After donning the cap and gown, graduates are often ready to dig in their heels and find a job. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. With lots of people competing for the same positions and the current state of the job market, many immediately become discouraged with their prospects. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, here are five tips to consider when trying to find a job after graduation.

Construct a Great Resume

Everyone knows that a great resume is an important part of finding a job after graduation. Before sending the resume out, make sure that it is up to date and includes all of the important experiences over the past several years. This includes internships, clubs, associations and more. A resume is no longer just about past work experience. Now, a resume is used to provide a quick overview of a person as a whole.

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Revisit Social Media

Did you have some good times during your college years? Were any of those “good times” captured on camera and posted on social networking sites? Before applying for a job, make sure to clean up profiles and activity on all social media sites. Many employers search the web for information about a prospective employee. Make sure that everything they discover about you is presentable. If it isn’t, double check the privacy settings to ensure that an employer will not have access and get rid of any posts and photos that worry a hiring manager.

Consider Reality vs. Ideal Job

Graduates want to believe that they are going to immediately find their dream job and live happily ever after. Today, this scenario is a rarity. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply for your dream job. In fact, sending in resumes to multiple locations is a great idea. However, a job seeker also needs to look around at attainable positions that could be a stepping stone to that ideal job later on down the road.

Use Networking As an Advantage

Throughout college, students have opportunities to build their own networks. From professors to fellow students, internships to clubs, there are many people and groups that can help your job search. People in your network can write letters of recommendation or even point you toward an open position. Take advantage of the established network. It doesn’t hurt to ask around and see what jobs are currently available.

Think About Alternatives

If getting a job seems like an impossibility or you’re otherwise not ready to join the workforce, consider some alternatives. Some graduates decide to pursue advanced degrees. Others become research assistants to develop skills and experience. Still others accept less-than-ideal jobs to pay their way while they consider what they want to do with their lives. Becoming a nanny, an adventure guide or even joining the Peace Corps can be a perfect way to bridge the transition from student to full-time employee.