Finding the right job is very stressful for young adults, especially for recent or upcoming graduates. Although the opportunities are out there, finding a job online can be a challenge. How are you supposed to know where to look, or which job boards are the best fit for you?
If you’ve recently stumbled across AfterCollege, you may be skeptical about the service, and you may have a few questions regarding whether or not it’s a legit site that can help you land your first job after college.
What is AfterCollege?
AfterCollege.com, originally named “The Job Resource”, was built in 1996 by students studying at Stanford University. The website, being one of the first of its kind, allowed Stanford students the ability to upload their resumes for employers to browse. The trend immediately caught on, and three years later, the website was rebranded and called AfterCollege. Today, it strives to help college students and recent graduates discover their career path.
It stands apart from other job boards because it not only allows you to search for jobs, but it also shows you specific opportunities that match your degree, school, skills, and interests.
It’s free for students and colleges, but employers have to pay a very steep price, ranging from $399 to $799. The steep price is designed to make the service better for you because only those employers serious enough to offer quality level entry positions are able and willing to pay the high price.
Who is using it?
The service is used by more than 25,000 employers and you can expect to see about 400,000 entry level jobs and internships. After a quick search through the site, I recognized the majority of the employers, the most well known of them being: Amazon, Adidas, AirBnB, Dell, Etsy, Intel, and Oracle.
The site is also used by 5,000,000 students each year from over 2,000 colleges. From the 5 million casual users, only 1.5 million have gone on to actually create an account and build a profile.
How does it work?
Once you visit AfterCollege.com, you simply fill in your details (without having to create an account) and you are shown a list of opportunities which best fit your skill-set and education. AfterCollege also provides you with valuable data – it allows you to see the job titles your friends and peers with the same major from your respective university are seeking.
From there, you are guided through a step by step process. You can browse through the jobs and select the jobs you like and dislike. AfterCollege uses this information so it can do a better job at tailoring their list of jobs to match your needs.
Below are screenshots of how this works:
What jobs are offered?
After looking around the website and tailoring the search option to correspond with different majors and universities, I realized that most of the jobs and internships are STEM, healthcare, and business related.
If you’re a college graduate who majored in other departments, you may be out of luck and will have a much harder time finding jobs to match your skills and background.
As far as the quality of the jobs, the jobs available are full-time, college-level, and are posted by companies you are familiar with. Before you can apply for a position, however, you have to create a free account and build your profile using a step by step process (you will be asked about your work experience, skills, awards, volunteer experience, education, skill sets, etc.).
Is AfterCollege legit or not?
AfterCollege is definitely a legit service. It has been around for quite some time and is the largest network for college students and recent graduates. The company has helped over half a million students land jobs and internships and was voted one of the top niche sites in a 2010 survey sent out by the United States Department of Labor.
If you’re curious to see what the people of Facebook are saying, here’s a quick snapshot of AfterCollege’s ratings:
After browsing around the website, I realized that the success of AfterCollege is due to the following three strategies:
It helps employers and recruiters make better hiring decisions.
The old way of sifting through a bunch of resumes is not only boring for employers but it’s also quite useless because most resumes are no more than cut and paste job lists from unqualified candidates. AfterCollege overcomes this problem because employers can specify their criteria and are only presented with candidates who meet their requirements. This means that if you are a college student with above average credentials, you are more likely to stand out from the crowd.
Unlike other job boards, AfterCollege allows college student multiple ways to build the perfect profile.
Let’s face it, the odds of landing a job through an online job board are slim – your chances are very low, especially if you consider the number of applicants applying for each position. With AfterCollege, your odds are a little bit better because you can use new features to get the attention of employers.
For example, they allow you to use video alongside your resume to introduce yourself and sell yourself to potential employers (see below). This is a great idea because by implementing a brief 30-second video of yourself, you have gone from just another applicant to a real life person in the eyes of the employer.
AfterCollege also allows you to build your profile similar to LinkedIn – you can request recommendations for your profile from your professors, advisors, and classmates.
Strong use of technology to help graduates stand out from the fiercely competitive job market.
Since the company has been around for quite awhile, they’ve built up large amounts of data which is used to match you with the opportunities that fit your personal and academic interests. Compared to the other job boards, it’s much easier to find relevant jobs that you’re looking for. Instead of displaying a bunch of job postings that aren’t of interest to you, AfterCollege does a great job at filtering through various opportunities presented on the web and only displays to you those which are deemed appropriate for the college level.
But as great as the job site may seem, the site has its fair share of issues and concerns as well.
The three main issues of AfterCollege…
Poor custom made resume service.
The site gives you the option of uploading your own resume or using their website to build a custom made resume. Unfortunately, the custom made resume is very generic looking and will not capture the attention of employers. The custom made resume comes branded with AfterCollege’s website on the top right-hand corner, giving it a very unprofessional look.
Compared to other job boards, it’s composed of a relatively few number of employers and job postings.
The company states there are over 25,000 employers on the site, but keep in mind many listings are outdated, and the postings aren’t exclusive to AfterCollege. Many employers actually list their ads on several job websites. You also will be missing out on the full range of opportunities due to the limited number of job openings posted here, so you probably will want to browse other sources for finding a job online.
The odds of finding a job in industries other than STEM, healthcare, or business are slim.
AfterCollege pitches its service to a very specific type of employer – STEM, health care, or business. This makes it difficult for college students outside these industries to find jobs suitable for their unique skill-sets.
Not only is it difficult for those outside of these industries, but even the students with these majors will have a tough time landing a job because of the tremendous amounts of competition. The positions are few and applicants are many so if you want to land the job – you will need to find unique ways to separate yourself from the competition.
Would I recommend AfterCollege?
Signing up for yet another online job board and sifting through various jobs with no promises of ever hearing a word from the employer can be frustrating.
Despite the challenges involved in finding a job through an online job board, I recommend checking out AfterCollege and browsing around. The best part is you don’t have to waste a lot of time signing up and filling in your details. Instead, you can visit the website and input your school and major and you will be presented with a list of jobs for you to select from.
Although the jobs you come across will vary according to your major and university, the majority of the jobs posted are in fact college level and are decent paying work. Finding positions like these is tough in today’s job market as more and more college students are forced to take on underpaying entry-level positions.
I recommend you give it a shot because the services of AfterCollege may just be what you need to start off your post-college career in the right way.
Additional job sites to check out:
USA Jobs (government jobs)
If anyone has used AfterCollege before, feel free to tell us your experience within the comments section!