what can this year’s new grads do?

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If you’re just finishing (or have recently completed) an MBA, then you’re very likely to be looking for a job.

You’ve probably got some work experience garnered during your college years: whether that was wait staff roles or a couple of summer internships, most graduates these days will have some experience of the world of work.

Equally, recent grads who are looking for their first real job are looking for an entry-level position. You’ve got the education you need, but you don’t yet have solid work experience.

3 entry level and graduate jobs hiring now

A position where you can come in at a level where you’ll gain great experience from senior team members, receive on-the-job training, and learn a lot in the process sounds like an ideal solution.

Entry level jobs diminishing

Entry-level positions matter because they’re an important introduction to work. That steep learning curve challenges you––but equally it gives you the opportunity to build key foundational skills and knowledge for your chosen field.

However, data shows that entry level jobs are being eroded. An analysis of around four million job postings since late 2017 has found that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions now ask for years of prior relevant work experience.

Compounding this is the fact that certain industries are making this even more prevalent. Over 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT services jobs asked for three or more years’ of experience.

Alan Seals, an associate professor of economics at Auburn University points out that “The most important time in your career is the first three years. The quality of your first employer really matters. So, how do you get that first job?”

Internships have become an increasingly important part of the graduate work experience package. “Internships are now the entry level,” Seals confirms.

“Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

Internships and summer work experience aside, what else can recent graduates do to help them to get their first real role in an increasingly competitive job market?

Want to apply for a job right now? The GradCafe Job Board is a great place to start your search

Your resume is one of the most important pieces of collateral you have at this stage and optimizing it as well as you can will be a really key contributor to your success.

Showcase your skills

If you’ve only worked college jobs waiting tables, retail or bartending, it can be a challenge to get this information across in a professional way. So instead of saying, “I worked as a sales associate during the summer of 2024”, explain your experience.

Instead, try the following: “During my time as a sales associate, I prioritized finding solutions for customer problems, showcased my time management skills and worked with my team to solve issues and deliver excellent customer service.”

This clearly demonstrates that you understand what work requires, and that as an employee, regardless of industry, you can show that you possess valuable skills.

Emphasize your education and awards

Your college degrees are one of your best assets as an entry-level job applicant. At this stage, it’s appropriate to give more space on your resume to your education, so use this as an opportunity to expand on your time at college.

List your achievements too. Sporting accomplishments, academic awards, societies and clubs you participated in, or fundraising activities can all be used to show you in a positive light.

Show your transferable skills

You may think your skills are lacking at this early career stage, but employers are looking for more than core technical, or hard skills.

Increasingly, companies value and seek out workers who possess transferable or portable skills. These are often categorized as soft skills, but are no less important, so if you can showcase great communication, organization and attention to detail, leadership or relationship building for example, this will give you an advantage.

Think of times you led group assignments, or how you managed a college social event, for example. Showing that you have developed these skills during your college career is a great way to semaphore that you’ll be a truly effective team member in the years to come.

Find a role that’s the perfect fit for you on The GradCafe Job Board

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