So, you've put the finishing touches on your bachelor's or master's degree. Now, it's time to hunt for your first job—a mission often fraught with uncertainty. As you swap your cap and gown for a business suit and a briefcase, consider these five job websites tailored for new graduates:
1. AfterCollege.com. Ranked as one of Education-Portal.com's Top 10 Job Sites For Recent Grads, AfterCollege.com proves ideal for job seekers looking to maximize their university or college alumni networks to land a first-time gig. And the best part? It's a no-brainer to use. "Students can set up an online profile and can connect to local employers in their alumni network and get a much-needed foot in the door when applying for new positions," says Stacy Redd, content development coordinator for Education-Portal.com. "We know that there are lots of sites dedicated to making professional connections, but we chose AfterCollege.com because it's specifically designed to help new grads find their first job." With entry-level positions ranging from nursing to business and everything in between, this site is an attractive option for first-time job seekers.
2. Bright.com. The great thing about Bright.com is that it allows applicants to build their resumes online and then aligns their qualifications with positions that best suit their skills. Once job seekers complete this effortless step, the site immediately generates a list of jobs best fit for the user. The populated list is accompanied by a Bright score—a number assigned to a job seeker for each open position on the site. The tabulated score gives the job seeker an idea of how relevant each job is to him or her. "We understand how daunting the job-search process can be, so we want to make our site as easy to navigate as possible," says Eduardo Vivas, Bright.com's founder and chief product officer.
One of the beauties of Bright.com is that its site metrics factor in the possibility that who you know is sometimes more crucial than what you know, especially if you're an inexperienced worker with a thin resume. "Bright's new tool called 'Friends with Opportunities' flips the whole job-search experience by surfacing job opportunities based on where your Facebook connections work," adds Vivas. "For example, Bright can reveal that you know 15 people working for Amazon and that there are several openings in their operations department." And while a new grad may not necessarily qualify for all open jobs, he or she can see that there's clearly a need for labor in operations, and reach out to their friends who work at the company for an introduction to the right person, Vivas says.
3. iHipo.com. iHipo.com is designed for applicants who seek international work experience—an increasingly beneficial asset for job seekers who desire to cement a long-term career in today's competitive, global job market. "iHipo has an extensive list of international jobs and internships, which are not only valuable for personal enrichment, but can help jump start a new career," says Redd. "Beyond helping new grads find relevant international work opportunities, iHipo also has helpful discussion groups and resume and interview tips that a job seeker can use." iHipo also includes a helpful sidebar titled "iHipo statistics" that features nifty subheads for jobs, internships, members, and countries (which detail where open positions are available). There are also several discussion groups divided by country and job niche.
4. CollegeRecruiter.com. CollegeRecruiter.com not only gives new job seekers access to hundreds of thousands of internships and entry-level positions; it's also a great resource for new grads who seek continuing education and business opportunities. The site also provides first-time job seekers an Advice & Resources tab, which can guide them in their pursuit of a that dream career, according to Vivas. "Sites like CollegeRecruiter.com provide great advice and resources for new grads and first-time job seekers, from resume guides to interview tips," he says. Through CollegeRecruiter.com, applicants can search both in and outside the United States for available positions, create job alerts, conduct advanced job searches, search articles, blogs, and videos relevant to their career paths, and read up on the highest-ranked employers.
5. USAStudentJobs.gov. Newbie job hunters looking for a stable, 9-to-5 with healthcare benefits and a hefty retirement package could do far worse than beginning their search at USAStudentJobs.gov—a tried-and-true job-search resource for students looking to gain a foothold in the government sector. "USA Student Jobs is an excellent resource for students or new grads who know that they want to work for the federal government," says Redd. She says the site is thorough, providing job seekers ample resources to help filter their search. "Job seekers can search for jobs in public service by location, federal agency, career field, desired experience, and other specifications to find the best potential matches," she explains. And first-time applicants won't be left in the dark. "The user interface is straightforward and easy-to-use and many positions allow the user to apply online straight from the posting."
Regardless of which job website they consult, new job seekers should tap into their personal networks when hunting for entry-level work, Vivas urges. "Friends, family, and personal relationships are the best resources in finding the job that fits your interests," he says. "Never be afraid to reach out to someone who works in the industry or at the company you're interested in."