graduate looking for a jobThis is how it normally goes, you graduate from college hoping to land that dream job and then the constant application denials begin and the availability of positions dwindle – it can be disheartening.

More often than not, graduates end up in a job that is well below their qualifications where they begin to question their competence and become unhappy. So, how do you remain positive when you’re getting beat up daily by the job search game?

Here are a few job search tips for the newly graduated to help you stay motivated:

Find someone to brainstorm with: Most universities and colleges do not prepare students for practical, hands-on, job-specific qualities that are required upon graduating. They’re looking for proof that you have what it takes to learn fast, be efficient and unfortunately, bring in the money. Therefore, it’s very helpful if you can brainstorm experiences you’ve had over the past 4+ years that can be used to polish up your resume and be used to your advantage during an interview.

Jot down 5-10 accomplishments you’re really proud of, like when you volunteered or a professor recommended you to tutor students or maybe you helped a company you worked for part-time save money on a job. Anything that you were given praise for or made a difference. When you sit down with someone who knows you, you’ll be surprised with what you can come up with – maybe even things you forgot about!

Get in involved: If you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to get involved. Help out at a local food bank and add that to your resume. Recruiters look for diverse, extra-curricular assets that make job applicants stand out.

Be proactive: Most universities or colleges have a career center that provides free resources for you to take advantage of, i.e. a career counselor to review your resume and help you personalize it to fit a job posting. This is a great first step and it’s completely free. However, if you’re serious about seizing every possible advantage during your job search, you can always a hire a professional resume writing service that has direct experience working with recruiters and hiring managers to ensure you look your best on paper.

Consider your options: Now is the time to really sit back and reflect on what you want, and to be clear about what you’re looking to get out of your career. Be as specific as possible. What type of atmosphere do you want to work in? What type of salary do you want to make? What kind of people do you want to work with?

Because most people are unsure of what they want or what they deserve, they end up working in jobs that make them unhappy. When you set clear expectations now, you set the grounds for happiness and success.

Be strong online: Social media has taken over, that is a fact. For example, LinkedIn is a great professional networking site that allows employees and employers to connect virtually. Many businesses place job openings through LinkedIn offering an easy application process that you complete right through your profile. It gives you the opportunity to follow businesses and join groups where you can stay up-to-date with what’s happening.

Never lose hope: One of the most important things to remember is to never give up and remain positive. Believe something special is coming your way, you just haven’t found it yet. Meditation and visualization can help you see your goal. Here’s a great quote to take with you, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~Napoleon Hill