The Ultimate Guide To: Your first job after graduation

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You made it! You have your shiny new undergraduate degree and are ready to fly. 

You’re not alone if you find post-graduate life to be overwhelming. You’re starting an entirely new phase and there’s no playbook for how to get it ‘right’. But don’t be intimidated by interviews and the relative unknown, because we’re here to help! 

Roxy Wolfe, Global Lead of Early Talent, ElasticGrad, has more than 10 years of experience in recruitment—specializing in university recruitment—and has some advice specifically for those navigating the job scene for the first time. 

“As a recruiter, you’re truly impacting someone’s life”, Roxy says. “You’re helping them to find what they love and are passionate about.”

ElastiGrad is Elastic’s recruitment program that hires new graduates into a variety of roles. It kicked off in November 2021, with five hires in engineering roles across North America, Europe, and Middle East. This summer, the program continues with 35 hires across two cohorts—one in June and one in September—and is hiring engineering, sales development, and IT roles. 

And because we know you’re more than just a number, candidates don’t need to be the top of their class or have a certain GPA, Roxy says. 

“ElastiGrad really looks at a candidate from a holistic standpoint,” Roxy says. “We’re not looking for the best in class, we’re looking for that true cultural fit.”

There are specific questions recruiters, including Roxy, use to determine that fit. 

“I make sure candidates did the basic homework”, Roxy says. “I see if they did the research, looked at the Source Code, and are excited about the role.

Sometimes, candidates will refrain from being excited because they don’t want to be vulnerable, she says. “Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Take a deep breath and approach the interview as more of a conversation than an interrogation.”

Roxy’s favorite question to ask? Tell me something I couldn’t learn by looking at your resume. 

She says it gives a good idea of a candidate's vulnerability and what they’re willing to share. If you’re recently graduated, odds are, you might not have a ton of work experience, but try to connect each piece of your resume, whether it’s volunteer work, internships, or passion projects, to what you hope to accomplish in your career, or a skill you learned along the way. 

We asked Roxy for some more advice for job seekers:

  1. Research the company. “You should know what the company does, their values, who the CEO is, and who their competitors are.” Our advice: use some of those school study approaches. Make a bulleted one sheet with company information, and go beyond just the website. Check out the company’s social media accounts, recent articles about them, and anything you can find out about your interviewer (it’s great to look for some common ground). Showing you did your homework will impress your prospective employer. 

  2. Know why you applied to the company. “Knowing this leads to a more organic conversation.” Write a paragraph ahead of time. You don’t need to be rehearsed, but it will organize your thoughts and remind you what you liked about the company. 

  3. Ask for feedback. “It’s traditionally not offered, but it’s important to ask the recruiter how to learn and improve.” Even if you don’t get the job, when you ask for feedback, you can use your interviews and interactions as learning experiences. 

  4. Ask enough questions. “Sometimes they’re coached not to ask questions, but that can be a deterrent.” This isn’t just about impressing your potential employer. These questions can help you determine if a company is the right fit for you. 

  5. Create a LinkedIn profile. Many students don’t think they need one or don’t know what to put on it. Add your extracurriculars, sports, etc.—potential employers look at it!

  6. Don’t overwhelm or overextend yourself by applying to too many roles. When you do this you don’t have the opportunity to get to know the companies.

It’s also important for new grads to understand what the company they’re joining will offer them in terms of training. One of the benefits of joining a company via a new grad program is the set orientation and training that comes with it. Plus, you have a built in network that will stay with you throughout your tenure at the company—and your entire career. 

ElastiGrad offers a very detailed new hire orientation to set new hires up for success, Roxy says. “I’m rolling out Brand U where I’m bringing new hires in prior to their start date.”

This program will include an introduction to personal brand, Zoom etiquette, creating a LinkedIn profile, and more, she says. “We’re making the program inclusive prior to starting.”

Roxy has one final piece of advice for every candidate starting their first job: “Don’t feel like you need to know it all,” Roxy says. “It’s good to know about the company, but that first year you’ll be able to soak it up. You only start your first job once. There’s plenty of time to learn it all.” 

Want to join ElastiGrad? We’re hiring for the September cohort. If you’re a new grad wanting to work in engineering, sales, or IT and live near Austin, TX or New York, NY, learn more.

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