Recent Graduate on the Job Hunt? Read This!

The Importance of Patience 

Almost exactly a year ago, I started my first day at JumpFly. I remember the job hunt leading up to me landing this position and going through a lot of ups and downs along the way. I really wanted to write a blog about my job-hunting experience in hopes that it reaches the intended audience of recent college graduates seeking a job in digital marketing! 

College grads: Do you feel as if the job hunt is a long, time-consuming process? If so, I am here to say that I thought the exact same thing. The truth is, job hunting never goes as smoothly as you imagine, especially for those seeking their first-ever job to begin their career. My first piece of advice to you is to stay patient. I know; it’s way easier said than done! 

First and foremost, I urge you to create a list of the top three or five must-haves that you are seeking in a job. These should be things that are non-negotiable to you. It can be anything from company culture, work environment, salary, health benefits, etc. As you start applying for jobs, keep this list as your guiding path to easily identify which jobs you can cross off and which ones to pursue. It will help filter out any irrelevant jobs, hence saving you additional effort and time.

Having this list will help make you more patient as you are only applying to jobs that meet your job criteria. Being patient is a part of this process. You might have applied to 50 jobs that aren’t even really relevant to you, but you have gotten so fed up that you are just trying for anything at this point. I urge you not to settle. This may mean that the job hunt will take longer, but if you settle for a job that doesn’t meet your list of must-haves, you might end up regretting it. At the end of the day, your happiness in your job is the most valuable and important thing. 

Accept Rejection 

With all this talk about being patient, you will face rejection. Most likely, A LOT of rejection. Do not let this bring you down. It’s going to get frustrating, and it is going to make you impatient. Sometimes you may want to accept any job offer that comes your way. Again, do not settle! If you accept a job that doesn’t really interest you, it could lead you into a tougher situation. You could end up hating the job, quitting, and starting right back at square one with no experience under your belt. This could make you way more frustrated than if you had just waited for the right job. 

Sometimes you are going to have companies that you are very interested in reach out to you and ask to set up an interview. You may get through the first round and then maybe a second-round interview, and after that, you get rejected. These situations are easily the most irritable ones because the interview was for a company that you REALLY wanted to work for, and you felt good about yourself getting asked to a second-round interview. 

This EXACT situation happened to me. I went through a three-step interview process with one of the main companies I was interested in, and they ended up rejecting me. I felt like it was such a waste of time because I could have been focused on other opportunities that would have given me a more fair chance. However, we have to accept that this is normal. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and you should try to think this way too! Stay confident in yourself. There are endless opportunities out there that you may not even be aware of yet!

Be Open to Multiple Positions

As I mentioned earlier, I think it is very important to set those three or five must-haves that you seek in a job. However, I encourage you to be open to different positions. What I mean by this is that if you are seeking a job in marketing but really want to have a position on the paid social media side of marketing, keep your options open. Think about accepting a position that will start you off on a path to success to end up in your desired, dream position. 

Ever since my sophomore year of college, I knew that I wanted to be in business and that I wanted to be in a position that allowed me to think creatively. This is how I became attracted to marketing, but more specifically, digital marketing with an emphasis on social media. However, when I received a job offer from JumpFly, it was for paid search, or what we know as Google advertising. It’s not that I didn’t have an interest in this position, but I did have more of a passion and understanding for social media advertising. 

As I began the position at JumpFly as a PPC Account Specialist, I learned so much that really intrigued me. The position still challenged me to think creatively, but it was definitely more reliant on the data side compared to social media, where you rely on creative and data to optimize. This PPC position gave me the opportunity to learn more about digital marketing in general and how to communicate with clients and optimize their accounts. This eventually set me on the right path to land a Paid Social Account Specialist position on the JumpFly social media team. The takeaway is this: Be open-minded to positions in the company that will give you the resources to grow into the position that you dream of. 

Use ANY & ALL Work & Life Experiences to Sell Yourself

I think one of the challenges that I dealt with when going through the interview process was when an interviewer would ask me, “What experience do you have that can prove you are the right person for this job?” Upon being asked this question, my mind instantly went blank because I didn’t have prior experience at a job in my career field! I had only worked part-time jobs in high school and college. I kept thinking that I wouldn’t stand out in comparison to other candidates that may have prior experience at an internship or in the career field. However, you have to sell yourself with ANY and ALL life- and work-related experiences you have endured. 

First jobs are more about applying transferable skills and learning about the industry and career along the way. By no means do you need to be an expert on Google Ads or Meta Advertising! Companies that are hiring college graduates should know and understand that most young adults will not have prior experience in their career field, so they are looking for any other life lessons that you can apply to your potential job. For example, I used how being the captain of my dance team in high school shaped me into a leader and how it taught me a lot about time management through juggling various responsibilities. During interviews, I also talked about the part-time jobs that I had and how the communication skills I developed from them could be applied to the position. Do not get discouraged if you are in the same boat that I was in. Be yourself, and the right company will accept you and help you to grow along the way!

Always Keep Your Future Goals in Mind

Many young graduates forget this, but I am here to remind you that not only are you being interviewed by the company, but YOU should also be interviewing THEM. It’s a two-way street. Both parties should ask enough questions to be able to gain a better understanding of each other’s values. Based on your list of the top three or five must-haves in a job, make a list of questions that include those criteria, and add any other questions about the company that you are lacking information about. 

Ask about the company culture. Inquire about how a day on the job would look if you were to accept the position. Be sure to ask about employee turnover and how often employees stick around. Make sure you ask why they stay or do not stay. Ask the interviewer if there are company outings that allow for time to get to know the team outside of work. You get the point – take the time to understand things about the company that you may not be able to know by just browsing through the company’s website or job posting. 

I encourage you to ask as many questions as you can to see if the company aligns with your lifestyle and future goals. You could be at this company for three months, or you could work there for the longevity of your career, so it is super essential that you make sure this business aligns with your personal and career goals. 

Everything Works Out

With all this being said, if I want you to leave this blog with one piece of advice, it would be to keep reminding yourself that everything works out how it is supposed to and to always consider your happiness first before anything else. We all only have one life, and we might as well make the best of it in our personal and professional lives. 

The job hunt is daunting, and it’s a long process that can feel exhausting, but I hope that these tips and tricks will help you in your application process so that you feel a little more at ease. Remember, every single person has a different journey than you, so do not try to compare yourself to others too much. We are all in this together!

Companies Like JumpFly Get It

I feel very lucky to have landed my first-ever job in my career at JumpFly. I encourage you to seek companies like JumpFly. Look for job positions at companies that focus on your personal and professional development and provide you with tools and resources to continue to better yourself. It’s also ideal to find a company that is flexible and understanding. 

A lot of the things that I thought I wanted in my first job turned out to be not important or not a determining factor for me once I started with JumpFly. I urge you to be open-minded but to stay cautious and not stray from your end goal. 

People at JumpFly get it. The employees take a personal interest in getting to know you. They help to develop you and help you grow. The team challenges you to take on new responsibilities with guidance and patience. The company values a flexible work/life balance. 

I wish you the best of luck in your job hunt and hope that the transition from college to your first job is as smooth and easy as it can be!

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