Finally graduated after four years of essays, exams, and tutorial discussions, only to be left standing there asking this?
“What jobs can I get after college?”
You’re not the only one scratching their heads. Life after college doesn’t come with a road map, so it’s normal to wonder where you should go next—and that’s exactly what we’ll help you do!
The best jobs after college for humanities majors
Some of the best first jobs after college are up for grabs without any need for official certification or formal training. Just check out this list of good jobs for history majors and other humanities graduates:
- Content writer
- Sales rep
- Account manager
- Administrative assistant
- Market research analyst
A lot of the best jobs after college don’t require a degree in nursing or computer sciences at all. Start by pursuing a job where certification isn’t required so that you can support yourself sooner. You can always decide on your next career move from here.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t land a position right away, either. According to the University of Washington, 53% of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Most people need some time to move into one of those roles.
Other great jobs after college
You can also find some higher-paying jobs if you’re committed to the formal training and certification required.
- Paralegal: $37K-$68K
- Lawyer: $70K-$171K
- Journalist: $28K-$71K
- Librarian: $35K-$83K
- Teacher: $35K-$74K
- Financial advisor: $30K-$100K
Remember to adjust your expectations, too. You’ve got to understand that starting a career means you’re setting out on a path, not hitting the jackpot right away. Many new graduates can’t find a job after college because they lack experience, direction, and goals.
How to search for jobs after college
Most recent grads can’t find jobs for a few key reasons:
- They have no experience, but can’t get experience without a job.
- They don’t know what to do after college.
- They don’t follow a strategy.
- They don’t search consistently.
It shows, too. Recent graduates take 7.4 months to find their first jobs on average compared to established professionals, who take about half the time.
It’s not your fault if you don’t have experience right out of college—that’s what entry-level jobs are supposed to be for. You can follow a strategy and work at job searching consistently, though.
Even better? You can learn how to find a job after college by following this process:
- Quantify everything about your resume.
- Create an all-star LinkedIn profile.
- Tap recruiters to work for you.
- Make job boards bring opportunities to you.
- Find 3 key work projects to get real-world experience.
- Build a portfolio website with a thought leadership blog.
- Network your way into key companies by giving, not taking.
- Turn interviews into business consultations.
If you want more details and want a detailed guide on how to accomplish each of those steps in a relatively short time, then check out my roadmap on getting your first job. You’ll find the best jobs after college much more consistently.
Where to find jobs after college
You can find jobs in all manner of places, if you know where to look—but the odds of getting hired successfully increase dramatically when you’ve followed a process that produces a crisp resume, a professional online profile, and a compelling portfolio.
Once you’ve done the fundamental work, then you can set out to find a good job. Start with your personal network.
- Ask your family if they know anyone hiring.
- Ask your friends and their parents about opportunities.
- Inquire with your budding professional network.
- Follow-up with organizations that you’ve helped through your portfolio-building work.
After that, follow interesting companies on LinkedIn and Indeed and start hunting for organizations in your area that you’d want to work for.
After that, move on from your network. According to Jobvite’s 2019 survey, the unemployed are at a distinct disadvantage for networking: 38% of employed job seekers can leverage their personal networks to find a job, but only 18% of unemployed job seekers can do the same.
Look at organizations that are growing rapidly, that promote internally, or that need help badly for some reason. It helps if you can get that insight from people in your immediate network, but if not, then start with these ideas:
- Look for non-profits that need hard-working people.
- Find marketing agencies that need fresh hires (they’re always hiring new people).
- Find referrals through your school’s career services department.
- Connect with incubators and shared office spaces to find start-ups that need fast and affordable hires.
If that fails, then consider getting an internship after college to acquire more experience and to build your network while you continue searching.
Applying for jobs after college
Applying for jobs after college doesn’t have to be a hopeless slog. Again, most graduates don’t find jobs for a long time because they don’t follow any kind of strategy or process. I did the exact same thing when I was unemployed for 9 months and—surprise—I got nowhere.
Why does that matter here? Because applications and interviews represent the last few links in a chain of preparation. There’s little to no point applying without having a quantified resume, a legitimate portfolio of work, and an understanding of the business to which you’re applying.
I cover that process from start to finish in my job roadmap, but here are the relevant parts if you’re truly ready to apply for the best jobs after college:
- Find an internal champion at the company.
- Ask for an informational interview (it doesn’t have to be formal or in-person).
- Ask about opportunities for freelance or trial projects.
- Build a rapport with some other members in the company or department.
- Let them know you’re interested in joining after becoming friendly acquaintances.
I did this by accident about halfway through my 9-month unemployment stint, and I got to a final interview with an agency founder.
- I had a positive, pre-existing relationship with the agency.
- I had the approval of the internal champion.
- My portfolio was good for the role in the job posting (content writer).
Everything was in place and it would have worked, except that the agency owner called my old toxic boss instead of my listed references—and I was thrown under the bus. Despite the curve ball, the process worked.
Acing your interviews is another topic altogether, but don’t stress over that part: being a great interviewer comes down to experience, not practicing rehearsed answers in the hopes of passing some test.
Acquire your work experience through your own projects, build a portfolio, and use all of that to create a killer resume while you grow your professional network. You won’t be wondering where to find jobs after college because the opportunities will become apparent as you grow.
Happy hunting out there!