Common Job Search Mistakes New College Grads Make

Estimated read time 3 min read

Completing a 4-year degree at a university is tough, but it’s a completely different challenge than applying and interviewing for jobs once you’ve earned your degree. This is a skill that is extremely important if you want to start earning the money that you will need to make it in the real world and pay off your student loans. If you’re not sure what to do and what to not do, here are some common job search mistakes new college grads make.

Submitting a Resume that Doesn’t Highlight Relevant Skills

Most college graduates have held at least one job before they finish their undergraduate degree. However, if you have worked at several cafes and restaurants throughout college and are searching for a job in the finance sector, you are not going to want to list all of your employment history in the service industry. You want to be sure that you keep your resume tailored to the job you are applying for. That’s why many people have several different resumes that they use, depending on the job they are applying for.

Applying for Too Few Jobs

It may be very easy to get your heart set on one or two dream jobs and put all of your energy into applying for them. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that you won’t be getting your dream job directly after finishing college, so you will need to be proactive and apply for as many positions as you can. The earlier you apply, the more likely you will be to land a job, so get as many applications out there as quickly as you can.

Searching Only Online

It’s true that just about every employer will post their job listings online these days, but there are still a lot of employers who advertise in other ways. Many businesses prefer to hire from within their own networks so that they can have their applicants vetted by other current employees. That’s why it’s important to find out if you know anyone who already works for the company and see if you can have them make an introduction for you.

Demonstrating a Lack of Professionalism

It doesn’t matter whether your resume shows that you attended Yale University or Villanova University, if you don’t show up looking and sounding professional, then you are not going to be taken seriously. You want to be sure that you show up to your interview about 10 minutes early, dressed for the position (business causal, usually), and have an extra copy of your resume and any kind of portfolio that you might have ready to hand to your interviewer. This will demonstrate that you are ready and eager for the job.

Not Capitalizing on Available Resources

It’s important to remember that you have all kinds of resources available to you while you are still in college. You have professors who can write you letters of recommendation or introduce you to professionals within your field. It’s possible that you may have developed a relationship with the chair of your department, which could really go a long way. Plus, you probably have a career center at your school where you can go for guidance in your job hunt.

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