Tips for recent college grad job seekers

Q: My son just graduated from college in May, 2014. He has replied to hundreds of ads. How do college graduates find jobs? My wife and I read this column every week to him but it never seems to address the problems of recent graduates.

A: Congratulations to your son! Landing a first job is not always easy. Here are some tips:

  1. Use the career services office and the alumni relations office.
  2. A resume should be well laid with no typos, spelling errors or wild fonts.
  3. Join Linkedin. Connect with fellow graduates, professors, friends and neighbors. Join groups which make sense, either in terms of career interests or geography.
  4. Never say no to an intro. It is not only the uncle who could be a useful contact, but all of the uncle’s contacts!
  5. Check email daily.
  6. Be gracious. Send thank-you notes or emails.
  7. Consider temping or contracting. It builds real-world experience and professional contacts.
  8. Don’t spend hours behind a computer shooting out resumes. Instead, spend this time networking. Set a goal of 75% networking and 25% PC time.
  9. Do a social media check. College grads need to make sure that their Facebook page doesn’t portray an image which would be concerning to an employer.
  10. Be positive. Even if the job search has been a challenge this does not mean you should share the pitfalls of job hunting with a prospective employer.
  11. Have an elevator speech. This is a 1-2 minute summary of who you are and where you hope to be professionally. Practice it in front of the dog, a sibling, a friend or a parent.

Matt Masood, a recent college graduate and job seeker from Marshfield, Massachusetts shares, “It all comes down to connections, from professors to friends to cousins.”

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money  & Careers section. Click here to read about more employment topics in The Job Doc Blog at