Since 2007, things have been tough for recent college graduates. The economic downfall in late 2007/early 2008 caused eager and bright-eyed students to quickly become downtrodden by the lack of opportunity they were originally promised by generations before them. Thankfully the economy is improving; however, graduates are still facing extreme hardships in finding proper jobs that will pay enough to make a dent on their student loan payments. Desperate students are rushing to find something and they often end up making plenty of mistakes in the process. Here are five of the most common mistakes college grads are making in their job search.
- Only Using the Internet
Many students are making the mistake of heading straight to the Internet, and only the Internet, in search of job prospects. While it is true that many positions are posted online, along with the application process, it would be much more proactive if graduates went beyond the screen. Getting out in the field, going to job fairs, seeking out mentors and networking opportunities are going to make candidates stand out from the crowd.
- Holding Out for Your Dream Job
While it is encouraged to go after your dreams and find amazing opportunities, putting all of your effort into a job application for a job you may not be qualified for could be extremely discouraging. It is unlikely that you will land your dream job immediately after graduation; chances are; you will have to work your way up the ladder to get to where you want to be. Keep feelers out for other positions that would make you extremely happy and provide a stepping stone to your dream career.
- Using the Same Resume and Cover Letter for Each Application
A general resume isn’t going to cut it for every job you apply for. If you are chasing a position in retail, for example, tailor your resume to play up your strengths in retail or retail-related experience. If it’s an office or management position you seek, highlight the qualities and skills you have that show your management experience. Throwing all of your past jobs on a resume just for length isn’t going to impress the Human Resources department. Think quality over quantity.
- Posting Anything and Everything on Social Media
The truth is that potential employers are now doing a little Facebook stalking of their own when it comes to hiring employees. Because company culture and finding the right fit is crucial to an employee’s success, recruiters are looking at a candidate’s social media profiles to see what kind of person they are. It might be time to take down any inappropriate party photos or change your profile privacy settings.
- Not Researching a Company Before Interviewing
Before stepping into an interview it is crucial to know as much about that company as you possibly can from the outside. Memorize their website, understand their company culture and goals, know who it is you are going to speak to during the interview and come prepared to explain why you want to work at this company specifically. A great way to have the edge during the interview is to scour the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewers beforehand. Also, much like you would research a program such as NEC’s non profit management degree, dive in to the details and see if you can relate to something specific.