Advice for College Students on How to Land That All Important First Job

While getting a college degree will increase your earning potential over the course of your career, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will allow you to walk into a high paying job the minute you have a degree. Not only are you unlikely to find a higher paying job than an entry-level job right out of college, you may be surprised at how fierce the competition is for even those jobs. While you may be able to earn more with a BS in business administration, you’ll never get into a position where you’ll use it without a little first-hand experience. Luckily, there are many ways to get a good entry level job right out of college. Here are three tips to help you do it.

Choose Your Internship Carefully

Internships are essentially free labor provided to a company in exchange for work experience in your chosen field. Many internships have the potential to turn into full-time entry level positions following graduation, but some do not. The important thing is to ask about long-term opportunities before you take the internship. While you may not turn out to be a good fit for the company long-term after all, one of the best ways to get a job right out of college is to turn an internship into a full-time job.

Work Over the Summers

Another great way to get a job right out of college is to try and get a summer job at the company you want to work for and then parlay that into a full-time job after graduation. If you plan on moving after graduation, having a summer job in the industry you want to work in will help you get the same type of job wherever you move to. Even if you have the financial means to not work while you are in college, it might be a good idea to work anyway if you want to get a job when you graduate.


These days, there are an almost unlimited number of freelancing opportunities in a vast array of fields ranging from computer programming, to graphic design, to engineering. Just like having a part-time or summer job, freelancing will give you the opportunity to gain some work experience and have a portfolio of work ready to show potential employers. This is also a great opportunity for students pursuing a business management degree. There are a number of opportunities to be a freelance project manager on a wide variety of short-term projects. If you do a good job managing a smaller project, it may open the door to an entry level management position upon graduation.

Companies invest a great deal in new employees so they like to hire people who have an established track record with them or a comparable company. Freelancing, internships, and summer jobs are all great ways to show a company what you can do, while creating little risk for them on their end.

Eileen O’Shanassy contributed this post.  She is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ.  Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.


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