The Post-College Job Search

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective
girl smiling against dark background
Melanie Van Horn, a senior in public relations, currently works as the communications assistant for the Greenlee School.

When I started my final semester at Iowa State, I was faced with a task all college students must face one day – the job search. While I had a general idea of what kind of job I was looking for and where I wanted to work, the process still seemed daunting from the outside. However, I found several helpful resources that made an intimidating process a little easier for me.

Make a plan

After I updated my resume and professional portfolio with my most recent work, I created a spreadsheet to track important deadlines and requirements for the jobs I was applying for. I also set a personal goal for how many jobs I would apply for per week. Your goal could range from one application per day to 10-15 applications per week. If you’re having a difficult time creating your own plan, set up an appointment with LAS Career Services and talk with people who can help point you in the right direction!

Attend the Jump-Start Internship and Networking Fair

Though I was primarily looking for full-time opportunities, I also investigated post-graduate internships as a potential next step for my career. By attending the Jump-Start Fair and meeting with local employers, I was able to hear about other opportunities that could potentially lead to a full-time position. You never know when a personal connection could help you with your future!

Search the job boards

Job boards are another helpful way to keep tabs on local and regional openings. These sites allow you to narrow down potential job locations and specialties, and you can even set up email alerts when jobs meeting your criteria get posted. Some helpful sites I’ve found include Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn Jobs, as well as job boards highlighting employment in cities and regions where I would like to work.

Network and reconnect with others

Many of the opportunities I found during my college career were passed along by a person who knew of an opportunity in the field I was searching for. This semester, I reconnected with my past internship site and volunteered for their annual event, which allowed me to meet with other professionals in the area and hear about other opportunities in that field. My academic adviser was also a great resource, and she pointed me toward employers with openings that she knew fit my personal goals.

The job search can be scary, but I’ve found that planning, doing some research and reaching out to the people around me has alleviated a lot of the associated stress and boosted my confidence. Don’t worry – your new adventure will be a great one!

Melanie Van Horn is a senior in public relations from Sheffield, Iowa, and currently works as a communications assistant with the Greenlee School. She will graduate in December 2019.