With many college graduations a few weeks behind us, I have come across a slew of articles and blog posts pitying college grads who are on the job hunt. In return, I’ve seen responses from college grads upset about being thrust out into the “real world,” jobless and feeling sorry for their “bad luck.”

This is my wake up call for the graduates who are commiserating with their friends and explaining to their parents why they need to live at home for an extra year or so because it’s just a “tough job market these days.” Guess what? It’s not that hard to find a decent job. The job market is picking up, so stop complaining!

Nothing grinds my gears more than people whining over something that can be addressed and proactively worked on. Instead of dismissing the idea of getting a good job after graduation, recent grads should follow these four tips and attempt to provide an example of what is possible — instead of focusing on excuses and complaining about what’s not — by snagging a respectable job and living the dream.

First, Be Proactive

Please don’t expect an employer to come knocking at your door to offer you a job, because that’s not going to happen — nor has it ever happened in the past. If you haven’t already (and shame on you if you haven’t!), put together an up-to-date, proofread resume. Try out some nice looking templates, and make it look clean. After this task is complete, start doing some research. The worst way to apply to jobs is to create a blanket application/resume/cover letter and mass-apply to every job in the area. It’s very clear when this has been done, and your application will be tossed immediately.

Be Selective

The more you narrow down your search to jobs that truly meet your background, or to jobs that are actively accepting recent college grads — like this job! (shameless plug) — the better chance you have of being considered. Also, since you are looking at a smaller amount of jobs, you can tailor your resume and cover letter to the company and requirements. By applying to fewer, but more realistic jobs, you’re actually increasing your odds of getting hired.

Don’t be afraid to Network

Seriously, people love helping other people out, especially if they love their company. Do not be afraid to talk to everyone you can about potential job opportunities. Even if it might seem awkward to reach out to your old professor, or even a past high school classmate, just do it! What’s the worst that could happen? They say no, I don’t want to help you (doubtful), or they simply don’t respond? Who cares? That would put you in the same spot, and best case they get you in touch with a hiring manager!

Make sure to Follow up

Okay, so you’ve applied to a job you can’t believe you’re such a perfect fit for, but you haven’t heard back. Time to move on? Not quite yet. Research (Google) an HR contact and follow up on your application. It’s very possible, especially with entry-level jobs, that your application has become lost in the shuffle. Even if the role you applied for has been filled, the company may admire your perseverance and try to find another fit for you. It’s a shame to spend so much time carefully applying to specific jobs, only to decide you’re not going to bother following up on them.

Disclaimer: Don’t become a pest! As important as it is to follow up, there is a point where it becomes annoying to the company and they will become turned off. Once is enough, twice at the very maximum.

You’re already a step ahead of the game with your college degree. I’m becoming extremely adverse to the idea of college grads who are so very disappointed to be thrown into the “real world,” and who think their lives are over. Getting a sweet job is way better than college, and you will actually have money to spend on things that are fun. Stop crying and get to it!