Class of 2019 graduates have a lot to look forward to — a healthy, candidate-driven job market means they can expect to receive multiple offers especially as older working generations like boomers are set to retire. And so long as the economy continues to remain strong, the majority of recent graduates are hopeful that they’ll quickly be able to put their new degrees to work. In fact, nearly 60 percent of graduates expect to find a job less than two months after graduation, according to a recently released report from job site Monster that surveyed 350 young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26, who are expected to graduate in 2019 from any sort of degree program.

The survey also offered insights into how this new generation is approaching the job search. The report found that 47 percent of respondents look at job listings for specific companies of interest. This was followed by 43 percent of respondents who defer to their “friends, family members, and others” to learn about open job opportunities.

We tapped into some of our Executive Recruiters at ForceBrands to ask them about the best advice they have for recent graduates when it comes to landing that first big job. Read on for some words of wisdom.

“Your first position post-graduation can be intimidating, but confronting the challenge head-on, being adaptable, and asking questions can make the transition easier. Find mentors to learn best practices from, and take notes from your colleagues with proven success in the company. A determined and persistent work ethic does not go unnoticed for new hires!” —Brooke Westley, Senior Executive Recruiter

“When I’m looking at candidates who don’t have a ton of experience, I look for extracurriculars — things that I like to see on résumés are sports teams (shows teamwork) and leadership positions in organizations they are passionate about. Don’t worry about inflating your résumé with everything you’ve ever done under the sun. Make sure your résumé tells a story of who you are.” —Jennifer Fisher, Division Director – West Coast

“Go through LinkedIn, connect with people you know, and don’t be afraid to ask for introductions or get on a networking call. Update your résumé for the types of roles you’re applying to. No one cares that you were a checkers champ in fourth grade, drop that and talk about your leadership abilities in and outside of the classroom. Most importantly, don’t get lazy in editing your résumé for each postilion. I know it gets draining, but the more specific you can be in aligning your skill set to a job description, the higher your chances are of getting a call.” —Adina Rothfeld, Division Director

“Persistence, persistence, persistence! We’re in one of the toughest job markets in recent years, so being relevant and persistent are key to standing out. Most hiring managers will also conduct online Google searches about you so be sure your social channels represent you in the best way possible. Otherwise, make them private.” —Alaina Bavelas, aPHR, Executive Recruiter

“Hunting for your first job out of college can be really daunting. Everyone seems to require 2-3 years of experience for an entry-level role and it can be super frustrating. However, it’s not impossible! Here are my tips for finding your first gig:

  • Utilize the cover letter: Contrary to popular belief, cover letters are not dead. But, they need to be specific and tailored to each of your potential employers. Make it specific to the job you are applying for and tie your experiences into what they are looking for.
  • Follow Up: After your interview, it is mandatory you send a thank you email to everyone who you interviewed with. Make sure it is specific to each interviewer and try to pull in an anecdote from your conversation so they know you were listening.
  • Don’t Get Down on Yourself: Everyone has to take a few knocks before you land something. Interviewing is a skill that has to be learned and you will have to practice in real time. As long as you walk away from each interview having learned something, you can count that as a win!” —Connor MacWilliams, Division Director

Ready to start your job search? Explore our job board or reach out to one of our Executive Recruiters.