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Job searching is never easy, and for new graduates, the prospect of finding a first serious job after graduation can feel intimidating. Fortunately, your plan of approach in applying for work can have a significant impact on your job prospects. Here are just a few tips to help you land your first post-college gig, and why these exercises can make a big difference in the long-term.


    1. Deliver a Resume or an Application in Person: When you apply for a job in person, you will be giving employers a clear impression of your personality. A strong impression can help you stand apart from other job seekers. Emailing a resume to a company can work wonders at times, it is true, but an in-person meeting can set you apart from your peers.
    1. Attend Networking Events: Networking can feel like a pain for introverted people, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. By making a natural and genuine connection with other professionals in your area, you’ll create a winning reputation for yourself. That can often lead to great things job-wise.
    1. Go on Informational Interviews: If you’re interested in working in a particular field, it can’t hurt to buy lunch for local professionals with the goal of asking them about their work. During these lunches, be sure to demonstrate a genuine sense of interest in what the professionals have to say. Informational interviews are not the time to ask someone for a job, but make a good impression on your new acquaintance, and you’ll likely be the first person they think of when a new position opens up.
    1. Hone Your Soft Skills: To a certain extent, getting a job isn’t just about fulfilling the work requirements of a particular position. At most job interviews, hiring managers and other staff will mainly be focused on gauging how you will fit with the company’s workplace culture. This emphasis on social skills in the hiring process is often a significant stumbling block for otherwise qualified professionals.

By honing soft skills related to personal communication, however, candidates can give themselves a leg up in the employment market. Indeed, if your local employment office offers mock interview practice sessions or lessons in workplace social etiquette, try taking a bit of time out of your week to attend one or two of these classes. Good social skills are always in demand in most industries.