Navigating the Job Market: How Many Jobs Should You Apply to After College?

You graduated college! But…now what? 🎓

Now that graduation is over, it’s time to enter the ambiguous entity known as “the real world.” Your resume is up-to-date and polished, you’ve written hundreds of cover letters, and you’ve been surfing LinkedIn daily to find your first job after college.

Although you might not have a job yet, there’s no need to worry just yet. The competition is tough considering the market is oversaturated with other recent grads. But there’s a way to hack the system. Use these tips to make navigating the job market easier.

How Many Jobs To Apply To

There isn’t a standard number to go for when applying for jobs (wouldn’t that be nice). But there is a way to get an idea of how many resumes you need to be sending out.

Based on a recent survey, most recent college grads are applying, on average, for about 10-22 jobs. The highest answer was 300. The huge range just shows how competitive each field can be. This can also help determine how many jobs to apply for.

If your industry is highly competitive, opt for more than 22. For a field with more openings, anything less than 22 should suffice.

But remember, you’re going to want to tailor your resume and cover letter for every job you apply to. All those little tweaks take time, which is why applying for a job can (and should) be treated like a full-time job.

Stressed About Finding A Job?

If you feel like you’re going to lose your mind trying to find a job after college, I can assure you that you aren’t alone. Now that you have the most expensive piece of paper you’ll ever own, the unrealistic expectation of finding a job immediately is thrust upon you.

With the cost of living crisis being as bad as it is, plenty of recent grads are especially stressed about finding a job that pays them enough to, y’know, live.

According to a recent survey, 39% of students looking for a post-grad job were worried about finding a job that pays them enough to support their needs. 15% are afraid their job won’t pay them enough to afford the things they want. And 30% are afraid they won’t even find a job at all.

Tackling the process from different angles will help keep the job hunt fresh, providing you with as many opportunities as possible. Check out job boards, build your network, and research companies. Then you’ll know how to market yourself to have the best chance of getting hired.

The Best Resources For Finding A Job After College

Thanks to the internet and remote work, finding job postings has never been more accessible. Job boards are the best place to start, with LinkedIn being by far the most popular choice (83% of grads say it’s their #1 pick).

The next best option aside from online job boards? You guessed it—networking. Start connecting with alumni and friends to try and get your foot in the door. And don’t forget about your campus’ career center!

Where To Look For Jobs

Okay, so now that you know what to do, where (geographically) exactly are you supposed to look when it comes to finding a job? About half of recent grads are looking for jobs in the Northeast, while 35% are opting for remote work.

Factoring in the cost of living is important when it comes to where you want to work. And don’t forget about the cost and time it would cost you to move, especially if your future employer isn’t willing to reimburse you.

While it can be easy to accept the first job offer you get, you ultimately want to work for an employer who you get along with and whom you share similar values. That’s where you’re going to feel the most comfortable and shine!

Don’t forget to check out the highest-paying internships of 2023!