Fresh Out of College? Do These 4 Things to Increase Your Chances of Getting Your Dream Job Reply

According to research from the U.S Department of Labor, 53 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and an estimated 44 percent of college graduates work in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

When you consider that only 56 percent of college students will earn their degree within six years, and that many college students have taken on enormous debts to complete their education, it becomes clear that having a degree has become a liability for most people. It doesn’t have to be, though.

If you’re fresh out of college and are on a hunt for a job, here are four things you can do to increase your chances of getting your dream job:

  1. Pay Careful Attention to the Resume and Job Application Process

Most fresh college graduates believe that once they have good grades and graduate from a renowned school, their job problems are automatically solved. It doesn’t work that way.

When you’re fresh out of college, you are practically untested and very few companies will simply want to “take a risk” on you. In this case, it will be immensely valuable to learn how to sell yourself more effectively by working on your resume skills. Some tips include:

  • Keep your resume simple and to the point — avoid the temptation to make things wordy.
  • Highlight relevant experience you have attained.
  • Summarize key facts with bullet points.

Realize that most recruiters will spend less than 7 seconds looking at your resume. Keeping things simple and clear will be your biggest advantage.

  1. Stack Up on Experience as Soon as You Can

Many fresh college graduates are in a sort of catch-22: fresh out of college, every organization they send their application to require them to have years of job experience. They are unable to get a job since no one is willing to hire them without experience, and without a job they are unable to get experience.

According to Nicholas Dutko, CEO of Auto Transport Quote Services, the solution to this is to stack up on relevant job experience as soon as possible: “Anything that gives you the required job experience adds up: this includes taking on relevant jobs in which you will be paid significantly less than your desired rates or required to work in a position less than your desired position, or even pro bono work.”

  1. Don’t Ignore LinkedIn

Most recruiters will do a background check on you before hiring you — and this happens majorly on social media these days Research shows that 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn for recruiting — which is interesting considering that just 36 percent of candidates are active on LinkedIn.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one now; use tags, descriptions and a professional picture to make yourself a more attractive prospect to prospective employers.

  1. Dress the Part

We’ve been told never to judge a book by its cover. But we still do.

First impressions matter; when you finally land an interview, it is important to dress the part. It’s easy to fall into the temptation of wanting to be casual, hip and trendy. However, this could stand against you getting the job of your dreams.

Research and understand the culture of the company you are applying to. If it is part of their culture to be hip and trendy, dress hip and trendy to their interview. If it is their culture to look formal and professional, dress formal and professional to the interview. The more they feel that you are like them, the better your chances of snagging that job.


Emma Johnson is a small business consultant who is passionate about elearning and the impact technology is having on the education industry.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

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