How do I get that first post-college job?
June 21, 2010 8:01 AM Subscribe
I just graduated college in May with an English degree and a 3.7 GPA. I am looking for my first job. I'm looking for tips on cover letters, resumes, letters of inquiry, and perhaps fields I've overlooked. I haven't even landed an interview in my hunt so far so I'm ready to ramp this up to get some results. Extra information about my experience, my fields of interest, etc. in the paragraphs to follow.
posted by araisingirl to work & money (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm interested in the fields of copywriting, marketing, non-profit support positions, public relations, and basically any admin work in an office that might actually somewhat use my skill set and degree. I'm also open to other suggestions--I have a broad range of things I'd be happy doing and I'm mostly interested in just "getting my foot in the door" somewhere in order to build my resume. I've already applied to about 20 different jobs in all the areas mentioned and haven't had so much as an interview. I know that is still a very small number in this economy, but I'm hoping for suggestions that will maximize my success. I have read so much conflicting information on cover letters, resumes, and letters of inquiry! I would love some advice from people who know what they're talking about from experience.
A little more information about my experience: I've worked at a library through the last two years of college (and I've been fortunate to keep that campus job through the summer if necessary, which is a huge help to support myself as I search). I have a lot of experience working with the public and computers there. I did a summer internship doing social media (mostly facebook) for a local non-profit during college. I also worked for an educational camp for three summers. I spent all of high school and a lot of middle school working for my dad's start-up so honestly a ton of my "admin" experience is from then, but I don't know if it's appropriate for me to mention in a cover letter? I type 75 WPM and I'm awesome with all kinds of computer programs (all Microsoft Office suite, photoshop, basic HTML and web-design skills, etc) since my dad has had a tech company pretty much my whole life and I had my first computer when I was about 8 or so.
Lastly, I'm searching in the greater Boston area, southern NH, and seacoast NH if you have any local tips.
I know some people might suggest that I just take what I can for now and not focus so intently on a "real" job. I.e. waitressing, etc. A lot of my friends are doing that and I don't have a problem with it, but I am hoping to go back to graduate school at some point and therefore I *really* want to have some professional experience on my resume before doing so.
Anyway I hope that's enough information to help you give me some practical tips. What is the best way to set up a resume when you're just starting out? What kind of cover letters are successful to get employers to give someone young and new a chance? What kind of things could I say if writing a letter to a company I'd love to work for that isn't actively hiring a position I'm qualified to do? I think if I could get this part right, an interview would be an area where I could shine.