What Recent Grads Are Looking for in their First Job Search

As a current college student with graduation on the horizon, beginning to look for a job is top of mind. While, of course, making enough money to pay my bills is a priority when looking for a job, it is certainly not the only, or most important thing to consider. My values, my future, and company culture are just as important in my search.

Knowing what this generation of potential employees are considering when they are looking for their new job is essential in attracting the best talent for your company.

Company Values

When my fellow students and I are looking for jobs, we more often than not look for companies that have similar values to our own. We want to care about what we’re doing and want to be at companies who have values that we are proud of and agree with. Us grads want to want to work. Since it is where we’ll be spending basically all our day–every day, I want to do something that means something to me and that I genuinely care about.

Being Valued

If you feel like you’re working hard, being validated and acknowledged for your hard work can go a long way. This graduating class will work harder knowing that they are appreciated within their team or their company in an effort to further gain recognition and acknowledgement of their hard work. Also, validation will likely encourage other employees to work harder for their own recognition within the company. Employees who feel that they aren’t valued are less likely to work as hard and more likely to care less about improving because their hard work seems to go unnoticed. Those looking for jobs are likely looking for opportunities at companies with employees that seem happy and appreciated.

Career Path

While I am looking for my first job out of college, I am open minded on the exact career path that I want to take. Us graduates are likely looking for jobs that seem to fit the career that we think we want, but uncertainty can make this decision difficult. People often look for jobs that they think could be bringing them in a positive career direction, and often look for an opportunity to learn more about the field they think they want to work in. The only way to really figure out what you want is to just go out and do it! Finding a job with learning opportunities or the ability to see different roles is essential while looking for a first job.

There are so many things to consider while on my first job search. But I assure you, my ideal critera goes beyond the paycheck. My suggestion to anyone interested in hiring this next generation of talent is to be conscious of your company culture and to provide as many learning opportunities as possible. And if you are looking for your first job: best of luck, work hard, and don’t sell yourself short!


Written by Amanda Schechter, Marketing Intern at CultureIQ