Whether you got your diploma in May or are preparing to do so soon, if you're a recent or future college graduate, you're likely struggling with expectations in the working world. No matter how much experience or how many internships you had in school, there's no doubt that the job search is unforgiving and it may take time before you land that prime position.
Part of the problem is that hiring managers and employers have a negative perception of young workers entering the job market, according to Good Morning America. Nearly 25 percent of employers believe that recent college graduates aren't ready to succeed in the real world, which can stand as a somewhat-imposing factor to overcome in the search. However, there are several ways you can help your chances.
The news source said that many managers believe that recent graduates are not experienced in skills that show their ability to succeed over time in the "real world," believing they're too focused on book-learning and what they've learned in classes. It's recommended that you make sure you can play up previous work experience, whether you held a job or had internships in college. Even if you're lacking a bit in this department, if you've done any volunteering, or taken on leadership roles in your past experiences, definitely make a note of them on your resume. It won't impress everyone, but it could be the extra boost that puts you a level above your competition.
Another common problem comes when someone applying for a job highlights only one of their primary skills, such as their writing ability or leadership prowess. By doing this, they completely ignore that employers are actually looking for - a balanced, even-handed skill set. Most employers want their new hires to be able to fill several roles and perform several tasks, often at the same time. Being able to show that you're more of a jack-of-all-trades than someone who has skills in one primary area of the industry - which can make you seem limited or restricted - will likely pay off over time.
Often, hiring managers are very frustrated by what they see as disrespectful practices, which may not seem that bad from the applicant's side. These include not customizing an employer's specific cover letter - if the letter is speaking in generic terms, it will likely look like you've decided to simply copy and paste the same letter over and over again to every possible opening your skills could be related to. Also too common is that interviewees come to an office for their big interview with no information about how the company operates. Many are also inappropriately dressed. Showing interest in a company itself will help you make sure your interviewer takes you seriously about the position. Making sure you've dressed for the occasion won't hurt, either, as the extra effort you'll put into the issue will be more than noticeable over time.Network, network, network
Boston.com noted that a majority of job seekers try to spend all their job-searching time sending out resumes, without even looking into other possibilities they might find in the industry. Your approach should be the exact opposite. Networking should be the majority of your job search emphasis, because it's both how you'll learn more about the industry and how you'll get new leads on potential job openings at any given company you might be interested in. You might even want to try taking on a contract position, as that will help you both gain new experience and get access to new people you can add to your network.