4 Reasons Recruiters May Consider You Unemployable

20 02 2014

most-unemployable-majors%20Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked to over 100 college students about their careers. Most of them – despite a slightly better economy and for reasons we all understand – remain scared to death about their pending entrance into the workforce.

During these conversations, it became clear that the anxiety isn’t because they’re afraid to enter “the real world” …but aren’t prepared, yet, to enter the workforce. They simply lack the mindset necessary to make the leap from graduate to professional.

Here are the top four reasons why recruiters may perceive you as unemployable – and how, by deliberately focusing on each, you can turn these barriers into assets:

1. Confidence is King

“I am way more qualified than my peers. And smarter. But they have job offers, and I don’t. Why?” (said sheepishly with little or no eye contact and with slumped shoulders).

Recruiters have always been reluctant to hire those who fail to exude confidence; since the beginning of time recruiters have been measured by their ability to hire leaders and difference-makers. For candidates in our new economy, any failure to show sincere self-assurance – and the desire to compete at a high level – is death to their application.

The good news: you have the rest of your college career to gain the experience and prepare the skills necessary to overcome this issue.

Start now. Develop a dynamic, affable, confident job search style. Or, regardless of your talent or smarts, keep wondering why you are always the last kid picked for kickball at recess.

2. The Best Strategy is Rarely the Easiest

“I’ve submitted 275 applications on http://www.BigJobBoard.com… and haven’t received a single call-back.”

After hearing this same story over and over again for almost five years now… why do we still think this approach is an effective job search strategy?

Here’s my theory:

  1. Job boards are easy
  2. Networking (especially for us introverts) and research are hard work
  3. Human nature dictates we try “easy” first – no matter how ineffective and frustrating the end result

Ask millions of your unemployed or underemployed friends: easy doesn’t work.

3. The “Catch-22”

“I’m only a college student – but employers want me to have all this experience. But if no one will hire me, how do I get the experience.”

Bunk.

With no internships or volunteer positions on your resume – and without the development of soft skills through campus activities, clubs, fraternities or sororities, and much more – of course many recruiters looking for a “can do the job, right now” candidate – are going to pass you over. Even those with a 4.0 GPA counting on their academic excellence to carry them into the workforce are likely to soon face a cold hard fact: in many industries, your job seeking competition with a 3.1 GPA – the confident networkers with significant hands-on experience and abundant soft skills – is going to kick your butt in the real world.

Simply put, there is No Excuse for No Experience.

4. Failure to Learn

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I can’t get a job offer.”

I DO know what you are doing wrong… you are not making enough effort to learn what you’re doing wrong!

Every draft of a wholly customized cover letter and resume, every application, every phone/Skype interview and every single face-to-face meeting is a golden chance to discover what worked very well, what part of the process you can improve a bit – and perhaps what went horribly wrong.

Self-analyze your job search strengths and weaknesses. Discuss the process with a mentor. Ask for feedback from the recruiters you meet during your job search and while networking. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted a golden opportunity to learn – and improve.

Are any of these four barriers of entry stopping you from being seen as ready-to-be-hired?

More important: between now and graduation, how will you make yourself more employable?

***For this fantastic post, Campus to Career thanks Mark Babbitt and the folks at YouTern!***

MarkAbout the Author: CEO and Founder of YouTern, Mark Babbitt is a serial mentor who has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO.com regarding job search, career development, internships and higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce. A keynote speaker and blogger, Mark’s contributions include Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Switch and Shift, and Under30CEO.

Mark has been honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors,” HR Examiner’s “Top 25 Trendspotters in HR” and CareerBliss’ “Top 10 Gen Y Career Experts.” Mark is currently working on two new books: “A World Gone Social: How Business Must Adapt to Survive (AMACOM, June 2014) with Ted Coine and “The Ultimate Guide to Internships (And Making Your College Years Matter Again)” (Allworth, September 2014). Contact Mark via email or on Twitter!

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5 Things Every Fresh Graduate Should Know

13 02 2014

Graduation is upon us. In just a few weeks, you’ll finish class and set out into this wonderful world. Where do you start?? Here are 5 things every fresh graduate should know:

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thIf you think your hardships are through just because you graduated from college with flying colors, then you’re dead wrong. Life doesn’t start and end within the four corners of your classroom. Harder things are yet to follow and the best you could do right now is to brace yourself.

I also had a difficult time adjusting to a new life after getting my diploma. Still, I was able to pull it off and now I’m a proud member of the workforce. There’s a pretty big chance you’re going to experience that too! But worry not for knowing what’s to come is already half the battle. Without further ado, here are five things you should know about now that school’s over!

Experience is king
Don’t be surprised with the first tip and talk about the impossibility of you getting any experience since you’re a fresh graduate. The thing is, all of us were deceived back in high school. Teachers emphasized the importance of good grades too much when in fact, employers only value RESULTS. At the end of the day, you’re still going to be judged based on whether or not you have what it takes to do the job!

To put it bluntly, internships, making new connections to people who can assist you in certain work matters and even unpaid jobs have their weight in the urban jungle. Try doing any of them in case you’re having trouble getting employed.

Being money driven will destroy everything for you
As cheesy as it might sound, you need to follow your heart if you want to make it big. One way or another, you’re gonna find a way to earn money. However, there will come a time when you won’t be able to do the things you really want to do and that’s going to hurt… a lot!

Live a life with no regrets and find ways on how you could earn by doing stuff you’re really passionate about. Don’t be a slave to a high-paying job and then go home with a bag full of regrets. Remember that time waits for no one so, you have to make the most out of your life.

First impressions really do last
Dress up for the job you want or have and only open your mouth when you really need to. This isn’t school anymore! More often than not, you only have thirty seconds to close a deal or impress an employer. Thus, you have no choice but to do everything in your power to make sure that every precious second counts.

Moreover, try to be cautious when sharing stuff both on and offline. The things that you’re going to say and do will either make or break you.

Office politics exist
Indeed, the workplace is as crazy as the ones they show you in movies. There will be a lot of backstabbing and mudslinging. You’ve got to keep you guard up at all times or else you’ll be the laughing stock of your office mates.

Furthermore, always keep in mind that not participating on any kind of gossiping will make your life easier. The workplace is often filled with negativity. As the Bible teaches, if you’re not going to say anything nice then you’d best keep it to yourself.

Social media will be the end of you
Be it with Facebook statuses, Tweets or Instagram pictures, you need to be cautious when sharing stuff online. You’re not a kid anymore and that means immature rants and cursing are unacceptable. In connection with the fourth tip, save it for yourself when you can.

In addition to that, companies use their potential-employees social media profiles in order to know them better. The last thing you want to do is to create a “ghost” that’s going to stain your career!

College may be over but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning and growing as a person. You can’t rest easy just because school is over. Always remember that your graduation day marks the beginning of your new life!

For this great post, Campus to Career thanks Katherine Smithson!

Author’s Bio
Katherine Smithson is a budding copywriter who is trying to pave her way through the blogging realm. Through bestessays.com, she is currently venturing modern writing and blogging in different websites and someday be able to make a name in the industry of blogging and writing per se.





The “Work” of Networking

4 02 2014

Networking.  Ugh.  Did you just get a queasy feeling in your stomach?  I’ve participated in quite a few networking events in my professional life.  You know what I’ve realized?  It’s a LOT of work!

Here are a few tips to help you maximize your next event:

Research the attendees in advance.  If at all possible, obtain a list of the event registrants.  You’ll want to create a target list of critical connections, those that you should “bump” into, and individuals who would be nice to meet, but aren’t crucial to your success.  Keep the list manageable.  A list with 100 people is nearly impossible to maintain.  Focus on the critical few, not the insignificant many.  Look them up on LinkedIn or through a Google search.  You’d be amazed at how much easier it is to find someone when you’ve seen their picture on their LinkedIn profile (don’t forget to send a short, personalized connection request!)

Have a wingman (or woman.)  You can’t do it alone.  Well, I guess you can do whatever you put your mind to, but I’m telling you it won’t be easy without a connection point.  That’s the role of the wingman.  It’s kind of like on How I Met Your Mother when Barney introduce Ted at parties…”haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavvvve you met Ted?”  Pick a wingman that knows the audience and can help introduce you to connections of interest.  Having someone facilitate an introduction can do wonders.  People won’t think you’re so weird.  Plus, if the person introducing you has credibility (aim for someone that does…) then you inherit a bit of that credibility with the person you’re meeting.  Win-win.  Be sure to thank your wingman.

Utilize traditional and non-traditional connection methods.  LinkedIn is my go-to resource, but not everyone has a profile.  Don’t limit yourself.  Case in point: I made two very important business connections recently at a conference simply because I followed the event’s Twitter hashtag.  They were tweeting the good stuff, so I checked their profile and sent them a short @reply asking if we could meet at the next networking break by the big orange table in the exhibit hall.  Both replied and both showed up!  In this case, social media was very helpful.  Don’t forget about the trusty telephone.  If you pick it up and call the person so that you can secure a meeting time, even better.  Don’t be a pest.  Just be nice and keep the conversation short.  They have their own networking list.

Follow up.  I’m serious…DO IT.  The majority of people never follow up after an initial meeting.  That’s a hard fact that blows my mind!  Why would you NOT follow up?  Even if the person did not really fit on your list of critical connections, they may know someone who does.  Keep the lines of communication open and send them a quick “nice to meet you” note.  This should be easy for you.  You got their business card, right??

Networking isn’t rocket science.  Well, unless you’re networking with rocket scientists.  For the rest of us, it’s simply interacting with people, building relationships around shared interests.  That’s it.  So the next time you sign up for a networking event, go with a plan.  People will notice and appreciate your efforts, which could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

PS. Don’t forget to have breath mints and wash/sanitize your hands frequently.  It’s flu season and nobody wants your germs.  🙂