Finding a Job

Approximately 60-65% of Grinnell graduates enter the job market after graduation. From finance to public policy to research to the performing arts, there is no “typical” path for Grinnellians. In addition to the many job search resources available here, remember that you can find additional industry-focused tools and advice on our respective Career Community pages.

  • Self Reflection and Assessment

    A job search can quickly become overwhelming if you are unsure of your interests, strengths, and goals.  CLS advisers may encourage you to engage in assessment tools to gain valuable insight into your interests, preferences and/or talents as you further explore potential professional and civic pathways. These tools will help you self-reflect on your values, interests, skills, strengths, and personality to help you in seeking a post-grad opportunity.

    Other options to consider:

    • Geography: Where do you want to live? Regions of the U.S. or the world? Specific cities?

    • Organization size: small, medium, or large organizations?

    • Mission and impact: Are there causes you would like to work on?

    • Job responsibilities: travel/no travel? Remote, hybrid, in-person? Leadership development?

  • Establish a Timeline and Realistic Goals for Your Search
    Different industries operate on different recruiting schedules and may change depending on the economic and/or job climate. As a rule, the more “competitive” a particular company or firm is, the earlier its application cycle will begin.  The main point is simple: do some research to understand when the industries and/or companies in which you have an interest initiate their undergraduate recruiting efforts.
  • Research and Explore Career Paths, Employers, and Industries

    There are numerous ways to research careers and employers, and we encourage you to begin by scheduling an appointment through Handshake with one of our Career Community Directors. The CLS offers many online tools and resources to give you a big-picture sense of career fields that might fit with your competencies and experiences.

    Suggested action steps:

    • Talk with family, friends, family of friends, previous supervisors, faculty members, Grinnell alumni, among others, to discuss your interests and to get assistance.

    • Use LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) to create a profile and join the Grinnell college Alumni group.

  • Revise and Prepare Application Materials

    Your resume is just one among dozens, even hundreds, that a recruiter might see in a single day.

    Here are tips to standout:

    • Highlight key differentiators: Recruiters will do a quick scan for skills and experiences that both qualify you for the role and set you apart. Make it easy for the recruiters to review: put your most impressive skills, experience, and background front and center.

    • Take the time to tailor your resume, cover letters, and other application materials to the job, organization, and industry. A “one size fits all” resume and other required application materials may indicate you want a job, not a career.

  • Uncover and Apply for Opportunities
    Your search will include applying for opportunities posted on websites, but this should not be the primary job search method you employ.

    • Network, network, network! Take advantage of jobs posted by alumni and their organizations, alumni networking events, information sessions and workshops, and online profiles (Handshake, LinkedIn).

    • It is a myth that all jobs get posted; in fact, the majority of positions will never make it to any website, and even those that do are often filled through referrals. Access to Handshake and other Grinnell networks can advice and opportunities.

    • Use Handshake, GoinGlobal, Firsthand (previously Vault), LinkedIn, and others for upcoming events, job listings, virtual or in-person interviews, etc.
  • Stay Organized and Be Prepared for Interviews
    Time spent keeping a spreadsheet on the positions you applied to, the recruiter or other company representative you spoke with, and suggested next steps will help you keep organized and may produce significant results. Interviewing is a skill. You must present your best and most relevant qualifications. To do this takes research on your field of interest, the company, industry, job, and practice, practice, and practice. Schedule a mock interview with a CLS adviser and utilize Big Interview to practice prior to the interview. Remember…the first interview will determine further consideration.
  • Summary

    Conducting an effective job search requires self-awareness, industry knowledge, intentional preparation, and dedication.  Job searches tend to be more of a marathon than a sprint, meaning they take time, pacing, patience, and persistence.  So, take it one step at a time, and fully utilize the resources provided by the CLS.

    • Assess your skills and specific interests by taking a self-assessment at the CLS

    • Tailor each resume and other application materials to specific opportunities, employers, and organizations

    • Know your target industry inside-out: trends, entry level opportunities, hiring practices

    • Know the recruiting and hiring cycles of your fields and industries of interest

    • Develop and hone your interview skills

    • Network, network, and network some more!

Sidebar

REMINDER: 2024 University of Iowa Statewide K-12 Educator Career Fair

Grinnell students, are you interested in a career working in a K-12 school district? If so, we encourage you to attend the 2024 University of Iowa Educator Career Fair. Students looking for a job or internship are encouraged to attend, …

By Chad Berman
Chad Berman Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director, Education Professions Career Community
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CLS Employer Engagement’s Summer 2024 & Post-Grad Job/Internship Opportunities

     
Remember, we have 4 interview rooms available to reserve for internship, full-time jobs, and graduate school interviews!      

GRINNELLINK VIRTUAL INTERVIEW DAYS
February 8-9, 2024  
Secure your summer 2024 internship now! Applications are being accepted for the following position with amazing …

By Chad Berman
Chad Berman Lawrence S. Pidgeon Director, Education Professions Career Community
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You Think HOW Many Thoughts per Day? Watch This TEDx Talk to Learn More

Business and Finance Career Community Director Michael Lawrence shares wisdom from his thirty years of leadership experience in a TEDx Talk entitled “The Best-Kept Secret to a Successful Career.” Making references ranging from hitting the snooze button to Roman emperors …

By Robin Bourjaily
Robin Bourjaily Exploratory Adviser
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Resources

Reserve an Interview Room

The CLS, located in the John Chrystal Center, has four private interview rooms to reserve for your upcoming virtual or …

Build Skills

LinkedIn Learning courses are available to all current students.  For Alumni Access please visit LinkedIn Learning to start an account.

Job Search Strategies

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Creating a Career Plan

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Taught by Jenny Foss
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A Career Strategist’s Guide to Getting a Job

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Explore strategies designed to increase the chances of hearing back from potential employers, including how to get a resume past…

Job Hunting for College Grads

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How to Follow Up on a Job Application

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So many job seekers give up when they don’t hear back on a job. However, if they implement the strategies…

Getting Your First Job in Software Development

Taught by Ray Villalobos
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How to Get a Job in Climate

Taught by Natalie Lavery
Jobs in the climate sector are growing, and growing fast. Unfortunately, much of the growth in climate jobs has to…

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