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By David Dorion / May 26, 2015

7 Tips to Finding Your Dream Job After Graduation

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The term papers are written and the books are closed. Now that you’ve graduated, it’s time to take off the cap and gown, step into the business suit, and find that dream job. Thing is, where do you start the search for your particular dream job?

The seven tips below will jumpstart your search for the perfect career:

1. Be introspective.

Before you apply to any jobs, do some deep thinking. What do you like to do? What are you good at? A good way to align yourself with your dream job is to list the skills you’ve acquired while in college, then compare them to what is required of several types of jobs that interest you.

2. Turn to your college.

Who would better know how you should go about finding your dream job than your college? Ask your professors or college career counselors about potential places that might be hiring. Also, network with your former classmates, particularly the ones who already have jobs in your field of study. They might know of businesses that are looking to bring in fresh new talent.

3. Do your research.

All companies have personalities and cultures. As you investigate available job opportunities, try to also get an idea of what the culture is like within each firm. Are they fun and laid back, or strict and fast-paced? Will you have to dress in business attire, or can you be more casual? Make sure the environment is one where you can grow your skills and experience, as well as feel like you are part of a team.

4. Double-check your cover letter and resume.

When you do find the listing for that dream job, carefully read the job’s description, and mention the job by its exact title in your cover letter. Don’t risk having your resume tossed aside simply because you didn’t refer to the job correctly.

5. Think outside of your degree.

Sometimes the perfect job isn’t a job that you would have initially considered. Keep an open mind toward companies that may not exactly have the job you want, but could still use your skillset. Remember, the idea here is to start working as well as attempting to find the perfect job.

6. Should you stay or should you go?

There are times when dream jobs are in other cities, states or even countries. If your dream job is located elsewhere, evaluate if it is worth leaving your current surroundings. Also consider whether or not you can live in the city, state or country where your dream job resides.

7. Take an offer.

Sometimes dream jobs don’t pay dream salaries—especially if you are just getting started. But don’t let that deter you from your job choice. Try to remember that careers are often as much about the satisfaction you have at the end of the day as they are about earning a salary.

Dream jobs aren’t easy to find. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Look at your options and be sure to research the companies where you want to apply. But most of all, stay receptive to opportunities you may not have thought to consider. Dream jobs, like dreams themselves, can be found in very unlikely places.

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