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2024 Graduates: Here's How to Strategize Your Search

Updated: May 23

1. Identify the qualities of an ideal work environment. This will help you find a company culture and opportunities that are a good fit.


2. Your first job will be more about job function than industry. Companies have various functional areas, such as Customer Service, Administration, IT Support, Operations, Marketing and Sales, Finance, Human Resources, Research and Development. Each of these functions will have entry-level positions. The specific experience in your job function will lead to new opportunities within different industries.


3. Location still matters. Ideally, you want to live in or near a metro area supporting diverse industries. A metro area will offer more choices when looking for your next job. A larger corporation is a good starting point since you can move between departments or business units.


4. Take the interview even if you’re uncertain about the position. Interviewing is great practice, and you never know if the recruiter might have a future opportunity for you.


5. Be discerning about your first job. The pay gap starts here, especially for women. It’s essential to investigate and negotiate your compensation. A good question to ask is what the pay band is for the position you’re applying for. The pay band is the compensation range available for a given job grade. Another question to ask is how often performance is reviewed. A follow-up would be how long it takes, on average, to be promoted to the next job grade.


6. Get clear on the metrics and distribution cycle for any bonuses. Certain positions and companies offer performance bonuses to their employees.


7. Pay is one aspect of compensation. Other benefits include vacation days, paid holidays, personal and sick days, overtime if hourly, medical insurance, life insurance, disability, dental, employee stock options, 401K matching, and fringe benefits such as parking, tuition reimbursement, and gym membership. These may not be covered in the initial interview but should be reviewed in detail once an offer is made. This is part of your total comp package.


8. A company that invests in the training and development of its employees cares about career growth. Ask about existing employee resource/affinity groups and what leadership development training is available. 


9. If an offer is made, take 24 hours to think about the proposal. Make sure it meets your personal and professional criteria.


10. Any company is lucky to have you as an employee. Graduates are needed for entry-level positions. Your total compensation is less expensive than experienced employees, and entry-level jobs are vital to business operations.


Join or recommend someone for 1:1 Career Coaching or an Early Career Coaching Cohort



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Class of 2024
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