How to land an entry-level job: 5 tips

Recent grads, get excited. A newly-released report by entry-level job site CollegeGrad.com reveals that entry-level hiring is on the rise. In fact, hiring of entry-level grads increased 22% this year, and is the highest it’s been in three years.

An increase in jobs is definitely a good thing—if you are capable of landing one of them, that is. And how do you succeed at landing that coveted entry-level job? Based on the survey results, we’ve put together five tips to help you do just that.


Entry level college major

1.Choose a relevant major.

While many students believe that a high GPA will help you land a job, the study reports that the most important hiring characteristic is actually an individual’s undergraduate major. In fact, 34% of employers report that the major is important while only 3% report that GPA had any bearing on hiring decisions. So be sure to pick a major relevant to the industry in which you are seeking employment.

A smiley entry level intern.

2. Intern.

When it comes to careers, you gotta start somewhere. And an internship is the perfect place. Internships provide valuable hands-on experience that, according to the survey, employers regard as quite important in their hiring decisions. Even if you participate in an unpaid internship, check with your school to see if you can get course credit. At the very least, you’ll get to build your resume—and that’s worth every lack-of-penny!

Interview practice relieves anxiety.

3. Conduct informational interviews.

Let's face it: interviews cause anxiety. But in addition to an individual’s major and whether or not they have internship experience, the third most important factor in hiring is the way you communicate during your job interview. That’s why we recommend contacting professionals you know—professors, your parents’ friends, anyone—that will allow you to sit down with them to gain interview practice through an informational interview. Sharpen your communication skills—and watch your anxiety disappear!

Attend college campus career fairs.

4. Attend campus career fairs.

While the buzz lately has been that social media is the hot new recruiting method, the CollegeGrad report shows the opposite: entry-level employers prefer traditional recruiting methods. In fact, good ol’ college campus career fairs are where the majority of entry-level employers do their recruiting. Go to them!

Be realistic about your entry level job expectations.

5. Be realistic about your expectations.

While your dream might be to become an editor at a large city paper, if you are offered a position as a fact-checker, we suggest you take it. The survey reports that the majority of positions available to entry-level grads are administrative. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t work your way up; as we said before, you gotta start somewhere!

CollegeGrad.com is owned by Schools.com's parent company, QuinStreet.