Getting a degree is essential for finding a great job, but many new graduates struggle with employment. Below are some mistakes recent graduates make, and how to avoid them.
Expecting too much
Many recent graduates are guilty of trying to find the perfect job, not the right job based on his or her limited career experience. Very few people start out at the top of their career. It is ideal for students to be willing to start in an entry-level position coupled with a great company that has room to grow quickly. Also, know your worth at the beginning of your career and be reasonable when the application asks what you desire on the “expected salary” line.
Emphasizing only book knowledge
Many employers find a lack of real world experience and want new hires to have a year, or more, of experience. Get this real world knowledge through internships and summer jobs. A college degree is important, but so is a work history. Employers want someone to show up on time and work with others much more than they care about an Art History class.
Using and misusing, the Internet
While the internet is a wonderful tool for job searching, it cannot be the only tool. Connections are vital in employment, so grads should be able to see all angles of the job search, including their parents’ and friends’ contacts as not all jobs are posted online. The internet makes it easy for many people to apply for the same position, so follow up on an internet application with a phone call or physical visit to the company.
Being less than professional
The biggest mistake of all is not being professional. New graduates need to research the employer and be able to answer questions about the mission statement and goals of the company. Many interviewees dress too casually or forget to turn off their cell phones. But it is social media that is really stopping many job searches before they even start. Companies will look at potential employees’ Facebook and twitter pages, often bypassing privacy settings. Career expert Liz Ryan reports that all new graduates need to “Rid your profile page of any photos of the ‘three Bs’ — beer, bongs and bikinis.”
Though the job world may seem impossible to break into, it’s not. With time, patience, and professionalism, and new graduates can find themselves in the job of their dreams.