How did you find a job once you graduated college?
I'm planning on having my major be in business or law and I question myself how I am planning on starting my career. Do most people need to have a connection to start working or do they find the job themselves? Although I am only a freshman I still focus on what I'm planning to do with my education once I graduate college. #business-lawyer
Matthew L. Tuck, J.D., M.B.A.
Matthew L.’s Answer
Some people have connections, some picked the right major or have great grades from a good school and the jobs just find them. The two best ways to get a job when you get out of school are learning to network and good grades in a major that is in demand.
Networking is the probably the most important thing you can do to get a job. The vast majority of available jobs (over 80%) are never posted. And the way on-line job postings are done now, there is very little chance that your resume will ever even get through the computerized gate keepers to a real person. Well upwards of 90% of resumes that are submitted on-line are never seen by a human. But, if you know someone in a company and have a warm relationship with them (or someone they know), there is a very good chance that that connection will walk your resume over to the right person who is making the hiring decisions, which puts you at the top of the pile. Learn to cultivate relationships. You never know which one of your connections will wind up working at the company you want to apply to. I'm terrible at networking and have to work at it. People it comes naturally too (rare) have a leg up. You can learn it too like any other skill. Google it. Read a book on it. Practice making connections at parties and on airplanes.
Get good at using things like LinkedIn and Facebook. You can leverage these and other tools to find jobs and people to help you.
You should also get jobs and internships in your field while you are in school. Even if you're just getting coffee or working in the mail room at Google, there is a much better chance that you'll hear about better positions and that you'll develop relationships in those companies that will lead to jobs. Many companies fill full-time spots from their interns, which is why it's important to do a great job no matter how pointless the job may seem. Even if it's unpaid, get your foot in the door. If you impress someone at Company A as in intern, it's very possible that he or she has a contact at company B and will make a call for you.
Good grades are also important because if you don't have a connection through networking, grades (and extra curriculars) show your potential employers that you are smart, work hard and are serious. Usually, though not always, D students frequently become D employees and don't work out. Be smart about what you major in and pick something that is in demand like computers, business or engineering. These are careers that are in high demand. If you like art history that's great, but there aren't many jobs in art history. There are lots of jobs in software development and engineering.
That said, find what you love. Even if it is art history or philosophy. If you don't like computers or science, don't do it. Figure out how to make a living doing what you love. That's where networking comes in. One of the artists you networked with may get you a job. Good luck and never give up.