written by: Ashley Hansen•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 4/23/2010
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, less than 20% of 2009 college graduates found a job right after they finished college. It's a tough job market, and these excellent college grad job sites can give you an edge in finding out about great career opportunities.
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How Job Sites Work
There is an ever-growing number of job websites available today on the Internet. However, there are some sites that are especially useful for college grads. Before using a site, look for advanced search settings that may help you narrow down your results. Also, check out the application process. Some websites will have you submit your resume directly through the site, while others give employer contact information to send out your resume via email or postal mail. Either way, college grad job sites can be a great tool for finding jobs after graduation that you might never have known about otherwise.
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General Job Sites
Many college grads begin by searching on general job websites. While the competition on these sites is high, there are also thousands of listings from which to choose. General sites list jobs from a variety of fields with a variety of pay ranges. Some sites, however, have special advantages that cater to college grads who will be looking for entry-level positions. Here are a few of the best general job search sites:
Indeed.com -- This huge search engine features plenty of great advanced search options. Your best bet is to search for a specific career field or search title, then narrow down the results afterward. You can choose from several categories in the left column, such as salary, job title, location, company name and job type.
SimplyHired.com -- This website is similar to Indeed, but there are special search options that can help you find a job that fits your lifestyle. For example, search for Fortune 500 companies or dog-friendly employers. You can also search for "New Graduate" jobs under the special filter.
Monster.com -- Yes, Monster has tons of job listings that you can search. Just as important, however, are the wide range of job resources available on the site, such as resume help, interview advice and information about a variety of careers.
Craigslist.org -- This can be an excellent resource for jobs, but be careful; there are also an abundance of scams on Craigslist and you should be careful about meeting up with potential employers and giving out personal information.
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Entry-Level Job Sites
Plenty of college grad job sites are geared specifically toward entry-level work, which can be extremely helpful for new graduates who can't live up to the 3-5 years of experience requested in many job listings. Try out these sites for entry-level listings:
CollegeGrad.com -- Search for entry-level positions by title, industry or location. Also, you can sign up for their newsletter and add them to your Twitter feed for more information.
CollegeRecruiter.com -- This site posts internships as well as entry-level job opportunities. Internships are a great alternative if you're unable to find a job after college but want to start getting some experience in the field.
Experience.com -- Plenty of job resources are available on this college grad job site in addition to job search options. You can also sign up to network with other alumni if your school is affiliated with the site.
SnagAJob.com -- College grads can search for hourly employment rather than salaried positions on this site. This can be great if you need part-time work to add to your other income or if you just want a summer job.
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Many employers utilize college grad job sites to fill their entry-level positions. Find out which sites provide the best opportunities in your field, plus get other resources to help you prepare for your job search.
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Other Job Site Options
Consider these other college grad job sites when looking for a career in your field:
College Job Boards -- Some schools have exclusive job listings available only to their students. Ask a career counselor about these listings, as well as any job resources your school offers for students.
Industry-Specific Job Sites -- If you know you want a government job, go to USAJobs.gov, which lists all official government positions. Those who wish to work for a non-profit can try Idealist.org. Plenty of other sites offer listings in a specific field, which can help narrow down your search considerably.
Newspaper Classifieds -- Many newspapers list their job classifieds online. Look at the websites of newspapers for the city in which you hope to live to find jobs you might have missed on the bigger job boards.
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Job Website Do's and Don'ts
College grad job sites can be an excellent tool for finding a job after school. However, there are some things to keep in mind that should guide you throughout your online job search. Stick to these rules for the highest level of safety when applying for jobs online:
Do research companies before sending in your application. If there is no company listed, it's still ok to send in a resume, but be wary of any potential scams.
Do follow the job listing instructions down to the letter. Be very careful to include every piece of information in your application that is requested in the job listing, whether it's your salary requirements, education history or a letter of recommendation.
Don't trust everything on Craigslist. This website can be a great resource, but there are plenty of scams out there as well. Be careful about including personal information up front; try sending an e-mail expressing your interest and asking for more information before giving out your resume.
Don't include too much personal information in your public resumes. Some college grad job sites allow you to post your resume so that companies can find potential employees. Think about removing your address and just including a name and email address on a public resume to ensure your own safety.
Don't ever email a social security number, credit card number or other information that could potentially facilitate identity theft. Always meet with a potential employer first before giving out that type of information.
If you stick to these tips and start looking for jobs early on, you should have success when searching on college grad job sites. For more information about how to prepare for a job during college, read this article about career planning.