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10 Job Search Tips For Recent Grads

Are you ready for all your hard work to pay off? Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to launch your career! While it’s an exciting time, many graduates feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of searching for that first job.

We’ve got some helpful tips that can set your job search on the right path, and keep you motivated along the way.

Here are 10 tips to help you find your first job after graduation

1. Build a network

This is one of the most important steps to take as you begin your job search, and can be accomplished in part by attending industry events. Introduce yourself to others in the room, and start to get your name out there. Soon enough, you’ll begin forming relationships with individuals who share your career interests… individuals who may soon be hiring!

Also consider joining an industry organization – there are many that offer support, free training and advice for their members, and opportunities to connect with each other. And don’t forget to stay in touch with professors or advisors you worked closely with at school. A letter of recommendation can go a long way!

2. Customize your resume

While it may be easier to send out hundreds of the same resume to various companies, it’s critical to customize your CV for each specific position. This is your opportunity to emphasize the areas that employers are looking for, which can help you stand out during the review process.

It’s also a great idea to add a distinctive element or experience. By highlighting a unique skill, pass time, or volunteer experience (even if it has nothing to do with the position you’re applying for), you’ll become a memorable candidate.

3. Leverage new graduate job sites

There are some very helpful online job boards dedicated to new grads like you.TalentEgg.ca and jobpostings.ca are just two great resources that can help you find jobs that interest you, while offering valuable advice as you embark on your search. You can also visit RBC's careers website to find job openings at RBC and learn more about working with us.

4. Set up information interviews

If you’re reaching out to someone for the first time, it’s always going to be easier to ask them if you can "pick their brain" than to ask them for a job. Inquiring about their company, their role and the needs of their organization is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your interest and learn more about the industry. Plus, you’ll develop valuable relationships with people who will start to look out for you and support you – even if they don’t have a position for you right now.

5. Follow up

Whether you’ve submitted a job application online or sent your resume to a hiring manager, always follow it up with a phone call. This simple step will help you stand out, and may move your resume to the top of the pile. And if you learn that you’re not quite what the company is looking for, it’s an opportunity to ask about your areas for improvement, so you’re better prepared for the next time.

6. Use social networking to your advantage

It’s easier than ever to connect with others in your industry – so make the most of it! Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and ensure it’s complete. You can also participate in group discussions online, follow professional organizations – such as RBC's LinkedIn page – or even start your own blog that showcases your interests or knowledge.

At the same time, clean up any posts or photos that you don’t want a future employer to see. Google yourself – and make sure you like what you see!

7. Keep an open mind

If you’re not landing your “perfect” job right away, there’s no harm in taking another position, internship or volunteer gig. You may develop transferrable skills, and who knows… that internship may just turn into a full-time position in the field you want!

8. Have a routine

Searching for a job is a full-time job in itself, and can’t be approached half-heartedly. Set aside a block of time every day to work on it – whether that’s researching companies, setting up information interviews, networking, or fine-tuning your resume.

9. Use your school resources, even after you’ve graduated

Most schools continue to give career support to students a year or two after they’ve graduated. Use the tools and resources at your disposal, as every little bit helps!

10. Don’t get discouraged

If you’ve been searching for a while, it’s natural to feel a little down about the whole thing. Stay positive! Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to find the right fit for you – and your persistence will pay off.

RBC Careers can help you kick-start your career

Here are a few ways we offer support to new graduates:

  • RBC Student Careers is our RBC Campus Recruitment Team. Follow them @RBC4Students to get the latest on jobs, events and advice on joining RBC.
  • RBC Campus Recruitment's LinkedIn group offers online chats, discussions and event details to keep you updated on our career opportunities.
  • RBC Career Launch is a year-long, paid, first career experience and development program designed to help expand your resume and prepare you for long-term career success.
  • Our Facebook page contains news and updates about RBC, with current job openings posted daily.
"Keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and ensure it’s complete. You can also participate in group discussions online, and follow professional organizations like RBC's LinkedIn page."