When times are tough, mass layoffs happen in almost every industry. But, what do you do if you're a recent college graduate looking for your first job? How can you find a job when those around you are getting laid off?


Your first job search after college is hard enough without dealing with hiring freezes and a high unemployment rate. You need to prove your value to an employer with limited to no experience under your belt. Even before that, though, it can be incredibly challenging just trying to get your resume past the ATS and into the hands of the hiring manager.

If you just graduated from college and don't know where or how to start your job search in these trying times, we have some simple, but effective, tips guauranteed to help you land your first job.

Here are three things recent college graduates should do to find a job despite mass layoffs:

1. Be Intentional With Your Networking

Recent college graduate networks his way into a job

At Work It Daily, we firmly believe your network is your net worth. Over 80% of all jobs today are gotten via referral. Utilize the connections you've made in college or in past summer internships to get your foot in the door somewhere. It's always easier to get a job when you've been referred internally by someone who already works at the company.

It's not enough just to ask your connections about any employment opportunities they know about, though. You need to be intentional with your networking, or your job search will feel aimless.

Build a list of companies you'd like to work for so you can focus your efforts in those areas. This is your interview bucket list—all the companies you would love to work for that hire for your skill sets.

Creating this list is going to help focus your job search in terms of who you need to network with, reach out to, and start to connect with in order to find the job opportunities you want.

Remember: You're not asking them for a job—you're asking them for information that could help you land an interview.

2. Write A Disruptive Cover Letter

Recent college grad write a disruptive cover letter

The cover letter is the "voice" to your resume. If you want to land yourself an interview while layoffs are happening left and right, the key is to write a disruptive cover letter.

If you're not writing disruptive cover letters in your job search, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to stand out to employers. The ultimate goal of a disruptive cover letter is to tell a story so compelling about why you feel connected to the company that they want to pick up the phone and get to know you a bit more.

What you lack in experience, you can make up for with enthusiasm and a great connection story.

3. Consider An Unpaid Internship

Recent college graduate works at his internship

Even when there aren't mass layoffs going on, getting an internship after you graduate from college can be a very strategic move for your career.

If you're struggling to find a job right out of college, consider applying for an internship position. Preferably, you'd want a paid internship, but if a lot of companies are laying off employees, ask if they have an unpaid opportunity available. You won't get paid, but you will gain a lot of experience, and if the internship goes well, they may offer you a full-time position after a few months of hard work and proving yourself as a valuable employee.

At the end of the day, experience is what will set you apart in the current job market, because it gives you the ability to develop your skills and show how you made or saved an organization money—something every employer will want to hear when you interview with them.

Download Work It Daily\u2019s free job search checklist

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. No matter how competitive or disrupted the job market may be, recent college grads can stand out to employers with these three tips, and find a good job soon after graduation.


If you've recently been laid off, fired, or furloughed, check out our FREE layoff checklist and masterclass to learn what you need to do in order to get back on your feet as soon as possible.


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