in. I’m definitely not giving up, because some of the opportunities I have seen would have been a perfect fit for me, and I’m excited to find the job that wants me as much as I want it.

3 thoughts on “Job Searching from a Recent Graduate's Perspective: Mine.

  1. Congrats and good luck. You’re doing the right thing by trying.

    “They are not considering finding a summer job, because it’s not worth the effort,” is a volatile and dangerous mindset – every position is worth it, from deli clerk to CEO.

    It makes sense that you are bummed by the overwhelming number of candidates, but there are things that you could be doing after the resume to put the ball in your court.

    Try calling before submitting and get the name of the hiring manager (more personal). Also, call back a day or two later to make sure they receive it. If you have emailed, submit a hard copy as well (either mailing or dropping off); and mention the emailed resume in your cover letter.

    Keep trying, you may not find the perfect job, but you’ll always get the experience out of it.

    1. Thanks for the tips, Steve. I wish I had more places to send my resumes to, because I’d love to try the follow-up steps. But most companies I research only accept applications when a position is open.

      Another good tip I’ve gotten is to take any job you can get, do the best you can at that job, and then volunteer in the field you want a career in, doing the best you can there, too.

      1. You can always submit a resume and cover letter as a prospect, you may end up getting an interview out of it.

        Just describe your objective, send it to the head of your (potential) department and let them know that you are looking. It may be initiative enough for them to start that new project or organize their office in the mean time.

        Either way, good luck.

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