With so many other graduates seeking work upon the completion of their degree, the competition is fierce. Until they start their job search, most graduates, sadly, don’t understand just how hard it can be. By the time I talk to them they are tired, frustrated and dismayed that they just can’t get an opportunity to apply their hard-earned skills and knowledge.
Finding a career launching position is hard work. You need a highly effective resume, you have to be tireless in your efforts and you need to approach your job search from many angles. Understandably, this sends many running; they accept any job they can get their hands on and for some, their dreams of working in their chosen career gets further away.
I completely understand the frustration but please don’t give up on your career goals. You’ve worked so hard to complete your degree and with determination, effort and persistence, you will be on the path towards success.
If you’ve taken any job to keep the wolf from the door, that’s absolutely fine – we all need to live. You just have to remember that the longer it takes for you to get a foot in the door of your chosen career, the harder it will become. So don’t give up.
Many graduates are so grateful for the money from any job, and so frayed from their job search efforts, that the thought of persisting almost makes them nauseous. If this describes you, take heart that many other graduates are feeling the exact same way. You are not alone.
Once you understand the extreme competition in the graduate market, you also understand the need to be on top of your job search. By making sure every aspect of your job search is effective and being consistently implemented, you will be able to push yourself further up the pile and make some headway.
Tell the employer what they need to know in your resume. The number one mistake I see graduates make with their resumes is a lack of detail. Many of you may roll your eyes to the heavens at that comment … no, I haven’t lost my marbles. Employers don’t expect you to have years and years of experience, but what they do expect is for you to demonstrate those personal qualities and attributes they are looking for. Show them the way you work, the way you contribute – even if that was plucking chickens at a poultry farm during semester breaks.
Apply a multi-faceted approach to your job search. The ability to attack your job search from a number of angles will help. Don’t rely on graduate programs or wait for advertised positions – the competition for those is fierce. You have to be a smart jobseeker and make your own opportunities. Speak to people in your industry, identify companies of interest, join industry groups, attend seminars, and use social media to find people to connect with. Be seen and heard in your industry – show potential employers you are passionate and serious about your chosen field. You’ll find further information about these tips here.
Clean up your social media profiles or delete them. We’ve all had fun in our day and no one begrudges you a social life, but please stop plastering it all over your Facebook pages. Set everything to private or clean it up. Employers do look and if they can see the pages you like, photos you’ve uploaded or your friends have tagged you in, or read comments you’ve made, you need to be 100% certain it presents you in a favourable light. What you and your friends think is funny won’t be taken that way by employers. Err on the side of caution.
Develop a plan for your job search. Determine your weekly activities, schedule them and make yourself accountable. Monitor your progress. If something has worked well, do more of it next week.
Be resilient. Job searching is time consuming and can be quite deflating when you get another ‘thanks, but no thanks’ response but you can’t give in! You only need one person to say ‘yes’, so keep going and push through those barriers.
Check your attitude. Getting lost in a cycle of ‘what is wrong with me’ thoughts will bring you down and it will reflect in your job search. There are hundreds of graduates in the exact same position as you: it is not personal – it is the market.
I deal with frustrated job seekers all day, every day and I particularly feel for graduates because they come out of university, armed with a degree and ready to get stuck into a career only to be battered and beaten by a prolonged job search.
Don’t let it beat you – you do have a degree and a great deal to offer; you just need to get that across to employers. Good luck!
© Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant | One2One Resumes
E: [email protected] | W: www.one2oneresumes.com.au
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