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How to Get a Job That Uses Your Degree

Over a third of Americans have a four-year college degree, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, that's the highest figure ever recorded. Whether you have graduated already or are soon to, you will want to use your degree in your chosen career.

However, statistics show that 1 in 5 graduates do not work in a related degree field ten years after graduating, but what if your degree subject is where your passions lie, and you want a career that reflects your years of study?

The job market for graduates is competitive, and to succeed you must have tenacity, resilience, and creativity. Here are 3 tips to help you navigate the graduate job market so that you can access employment using your skills.

1. Research

Research is critical to your job-hunting success. Many roles in organizations are not advertised in overtly public ways, especially startups. Word of mouth, industry-specific recruitment boards, social media, or their own websites are used to source candidates.

Research companies before you approach them about potential job opportunities. Work is more than undertaking specific tasks in exchange for money, it’s a social environment, and the organization’s culture is just as important as the role that you are pursuing. Check out reviews online and any reference to the organization in the local media - you'll get a feel of the culture by the events that they support.

TIP: Google yourself before you start looking for a job. The businesses you hope to join will research you just as much as you have them – your digital footprint may need to be cleaned up!

2. Be creative

You will be familiar with the phrase that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and it applies to searching for jobs. There are opportunities out there that will use your skills in roles that you may not have initially considered. For example, a voiceover agency provides talent for advertising and broadcasting and would enable a graduate of the Performing Arts to use their degree. Similarly, specialist recruitment firms employ graduates who specialize in their niche.

3. Target, target, target

The temptation is to panic and send your resume out far and wide to find an organization to join; however, you need to resist. You need to target the organizations that are relevant to your field of study and only use recruiters who specialize in the specific industry – you want experts to help shape your future!

LinkedIn is a great resource for you to identify who the movers and shakers are in the industry, search for hashtags that relate to your field so you can see exactly who to target. You’ll be able to find who works in HR at specific companies, who their connections are and who you should strategically connect with. However, you must make sure that your profile is up to date and error free; you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.

Searching for the job of your dreams can feel daunting and overwhelming; however, if you approach it methodically and with strategy, you will have a better chance of success.

What Color Is Your Parachute?

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2021: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
by Richard Nelson Bolles
With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2020 and tailors Richard Bolles's long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today's job-hunters and career-changers.
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