About four million people graduate college each year. That’s a lot of competition as you seek out your first job. Of course, not all of them will gravitate to the Orlando or Tampa area, but you still need to standout out from other applicants as you look to launch your post-college career.

Luckily, you are entering a strong market for job seekers. Florida’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.2% and the tight nationwide labor market that has come about in the wake of the COVID reopenings remains in effect. As a result, you should have plenty of options as you seek a job in Orlando or Tampa.

That said, you don’t just want any job. You want The Job — the position that will launch your career and put your professional development on the right track. Getting your pick of the available positions means standing out to potential employers.

With that in mind, here are four ways to stand out from other applications in the Orlando and Tampa area, allowing you to land the perfect first job out of college:

Customize Your Resume

It may seem efficient to blast a standard resume to as many jobs as possible. In this strategy, each application becomes like a lottery ticket. You’re just looking to get lucky.

However, there’s a more targeted approach. By tweaking your resume and cover letter to best fit the individual situation, you raise your chances of scoring an interview. To maximize the odds of getting the position you want, customize your application to the particular job.

Assemble a Great List of Extracurriculars

As you make your way through school, have an eye out for your eventual resume. Look for ways to invest your free time. Join groups and seek out extracurricular activities that play into your chosen field. That way, you’ll have added line items on your resume.

Meanwhile, as you prepare your job applications, look back at your history over the last few years. Is there anything else you can include? Think about things like clubs and volunteer activities. Any relevant experience can make a difference.

Even if your experience doesn’t directly tie to your target industry, it can still bolster your professional prospects. Employers are always searching for soft skills — attributes like teamwork, leadership, and hard work. Including activities like sports or positions of responsibility in school, organizations can signal these sought-after traits.

Get Professional Experience (Wherever You Can Find It)

Searching for your first job coming out of school, you’re not likely to have much relevant professional experience. But, then again, neither will anyone else. For the most part, you’ll be competing with others just starting out their careers as well.

As such, even the skimpiest position in the industry can make a major impression. Seemingly small roles can play a major part, as most of your competing applicants will have a relatively empty work history. Consider positions like:

  • Internships
  • Part-time positions
  • Contract/freelance work
  • Summer jobs
  • Entry-level roles

Build a Strong Professional Network

Most jobs come through some form of connection. Going into the early days of your career, it might not feel like you have much of a network. However, if you ask around, you might be surprised what you find.

Contacts like relatives, classmates and friends can tip you off to possible opportunities. And remember: networks come with multipliers. A friend of friend’s cousin might be the entry point you need to find that perfect first job.

Time to Find Your First Job?

Ready to get your professional life started? A top recruiter, like Hiregy, can land you the perfect post-college position.

Contact Hiregy today to see what Tampa and Orlando have to offer.