5 College Grad Job Search Mistakes

23 10 2012

Guest post by Charles Sipe

A job becomes the Holy Grail for fresh college graduates. Getting hired seems to be the only way of justifying the time, effort and money spent on a college degree. So why is it that some college graduates are unable to find quality jobs that their fellow classmates have? Make sure to avoid the following mistakes to optimize your opportunities in the job market.

1. Inappropriate Resume

The very first thing that you must have is a resume that truly represents your strengths as a professional who is about to step foot in the corporate world. Remember, there is no recipe for a successful resume and it all depends on what your field of education is, the country, city and organization you are applying for and other factors. In my opinion, a new college grad’s resume should never be more than a single page.

2. Not Applying Enough

It is possible for you to commit a mistake by not doing something at all. The cost of not applying at enough organizations is very high. Job vacancies are advertised, here, there and everywhere including websites, social media platforms and recruiting firms. However many jobs are never advertised and you need to develop connections to uncover this hidden job market. You can’t rely solely on job boards anymore – you have to work your network as well.

Also, not applying soon enough is a mistake. Many companies have a hiring season. Often college students are hired before they graduate. Campus recruiting enables employers to get the benefits that an early bird does – they get the best graduates even before they graduate. Once this hiring season is over, most vacancies at reputed organizations are filled. So if you consider yourself a student who can compete with the best, start applying before graduation.

TIP: Most corporations hire for their summer internships and full-time positions in the fall semester.  Don’t wait until you’re two months from summer break or graduation to start applying for positions!

3. Mistakes at the Interview

Interviewing well with potential employers is an art in itself. Experience with interviews can help you learn which qualities and actions will impress interviewers and which ones do not. Common mistakes are not arriving early to the interview and not researching the company beforehand. Make sure that you have questions prepared to demonstrate your interest.

4. Not Following Up

Following up after an interview can improve an employer’s impression of you and make you appear interested in the job. This works better at relatively smaller companies where you may connect directly with the people who interviewed you instead human resources who often lacks the authority to make a decision. Nevertheless, please follow up.  A nice thank-you note can go a long way.

5. Sitting Idle

Some fresh graduates refuse offers and wait for the ‘perfect job’ to come their way. This is a mistake because a job candidate who is already employed is far more attractive than one who is not. A candidate who is already employed can create an impression that your talents are in demand. Today, job hopping is not considered as bad as it was a decade ago, so don’t be afraid to take a position while you continue to work towards your ideal job.

About the author:

Charles Sipe is the Executive Editor for Masters in Accounting, a helpful career resource for anyone interested in getting started in the accounting field. You can follow us on Twitter at @accountingmacc

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One response

28 10 2012
Cathryn Glover

Excellent points. I see these in action with the college students I work with. Another fatal error that is worth repeating is their facebook page content. Employers do use this as a screening tool.

Cathryn

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