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Navigating the Job Market as a Recent Graduate

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By Shannon Callahan

Account Executive

Congratulations on your recent graduation! You are entering the job market during a time of economic uncertainty. In addition, student loan interest resumes in September, and payments are due starting in October, making finding a stable source of income a high priority for the class of 2023. Hiring has shifted from industries that highly recruited from college campuses in recent years—like tech, finance, and logistics—to construction, education, health care, and retail. The good news is that businesses plan to hire 4 percent more 2023 graduates than they did from the class of 2022, and the expected average salary is $66,500. Here are some tips for a successful job search as a recent graduate.

Develop a strong online presence: 54 percent of employers have eliminated a candidate from the hiring process based on their social media presence. Review your social media profiles and ensure they reflect a professional image. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by creating a personal blog or website. Publish insightful articles or share your experiences to demonstrate your passion and commitment to your chosen field. Employers often review candidates’ online presence, so make sure yours portrays you favorably.

Polish your resume: Your resume is your marketing tool, so ensure it effectively showcases your strengths, experiences, and potential to employers.

  • Begin your resume with a concise summary or objective statement that shares that you are a recent graduate, details your relative coursework, and lists skills you possess and how you would apply them to the new role.
  • Typically, education is listed last on a resume, but as a recent grad, you should include it at the top.
  • When to include your grade point average (GPA):
    • If you have less than three years of professional experience, and when your GPA is above 3.5, you should list it on your resume.
    • If your GPA is less than 3.5, determine if your major’s cumulative is higher than your overall and list that. If it’s not, leave your GPA off your resume.
  • Add any distinctions—like magna cum laude or summa cum laude—but select either a GPA or a distinction to highlight, not both.
  • Save your resume as a pdf and name it: last name, resume, 2023.

Related: 3 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Resume

Tap into online resources: Make the most of online platforms and resources to enhance your job search. Create a professional LinkedIn profile and optimize it with a captivating summary, relevant keywords, and your achievements. Let recruiters know you’re open to work using the LinkedIn #OpentoWork feature. Join industry-specific groups and engage in conversations to expand your network. Explore job boards, company websites, and online job platforms to discover open positions. Consider reaching out to recruitment agencies that specialize in your field.

Related: Top 5 LinkedIn Tips for Job Seekers

Related: After Talking to a Recruiter, Take These Four Steps

Apply for jobs: When applying for jobs, avoid submitting generic applications. Tailor your resume for each job, highlighting the specific skills and experiences that make you a strong fit. Analyze the job posting, identify relevant skills and experiences, modify your resume summary or objective to address the employer’s needs, and incorporate keywords. This demonstrates your attention to detail and genuine interest in the position.

Be accessible and responsive: Answer unknown calls professionally and have your schedule handy to confirm interview appointments. Hiring managers will likely call first to see if they can set up a time to talk or have you come onsite for an interview.

Open to work? Don’t miss an important call about an opportunity! iPhone’s recent update, in many cases, turned the “Silence Unknown Callers” to ON. Make sure to fix the issue by going to Settings, Phone, and “Silence Unknown Callers.” If it’s ON, turn OFF.

Prepare for interviews: Interview preparation is essential to securing a job offer. Research the company extensively, familiarizing yourself with its values, mission, news, and awards. As a recent graduate, you may lack extensive work experience, but you should highlight your transferable skills gained through coursework, extracurricular activities, or part-time jobs. Skills such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and communication are highly valued by employers across industries. Showcasing these skills will enhance your marketability. Anticipate common interview questions and practice your responses. Conduct mock interviews with friends or family to refine your communication and presentation skills. Finally, remember to dress professionally, arrive on time, exude confidence, and ask questions.

Related: Video Interview Tips: Before, During, and After

Follow-up: Send a personalized thank-you email to each interviewer after an interview to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. Additionally, if you haven’t heard back after applying, it’s acceptable to follow up politely to inquire about the status of the hiring process. This shows your proactive attitude and genuine interest in the position.

Related: Don’t Forget Your Post-Interview Thank You


Finding the right job may take time, so be patient and persistent. Stay proactive, open-minded, and adaptable in your search. Learn from each experience and continue to refine your approach. With determination and a well-executed job search strategy, you’ll increase your chances of landing a position that aligns with your goals and leads you to a successful career.

Listen to more advice from Acara Account Executive Shannon Callahan here.

This blog was authored by Shannon Callahan.