Not long ago, there seemed to be endless possibilities and opportunities for a college graduate. Unfortunately, the market has changed over the last decade and college grads are entering a job market that is competitive and low salaries. So how can a college grad do the best for themselves after graduation?

Be Prepared

Before you graduate, you should do as much research into finding a job as possible. It’s likely that your college will have a guidance office or resources for finding jobs and you should take advantage of that while you can. This is where companies that are looking to hire new grads will be looking at your school.

Know the options by looking into jobs for new grads. Consider what kinds of jobs you’d be willing to take and try to find a sector that appeals to you so you’re enthusiastic about the potential jobs that are available.

Make Yourself Desirable

If you’re looking for a job, you’re like millions of other people. If you present yourself as an asset with a certain set of skills, you may be able to stand out a bit. Employers that are looking for new grads know what to expect from you, even if you don’t know it yourself. That means you should try to be as honest about your expectations and skills as possible. You won’t have experience on your side, so enthusiasm, dedication, and loyalty will be especially valuable.

Broaden Your Search

Don’t just search for your dream job. You’re just getting started, so you’re going to have to consider all your options that may lead to your dream job. Make sure you’re sending out a resume and personalized cover letter to as many potential jobs as possible, and take the time to learn about the companies you’re applying to.

Also be sure to tell everyone you know that you’re looking. A connection through a friend of a parent or classmate could be your best bet for a job that is both available and will pay a fair salary. The more people know you’re looking, the more opportunities could come your way.

Be Pro-Active

Don’t just apply for jobs that are posted, apply to companies that you want to work for. Even if you don’t see a relevant job post at a company, write to the HR department and let them know you are interested. If you send a friendly, well-researched, and enthusiastic letter with your polished resume, they may think of you when an opening appears.

Work with Recruiters and HR Professionals

Recruiters can give invaluable tips for how to best present yourself as a recent college grad. They’ll know what companies are looking to hire new grads and they can prepare you for what your options may be. Plus, it’s in their best interests to get you placed so they’ll do what they can to match you up with a good job for you. Be sure to be honest and thorough about what it is you are looking for so you can get the best match.