Since your well-deserved summer is over, it’s time to face it—you need to find a job fast. It’s been a few months since graduation and the panic is getting real. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. To help you out, we’ve put together a few quick tips on how to get a job after college.

If it still hasn’t quite hit you, there will be no more flat parties and last minute cramming with your friends who have now moved to all four corners of the world. At the same time, you’re excited to be finally free from 9 am lectures, deadlines, and exams. Yet, it feels bittersweet. Nonetheless, you’re now more than ready to conquer the world. All that remains is to find find out where to start.

1. Know what you want.

Fresh graduates often feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty that lies ahead. If you want to turn this chaos into excitement rather than panic, it often helps to let it all out. Get a friend, or a pen and paper, and put your confusion into words. Navigating your dreams and fears is no easy task. Organize your thoughts. It’s the inevitable first step on your way to finding out how to get a job after college.

2. Mind the big picture.

Nowadays, no one expects you to stick to your first job for the rest of your life. In fact, your twenties are an ideal time to experiment with your career choices. You have a chance to go through different fields and positions. This allows you to become a well-rounded candidate and strengthen your career profile.

At the same time, don’t forget to stay aware of the big picture to avoid jumping aimlessly between jobs.

To do that, reflect on your previous experience. What internships have you done in the past? What classes did you take in college? Have you participated in any projects? Do you see a common thread in these activities? The chances are that without realizing it, you were continuously drawn to similar topics of interest.

Now look ahead. What field would you like to work in? What lifestyle would you like to have? It would be naive to plan out your life in detail, but it’s helpful to have an idea of the general direction in which you’re going.

 how to get a job after college

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

When it comes to kick-starting your career, asking for help is crucial. If you ask for advice or guidance, you will not look like a loser. In fact, it puts you ahead of the game.

Get in touch with your friends and upper classmen. Find out more about their careers and how they got there. They might offer valuable insights into your desired field. Use your University Careers Center for contacts and alumni networks. Look for a mentor or someone with experience in a particular field. Approach them and they might spare some time to offer you guidance.

Everybody goes on about networking. It may sound scary, but when you break it down it’s no rocket science. You will soon find out, that you already know how to network.

4. Develop your skills, one step at a time.

If you feel overwhelmed or even paralyzed, it’s time to look at your career as a series of stepping stones. Start with a graduate job that is open to applicants with little or no experience. These positions will often offer tutoring and training programs. At the same time, don’t feel discouraged to apply for positions that ask for more experience. Businesses will often consider applications that show relevant background despite limited experience.

Alternatively, approach a company you like and find out if they offer internships. These will build up your experience and develop your skills, for the next step in your career.

Always remember to reflect on your progress. You don’t want to find yourself caught up in jobs that don’t benefit your long-term plans. 

how to get a job after college

5.  Your career documents need to be on point.

Now that you have a better idea of what you want and what you have to offer, it’s time to put together a kickass CV. You might have already heard that recruiters only spend a few seconds looking at your CV. If you want to impress, your CV needs to be original, easy to read and flawless when it comes to grammar, content, and layout. If you’re unsure as for how to go about it, check out our guide to the irresistible college student resume.

Done! Now you know how to get a job after college!

Although your student years are over, life isn’t. In fact, figuring out how to get a job after college can be a fun and exciting journey as long as you have the perspective, stay patient, and work hard. Remember, Rome wasn’t built-in a day.

Once you’ve been invited for interviews, make sure you’re well-prepared and know how to negotiate your salary. Good luck!