Congratulations on earning your degree, lady! Now that the graduation parties are over and the millionth person has congratulated you on finally entering the 鈥渞eal world,鈥 it鈥檚 time to hang up your grad cap and start *actually* applying for your dream job. But don鈥檛 stress if you don鈥檛 have a gig lined up after commencement. We tapped 26-year-old WayUp聽CEO and Google alumna Liz Wessel to share her amazing tips for slaying the job hunt fresh out of college. Read on for her inspiring advice!

1. Don鈥檛 panic! Companies are *still* hiring.聽鈥淭his time last year, only 21 percent of graduating seniors had accepted a full-time job offer before graduation. So if you鈥檙e not employed yet, you鈥檙e not alone! Many companies (including startups like WayUp) won鈥檛 recruit seniors until within one to two months of when someone can start working. This is especially true for fast-growing firms聽because their hiring needs change so quickly. Amazing companies (like Unilever and CDW) are hiring recent grads through the summer and even into the fall. So, don鈥檛 panic 鈥 just apply!鈥

2. Keep an open mind.聽鈥淚t鈥檚 important to keep an open mind on your job search 鈥 especially when it comes to looking into different industries and different-sized companies. For example, if you want to go into finance, think about working at a smaller, boutique shop. All of finance doesn鈥檛 exist just on Wall Street! In addition, think outside of the box when it comes to the industry you choose. On WayUp, companies like L鈥橭real are actually hiring for entry-level finance roles, not just for the roles you otherwise may think of (like Supply Chain Management). The same can be said for most companies!鈥

3. Consider new locations.聽鈥淭ake graduation as an opportunity to change up your location 鈥 explore a new city or even a new country! Working in a new, unfamiliar place can be great for many reasons, including a lower cost of living, broader professional opportunities, and the chance to experience a new culture. I remember when I entered Penn as a freshman I thought I鈥檇 return home to New York City the moment I graduated. However, I鈥檓 so happy that I followed my dream job 鈥 instead of my dream location 鈥 even though it took me to the opposite side of the country. In fact, I ended up making some lifelong friends there who I still visit all the time! Meanwhile, many of my friends who have stayed in one place since graduation regret not having lived elsewhere yet.鈥

4. Be bold.聽鈥淚t鈥檚 important to be bold and put yourself out there when you graduate. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big believer in cold-emailing people. I remember the way I got one summer internship was cold-emailing an alumnus from my school who was working in Tokyo in finance, which was what I wanted to do that summer. Several emails and phone calls later, I got the internship!鈥

5. Do your homework, and always follow up.聽鈥淲hen interviewing for a new position, do your homework on the organization beforehand and graciously follow up after. I promise that by doing this, you鈥檒l stick out (in a good way!) from other candidates. An acronym I like to use to describe the perfect interview process is REAF: Research (ahead of time), Enthusiasm (show it!), Ask questions (throughout the interview), Follow up (after the interview).鈥

6. Own your experiences.聽鈥淓ven though you don鈥檛 have 10 (or even five) years of work experience, I鈥檓 sure there are certainly valuable skills and lessons you picked up in college鈥 even in high school. If you were a barista, you learned about customer service and attention to detail. Maybe you were a camp counselor? You probably demonstrated responsibility and creativity. Just be yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. Also, insider tip: When you see a job that says 鈥榬equires one to three years鈥 experience,鈥 apply anyway! This is just business lingo for 鈥榚ntry-level.鈥 Though I will say that one big factor in why we built WayUp was to help people with minimal experience to find amazing jobs they鈥檙e qualified for!鈥

Do you have any tips for new grads on the job hunt? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.

(Photo via聽Liz Wessel)