subscribe to RSS feeds

« back to all blogs

College Grads--Struggling in today's job market

The job market isn't a friendly place for most people these days, but especially hard on those who don't know what they want-or how to get it. The experience of these two grads illustrate the six things grads do to kill their chances of landing a good job.

 1) Failing to Articulate How They Can Contribute
Many grads have transformed solid, even spectacular, college careers into a dull list of jobs on their resumes.

Michael's resume focused on the trivial
Michael wrote more about his freshman year hamburger-flipping job than he did about his work in student government. He was instrumental in organizing a student lobbying campaign that successfully blocked two bills in the state legislature that would have negatively affected the campus.

Rachel believes in being humble
Employers don't know how good Rachel is because she doesn't tell them. She omitted her impressive grade point average and never told anyone about her major role in transforming her university's chaotic Student Information Center into a smoothly functioning, useful office. She never once mentioned that the university recognized her with an Outstanding Student Achievement Award.

Since employers didn't recognize how good they are, they've struggled to get hired, then landed jobs where they're unchallenged and bored.

2) Not Understanding the Job Market
Both believed that employers hire to fill openings or vacancies. In fact, they hire to fill needs and advance their own careers. They had to learn to think about how they could save money, generate good publicity, find new customers, keep existing customers happy, run efficient operations and so on.

3) No clear goals
Neither Michael nor Rachel had a clear idea of what they wanted to do.They didn't know how to translate their success in school to the work world. Conversations with unfocused people who don't know what they want usually lead nowhere.

4) No marketing plan
Not only did they not know what they wanted to do, they didn't know who they might want to work for, how to reach those people, or what they would say if they did. They took the easy route--sending resumes to online postings. Unfortunately, the easy way was getting them nowhere.

5) Not Using and Expanding Their Networks
Throughout college, both students developed strong relationships with people who could help them in their job search:professors, supervisors, people they'd met through internships, alumni of Michael's fraternity, and so on. Neither used them effectively.  All Michael did was hand resumes to three people who promised to hang onto them. Rachel did nothing, as she felt she would be "using" people she knew if she contacted them.

6) Neglecting LinkedIn
Despite being a wizard with other social media, Michael paid little attention to LinkedIn. He had a skeleton profile and hadn't learned to use it to make connections. Rachel had done better, but still wasn't tapping the full potential of LinkedIn.

Fixing these six problems put transformed their job searches and helped them to land good jobs where, at last report, they are very happy.

Finding it painful to see your grad struggling? Let's talk.  847 673 0339


Categories: uncategorized

Blog Articles

Blog Archives