Trouble Getting a Job After Graduation? 4 Suggestions for New Grads

By Laura Snyder

getting a job after graduation volunteerIf you didn’t land your dream job after graduation, new grads still have options. The assistant director of career development at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. Dwayne Keiffer suggests these ways to gain experience in your field of interest while holding down a part-time job to pay the bills:


“Explore opportunities to volunteer with organizations to demonstrate your commitment to their company,” says Keiffer. “This can be especially effective when pursuing opportunities with a non-profit organization. When opportunities open up within the organization, you will have experience from working as a volunteer. You will also be building your network within the organization.”

Post-Graduate Internships

“You may approach an organization and work out a short-term internship after graduation. You could offer to work for an organization for a specific period of time (perhaps 2 or 3 months). At the end of your internship period request a review with your supervisor at which point the company has the option to continue your employment on a full-time basis. While you are at the organization, you have the opportunity to prove your value. If the internship does not result in a full-time job offer, it will provide you with additional experience to put on your resume for future job opportunities.”

Gap Period

“Some graduates are taking time off after graduation. If you choose to take some time off after graduation (sometimes referred to as a “Gap Year”) it is important that you have a purpose for this time. If your plan is to travel, have a stated purpose for your travel e.g. to gain a better understanding of the economic and social structures of Germany. If you goal is to perform volunteer work your purpose might be to build an orphanage in a developing country or to perform volunteer assistance to the flood ravaged southern states etc.. Don’t sit around and have nothing to show for it. Be active. A gap period is not an excuse to “check out”. It is an opportunity to pursue meaningful experiences that will increase your marketability as a young professional.”

Temporary Positions

“Don’t ignore temporary positions,” says Nichole Lefelhoc, associate director of career development and internships at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa. “With the economy still in ebbs and flows, some employers are turning to temporary employment agencies to bring in new employees. From the employer’s perspective, it’s a way to test out new employees to see if they’re a good fit before bringing them on for permanent employment.”

She says to remember that, regardless of your job hunting strategy, the trick is to keep at it. “Finding a full-time job is a full-time job. It’s important to dedicate time everyday toward the search. The wrong mindset is that if you set up accounts and post your resume on job search websites that the job will come to you. You must pursue the position.”


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