As if growing up wasn't enough, juggling final exams, project deadlines, and a social life along with worrying about getting a job outside of college can make the final months of your senior year overwhelming. The good news is that you are not alone.
Many graduates feel that they will not be able to find a job after completing their studies. 66 percent of them are not very optimistic about getting a job that fits their career goals. While job hunting can be stressful after graduation, learning how to prepare for the job market can take some weight off your shoulders.
If you want to learn how to navigate your job search and avoid common mistakes graduates make, this guide will help you better prepare for the future. You can also check out the game of life after college in our infographic below.
The current landscape for job hunting after college
Is it hard to get a job after graduation? There is no specific answer to this, as every person has their own skills and experiences. However, here are some stats to keep in mind and other urgent questions that will be answered, including the percentage of college students who find a job after graduation and how long, on average, they find a job after graduation.
In 2020, the proportion of employed university graduates decreased from 76% to 67%.
Employment increased in August 2021 235,000 in a month.
The unemployment rate went from 14.7% in April 2020 to 5.2 percent in August 2021.
In October 2020, 67.3% of university graduates were employed after graduation.
It takes average three to six months for college graduates to find a job after graduation.
In March 2021, the unemployment rate for Bachelor graduates was at 3.7% versus 6.7% for those who only have a secondary school leaving certificate.
Reasons People Have Difficulty Getting a Job Outside of College
Finding a job after graduation can be challenging, especially when learning to adapt to life after graduation. If you can't find a job after graduating, the following reasons can help:
Don't be prepared
Some university graduates only begin their career preparation after graduation. Although preparation takes some effort, such as taking online courses, finding an internship, or networking, preparing for the job market is crucial to getting a job after graduation.
Don't be proactive
It's also a common reason why college graduates take longer to find a job. Applying only to job boards is a common mistake made by job seekers as they get lost in the pool of applicants.
Not enough experience
A degree does not necessarily mean that you will get a job right after graduation. Most employers consider internship and work experience to be one of the most important factors in considering a candidate.
It's not about the employer
Another common mistake young graduates make is focusing on what they want from a job, not the needs of the employer. Employers want to know what you can offer them and how your skills match the position.
Not doing enough research
If you don't know what to look for, you probably won't find it. Not doing enough research is another problem for graduates when they start looking for a job. Researching what's right for you and what career paths to take can help you achieve your career goals faster.
How to get a job right out of college
Now, with all of these stressors against you, you may be wondering, “How do I get a job right out of college?” Even if this isn't your first job, knowing your college experience and job search process is making the most of your peace of mind to use.
1. Gain experience while studying
During your studies, you will have many opportunities to join clubs and organizations, attend events and seminars, and learn new skills. Each of them can help you learn more about yourself and improve your offering – plus, it will look great on your resume.
Pro tip: If you didn't have a job while studying, use your membership in a club or organization as work experience.
2. Start networking
When you're ready to begin your career, you will likely hear that networking is very important, and that's because at least 70 percent of the open positions aren't advertised. Meeting people within your large and professional organizations can be a great way to build connections. But don't limit yourself – friends, family and colleagues can also be part of your network.
Pro tip: If you haven't heard of a position you applied for, seek help from your network or college alumni who work for that company.
3. Research the job market
Just like doing a research project for a class in college, exploring different career fields can help you narrow down your job search. Knowing what jobs are in the field, what a typical day is like, what the job market is like, and what the requirements are, can help you understand exactly what to look for and increase your chances of being hired.
Pro tip: When doing your research, take into account the general skills and experience required in the job descriptions and personalize your résumé accordingly.
4. Be proactive
If you're looking to find a job right after you graduate, initiative is key. Don't just wait around – apply for different jobs, contact people on your network and on LinkedIn, and keep track of all the jobs you haven't heard of. By showing interest and being proactive, you show hiring managers that you are ready to use your skills and experience.
Pro tip: After you apply for a position, send the hiring manager a personal email letting you know that you applied and why you think you are a good fit for the position.
5. Become a volunteer
Finding volunteer services can be a great way to give back to the community while building your skills and connections. Finding a volunteer activity that you enjoy can also help improve your communication and interpersonal skills and potentially help you find your future employer.
Pro tip: Join a volunteer club or organization on campus to support the local community.
6. Attend career fairs
Career fairs may sound intimidating, but chances are your future employer will be there. Recruiters at career fairs are ready to meet people and learn more about you and your experiences. This is a great way to develop your interview skills and learn about different companies and job opportunities.
Pro tip: Find out about companies on the career fair list in advance so that you can prepare yourself with specific questions to ask the recruiters.
7. Create a portfolio website
Take an extra step and create a personal website to showcase your skills and experience. Even if it's just a simple website, this is a great opportunity to share your writing, photography, or art, or just tell your story.
Pro tip: Add your website to your resume and applications, as well as your LinkedIn profile, to set yourself apart from employers.
8. Land an internship
Finding an internship can be a great way to test the waters and see what a potential job in the field might look like. In fact, 55 percent of employers believe internship experience is one of the most important factors in considering candidates. An internship can also help you build connections and could even lead to a full-time position.
Pro tip: A post graduate internship can help you improve your skills if you haven't had enough experience in school.
9. Consider a part time job
Even if it's not in your area, doing a part-time job can also help you build connections and skills. Getting a part-time job on campus not only allows you to make a little extra cash on tuition, it also helps you understand your work style and responsibilities. Finding a part-time position in your field can also get you a foot in the door and potentially lead to a full-time position.
Pro tip: Working part-time after graduation can help improve your work ethic and generate extra cash while you apply for full-time positions.
10. Keep your LinkedIn up to date
Many recruiters take a look at your LinkedIn profile during the hiring process – 72 percent of them even use it for recruiting. Keeping your LinkedIn profile updated with your latest résumé and experience can help show recruiters that you are open to work.
Pro tip: You can also add an #OpenToWork frame to your profile picture on LinkedIn to let recruiters know that you are actively searching.
11. Use career services
On-campus career centers are one of the best sources of new job opportunities, especially on-site. Many employers leave their information at the university career centers and are therefore open to hiring graduates from there. In addition to career counseling, career centers may also offer resume and networking workshops, mentoring programs, and trial interviews.
Pro tip: You can also visit your Campus Career Center after you graduate for tips and strategies on how to improve your resume and interview skills.
12. Take online courses
If you want to improve your skills in addition to what you are learning in class, online courses can help you gain hands-on experience in the field. It can also help you figure out if this is the career path for you.
Pro tip: There are a variety of open online courses that you can take for free on sites like Coursera, Udemy, and edX.
13. Find a mentor
There are many benefits to having a mentor, such as career guidance and constructive criticism. A mentor is someone you trust and look up to and can be a manager, a colleague, a teacher, or even a friend. Building a relationship with your mentor can also help you improve your communication skills and avoid common pitfalls.
Pro tip: If you don't have someone around you to mentor, many college career centers offer mentoring programs to connect you with alumni.
14. Create a routine
The job search can seem endless at times, but building a routine can help you keep your goals in mind. Schedule times for each task in your calendar, e.g. Such as finding a job, updating your resume and profile, tracking recruiters, taking online courses, and networking. But don't forget your health! Include mental health breaks, such as: B. exercising, going for a walk, watching a movie, or speaking to a loved one.
Pro tip: Try to use time management techniques like the pomodoro technique and time blocking to stay on track.
15. Join professional development groups
Job board websites can be overwhelming when there are so many job postings out there. Narrow your search by finding groups for a specific field or location. These groups can also be a great place to connect with other job seekers who can share their career insights.
Pro tip: Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to find groups like remote job seekers and city-specific jobs.
16. Improve your resume
Because some job postings tend to attract hundreds of applicants, many job seekers are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is to spice up your resume and make it creative. You can do this by trying out different resume layouts and colors, and even adding a fun facts section. While some would go as far as to send a resume with a donut box, think about the company you are applying to.
Pro tip: You can create your resume using a template from websites such as Canva. Make sure it's saved as a PDF so the resume scanning software can still read it.
17. Apply on company websites
Another way to stand out from the crowd and not get lost in the sea of applicants is to apply directly on the company's website instead of just on major job boards. Some companies keep their websites updated with current job vacancies and actively seek out candidates. Applying through their website can get more personal and show that you are particularly interested in working for them.
Pro tip: If you can find a place that you really want to work, it may be worth emailing them even if they don't have any current vacancies to show your interest.
Why your first job outside of college matters
Your first job after college might not be a perfect fit, but it's still one of the most important. If you find yourself in a position where you find the job is not what you expected, use it as a learning opportunity.
This is your chance to develop your skills and learn from your mistakes. So dive into your first job like a pro and learn negotiating skills, grapple with your time management skills, network with others in the industry and discover your preferred work style. If you take advantage of a not-so-good first job, you can have a career later.
If finding a job outside of college is one of your primary goals, preparing early can not only help you stay motivated in your job search, but also help you find a job faster. By learning about common mistakes you face and following the tips in this guide, you can get one step closer to professional success.
Sources: Monster | Psychology today
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