Helpful Tips and Coping Strategies for Graduates Seeking Jobs

by Guest Author, Miles Oliver

Whether you’ve recently graduated from high school or college, you’re likely excited about getting out into the world to earn money or start a professional career. The job market ebbs and flows, so you may find a job right away, or if you’re like many other job hunters, it may take a while. If you’re considering finding a new occupation, you need a game plan for success. You also need a coping strategy in the case that you don’t get a paying gig right away. We’ll cover all of that and more below.

Finding Jobs After High School

Graduating high school is very exciting, and you’re likely ready to take on the world. Finding a job without much experience can be tricky sometimes. Still, many employers will hire and train once you’re hired. Whenever you’re looking for a job, you’ll want to find companies that appeal to you and apply in person or online.

Make it a point to visit career fairs to see the types of jobs available and determine if they grab your interest. If finding your dream job is taking some time, you might consider other ways to get into the door at a desired company. Research the organization and see if they offer internship opportunities or part-time work. If so, apply, and you could start there and build your way up through the company. While waiting for responses, consider volunteering at a local organization to continue developing your talents and improving your communication and interpersonal skills.

When it comes to finding jobs after high school graduation, you’ll need to make the most of the limited work experience you have so far. Start creating a resume, and if you have never worked before, then focus on your skills and abilities relevant to the job you’re trying to get. You can also create a cover letter where you talk about the type of job you want and the skills you possess that can help that company succeed. You can also speak to the guidance counselor at your school for advice. If you’re interested in specific trades, like plumbing or carpentry, then you may be able to find local training programs to learn the skills you need.

Finding A Job As A College Graduate

Entering the job market after college can be exciting and daunting because you’re entering the real world and starting the next exciting chapter of your life. Begin by creating a resume and cover letter, and in addition to your skills, add the degree you earned, as that is sure to impress. It’s a good idea to start sending out resumes near the end of your college program so you can get some responses before you graduate and start your job immediately.

When it comes to finding jobs, you can search on career websites like Indeed and CareerBuilder. You can also discover opportunities by talking to people at school. Network with teachers and people in your same degree program to see where they may be working and then see if there are other positions available. You can also reach out to alums of your school through LinkedIn, then mention that you are graduating and ask if they know any hiring companies.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely only find a job if you stay proactive, so you’ll want to be productive, and that requires more than just sending out hundreds of resumes. You also need to nurture your mind and body so you can think clearly and have the energy to go from business to business. Start with getting at least seven hours of sleep every night so you can rest and wake up feeling mentally refreshed, and then eat a healthy breakfast that includes foods that boost brain health and concentration, including fruit and whole grains. Reading can also keep your mind working, so try to find books about your desired job so you can go into the interview full of knowledge.

Coping Strategies When Things Get Tough

If you follow the tips above and still aren’t having luck, then know that all is not lost and that you’re also not alone. Finding a job is often difficult, especially after the events of recent years.

The economy took a hit after safety precautions around COVID-19 forced many companies to close their doors, and many of those businesses have yet to recover. The economy continues to ebb and flow, making it difficult for many company owners to decide if they can afford to hire.

Plus, the ways that many corporations find candidates have also changed. Now, instead of interviewing in person, many hiring managers are asking candidates to submit questionnaires online so they can screen them and bring them to the next stage of the interview process. The problem is that many of these HR reps become overwhelmed with the number of responses, and it takes weeks or months to sort through them all and get back to the candidates.

It can be easy for many candidates to form some degree of job search depression after receiving enough rejection letters or no response. The stress can negatively impact your mental health, leading to depression and negative thoughts about yourself and the skills you bring to the table.

To prevent the possibility of depression:

1. Create a plan for how to deal with potential rejection.

2. If you get a “no” after an interview, ask for feedback so you can improve. You might also look at your skills and experience, decide if the career you're after is right for you, and make adjustments.

3. If you’re feeling down or upset and can’t shake the feelings, speak to family or friends you trust, reach out to a therapist, or speak to a career coach.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Persevere and get support when needed, and you will find the job that fits your strengths. Then, work up the corporate ladder from there or use it as a stepping stone for the next great opportunity.

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About the author: Miles Oliver is a freelance contributor whose writing focuses on professional development. You can reach him at

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