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Job Search Tips for Recent Trade School Graduates

Job Search Tips for Recent Trade School Graduates

If you’ve recently graduated from trade school and are ready to search for a good job, this article’s for you. It includes tips and discussion on school-offered career and job placement services, researching local employers, networking, and efficiently using the internet for your job search.

Your School’s Career Services

First, talk with your school. Some trade schools have job placement services. Your school may have relationships with local skilled trade service providers, giving you a direct path to apprenticeships or jobs.

Other career services offered by your school may include workshops or seminars on topics like writing resumes and cover letter, networking, interview skills, using social media like LinkedIn, and more. Many schools host job fairs and some also share job posting newsletters with current students and alumni.

Research & Contact Local Employers

When looking for a skilled trade job at a local or regional company, it’s smart to build a list of all your options. Use any resource at your disposal, including Google Maps, other online business listings, local chamber of commerce websites, and local print media, to find companies near you.

Once you’ve completed your potential employer list, try emailing your favorite options. There’s a good chance the local welding, electrical, and auto repair businesses are hiring, and an email is a good way to contact them. If you don’t hear back within a couple of days, give the companies you emailed a call and inquire if you sent the email to the correct address.

Network In Your Community & Online

When searching for a job, you should always network in your community. Make sure to discuss your job hunt with family, friends, and other acquaintances. Settings like after church and at any local civic events are made for networking like this. Someone you know probably has a relationship with a business in the trades, whether it’s a personal or professional one. Being referred by a mutual friend is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Online networking is another way for a recent grad to connect with their future employer. Chat with your potential employers on whatever social network you’re part of. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can often give you a direct line of communication to a local business owner or manager.

Job Listing Websites & Search Engines

Try visiting popular job listing sites like CareerBuilder, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. For best results search these sites often, and apply quickly after a job you’re interested in is posted. Also, while you’re browsing these sites, set up job alerts to get emails about new jobs that meet your search criteria.

As for search engines, phrases like “welding jobs for new graduates,” or “entry level electrical jobs” are good to try. Our recent research of Google search features and web results yielded many entry level jobs in trades like welding, electrical, HVAC, and automotive technology.


If you’re lucky, your school’s career services included a seminar on interviewing skills. Some of the major points in an interviewing skills seminar might include:

  • Conduct research so you can talk shop.
  • Stay calm, make eye contact, and have good posture.
  • Show respect to everyone and be engaging.
  • Have a resume even if it only includes an education section.
  • Take it slow, think about your answers, and be honest.
  • Don’t talk about former employers negatively, talk about what you learned there.
  • Have a list of questions to ask your potential employer.
  • Follow up your interview with a thank you email to your interviewer.

Read creating a professional resume and cover letter for more.

Be Confident

You’re a new trade school graduate; congratulations! Be confident in yourself. Your recent trade school training will be attractive to many employers and can give you an advantage on those that don’t have formal training.