Being a new college graduate is one of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking) times in your life. School is over and the heavy-duty adulting begins…which, for most, means the job search is on. Job hunting, it seems, is usually a very long process for college graduates. Some grads don’t find their first job until months (or even later) after graduation. But why is it so hard?
Unsure About What to do with Your Major
One of the reasons college graduates can’t find a job is because they don’t know what types of jobs they can get with their major. If you’re having trouble with this, sit back and take some time to think. What was your major? Why did you choose to study it? Many majors, like communications and business, are very broad, but you picked them for certain reasons. You can work in just about any company doing a variety of different things. The key is to find out what you like to do, and go from there.
Unsure About What Jobs are a Good Fit
Most college grads find it hard to determine what jobs fit well with what they studied throughout college. If you’re one of these people, utilize job search websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, or even networking sites like LinkedIn. Personalize your job search filters and let the websites do the work for you. They’ll provide you with a list of openings that have at several of the things you’re looking for. Check out the company’s work conditions, position responsibilities, and do some research on the company on your own to see if it’s the right job for you. Many companies have a LinkedIn page as well. And remember, you don’t have to start off with your dream job. Spending a few years gaining experience can help you when that dream job finally becomes available.
Think about how many students graduate college every year, and then how many of them are looking for jobs at the same time. It’s certainly a competition, and companies are prepared to receive hundreds (or even thousands) of applications in the same time period. The sooner you start looking for a job, the better. Make it a priority to apply to at least 3 jobs or more a day, and start as early as you can! It can take more time than expected to find a job, so don’t wait until after you’ve graduated to begin the search.
One big mistake recent grads make is that they don’t apply for a job because they don’t meet all the qualifications. Most candidates don’t meet every desired qualification an employer has. If you meet several of their criteria, go ahead and throw your hat in the ring. You might just land an interview.
Little to No Work Experience
Some college students think that their degree alone will be enough to get them a job. But how would employers know if you are a good fit for the job if you don’t have any experience? If you are stuck in this situation, take a job or an internship, even if it’s not exactly what you’re looking for. Use this opportunity to grow and expand your resume.
If you’re still in college, seek out internship and volunteer opportunities to build up your resume. You never know – when it’s time to graduate, you may be able to use the connections you’ve already made to score a full-time job!
No Effort in Resume and Cover Letters
Your resume and cover letter is your first impression to employers. It may be easier to copy and paste the same generic cover letter for every job you apply to, but that won’t get you any results! Take a good look at the position’s responsibilities, the company website, and their official social media to get a feel for the job and the company culture.
Pro tip: Have more than one resume. For example, if you majored in English and you’re looking for employment in a few different fields, customize a resume for each one. For copywriting, have a copywriting resume. Looking to write content? Tweak your resume for that. It may seem tedious, but a little customization goes a long way!
Searching for a job as a college grad is a difficult process. You may apply for hundreds of jobs before you find the right one. Make a job-hunting schedule for yourself. Maybe you have more energy in the mornings or you’re more of a night owl. Whatever time works best for you, make it a priority. Do research, customize those cover letters, and apply. It’s tough out there, but stay positive! It may take some time, but you will find that stepping stone to a long and successful career.