When you make that walk across the stage and graduate from college, it’s easy to think that your shiny new diploma will help you land that perfect dream job right away. Unfortunately, sometimes it can take a longer time than you might expect. Finding a job has become harder than ever before, even for college grads. With an estimated 1.9 million new grads hitting the job market in 2016, competition can be fierce. While dealing with unemployment is rough, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances.

Work for Free

This may seem unfeasible, but freelancing for little to no pay may be the best way to gain some experience post-grad and get your dream job quickly. Whether you want to be a writer, interior designer, painter or photographer, regularly practicing your craft will help you stay fresh and hone in on your true talents. Create a blog to track your exploits and projects to show off to potential employers. Anything to get your name out there and prove to future employers that you’re willing to work hard is a good thing.

Apply, Apply, Apply

Never. Stop. Applying. You’ve probably heard that you should never turn down an opportunity for an interview, but how are you going to get that interview if you don’t apply? Be a stickler about not only sending out your resume to your dream jobs and companies, but also to other opportunities that can fall within your sphere of talent.

This is also a great opportunity for you to perfect your resume. Create a few different variations and see which ones get the most replies. Employers have a lot of resumes to look through, so make yours pop so it stands out from the crowd.

Network

It’s true sometimes that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. One of the best way to find a job after college is to get to know people in the industry that you’d like to pursue a career in. Search websites like Meetup, Eventbrite and Netparty for places to mingle with professionals in your field. Don’t forget to make business cards to bring along. What else are you going to give to the designer you’ve been chatting with all night?

Don’t Let It Get You Down

You may get turned down over and over again, taking a toll on your confidence and motivation. Don’t give up! Dealing with unemployment after graduation may put a damper on your positive attitude, but being a Negative Nancy will make landing your dream job even more of a challenge. Just follow these handy tips and you’re sure to land a job you’ll love.

What are some of your tips for landing a job? Are you currently working in the job you always wanted? Go social and let us know!

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