Graduating from college is only the beginning of your career. Now, it’s time to focus on future goals, which includes finding work in your field. This isn’t always possible right away, which means you may have to begin in a position far from what you studied for. But don’t be discouraged – stay diligent in your search for relevant employment and you will eventually find something. If you’re just finishing up UC’s respiratory therapist degree, then make sure you avoid making the following common job search mistakes.

Not Being Proactive

Opportunities aren’t going to just come knocking at your door. You have to go searching for these opportunities. A lot of students become discouraged because they aren’t presented with an abundance of opportunities. The reality is, the more you dig, the greater your chances of finding gold. Stay proactive throughout your search for employment.

Only Browsing the Web

The Internet is only one resource for finding job opportunities. However, surveys show that thousands of open positions aren’t posted on the Internet. So how do you find them? Networking with individuals in the industry using social media networks like LinkedIn is essential. Networking is a key component in finding work that is meaningful for your career.

Not Casting a Wide Net

Make sure that you’re not only networking within your industry, but in related industries as well. You never know where you’ll meet someone who can potentially help you find work one day. Reach out to those you connected with in the past as well, including choir directors, old bosses, scoutmasters and so on. These may be people you established relationships with years ago.

Not Following Up

Following up is essential for both the employers you apply to and the connections in your network. It’s a good idea to contact the employers you’ve submitted resumes to to determine if you’re being considered or if the position has already been filled. This can help make your application stand out and potentially land you an interview. Same thing with networks, it’s good to follow up with people to keep open communication and build on the relationship you’ve established.

Aiming Way Too High

Some college grads come out of school looking to earn the same wages of vets. Others look to gain positions that you normally have to work up to. Make sure that your expectations for starting out in the business are realistic. There are certain steps and paths that have to be taken to get to certain places in any given industry.

Making a Bad First Impression

There are certain types of attire you have to wear to an interview. If you show up too casual, it will rub employers the wrong way. You should also research the company you’re interviewing with, so that you can impress them with knowledge of their organization. It really pays to do your homework in this situation.

If you’re serious about finding work in your field as soon as you get out of college, make sure you’re not making mistakes that prevent you from getting the job.