They say all good things must come to an end. For many students across America this spring, that means leaving the comfort zone of college and heading out into the "real world." With college debt at record levels and the average student amassing nearly $30,000 in student loans, finding that first job has taken on a whole new level of importance.
For the graduating class of 2015, there is reason to be hopeful. The job market seems to be recovering and recent surveys have college student hiring in 2015 projected to increase more than 15 percent.
Occupations With Job Openings
The College Board, a non-profit organization designed to connect students to colleges, provides this data on occupations with the most job openings projected for the period of 2008 - 2018 for graduates with bachelor's degrees:
- Teachers – elementary, middle and high school (excluding special education and vocational schools)
- Accountants and auditors
- Systems analysts
- Software engineers
- Network systems/data communications
- Construction managers
- Market research analysts
Tips for Landing a Job
If you're a recent graduate, here are some ways to improve your chances of getting hired:
- Focus the search. Try to find positions with companies that are in line with your experience, skills and education. Don't apply for jobs that don't suit your experiences or interests.
- Be realistic. While every student would love to land that perfect position with a great salary and benefits package, it's not realistic to expect that on a first job. Look for positions that provide opportunity for advancement and skill development so you can land that dream job later on down the road.
- Network. If you know friends or relatives at companies where you'd like to work, talk to them to see if they have any connections or advice.
- Review your social sites. Before hiring prospective employees, some hiring managers will check social networking sites to learn more about applicants. With that in mind, take a careful review of your online photos and posts to ensure there's nothing posted that could hurt your chances of getting hired.
- Get your resume and cover letter in order. Your resume and cover letter are critical to helping you get interviews, so it's important to spend the time perfecting them. Think about attending resume-writing workshops or having an expert review yours to ensure you're representing yourself on paper in the best way possible.
- Keep at it. In life, and in job searches, persistence pays off. Keep searching for job opportunities and applying for ones that meet your requirements.
You've proven you're a winner and a finisher with that new college degree. Now, it's time to go put that degree and your determination to work in a new and exciting career.