6 Things Recent Grads Looking For Their First “Real” Job Should Know

1) Being green isn’t a bad thing
Employers understand that a recent graduate has less experience. In many ways, this can be a good thing for the employer. Recent graduates can be trained on processes and offer a different, fresh perspective than more seasoned employees.

A “green” employee is desirable to an employer because the employer has an opportunity to find someone motivated to use their new knowledge and apply it in the workplace for the first time.  You can train and guide the junior employee to navigate through the company and how to handle situations appropriately. 

If treated well, you could have a long term employee who will grow with the company.  They can provide a good mix with more senior employees who bring perspective from other companies or industries to the workplace.
-Corey Listar, Staffing Operations Manager

2) Everyone has a different timetable
Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t landed the job of your dreams yet. Take a moment to enjoy the moment. While some of your friends may have landed jobs or gone onto graduate school, don’t compare your timeline to theirs. This advice will bode you well your entire career.

3) The college career office is your friend
If you haven’t made a visit to your college’s career planning office, make sure you do so before you leave campus. If you are already back home, connect with them online. Alumni can take advantage of services ranging from job listings, resume help and, often, an alumni email you can use for your job search correspondence.

4) You can never be too prepared for an interview
Kallee Stein, a Recruiting Support Coordinator for Oldcastle, landed a job before she graduated in December of 2013. Graduating a semester earlier gave her extra time for her search (and less competition).

Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview. I ended up meeting with more than one person when I interviewed. Also, bring questions with you to ask the employer. Last but not least, do your research on the company and make sure to bring up that knowledge during the interview.

A few more tips:
– Get business cards from everyone you meet.
– Jot a few notes during the interview. Refer back to these when you send your thank you note. Personalize your response to each individual.
– Ask what the next step in the process is, so you’ll know if you have enough time to mail the card or need to do it electronically.

5) Be enthusiastic but realistic
The post college work world does offer great opportunities. However, it takes time to move up in a company. Don’t get so hung up on a title or desired compensation that you overlook a position that could lead to something even better down the line. Better to take a little less pay up front if the company is known for rewarding and promoting their employees. Don’t forget to factor in benefits too. Health/life insurance, 401k/403b plans and vacation time are all worth money. Know what is important to you and let the smaller things go.

6) Network with everyone you know
This is another piece of advice you can take with you your entire career. Friends, family, Facebook and places you interned can all be a source of potential employment. Let everyone know that you are looking for a job and what you are looking for in a role. This is not the time to be shy! According to Corey, “it never hurts to have a referral rather than blindly applying to job postings.”

Bottom line time:
Channel that excitement and sense of accomplishment from graduating on to your next goal –  landing that first job. Your first professional position is within your reach!

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: 7 Simple Salary Negotiation Tips.


Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn,and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.


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Filed under Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips

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