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.

Your “After College” Survival Guide: How to Survive as a Fresh College Graduate Reply

Saving for educationBeth Bowman graduated college bubbling with excitement. She had accrued over $25,000 in student debts, but it didn’t matter because she felt she was pursuing a degree that will help her land her dream job of being a cultural consultant for a non-governmental organization. Now out of college, she was excited about her prospects.

However, Bowman soon realized the hard way that we don’t live in a perfect world. After sending about 500 job applications — to which she got no response — she now manages at a job as a policy administration specialist, a job that does not require a college degree.

Bowman’s story isn’t an isolated example.

Statistics from Pew Research Center show that it is becoming increasingly harder for college graduates to find good jobs: a whopping 44 percent of college graduates work at jobs that don’t require a college degree, and 20 percent of college graduates work in low-wage jobs that pay below $25,000. That obviously doesn’t justify today’s average student debt of $37,172.

Here are some survival tips to help you cope as a fresh college graduate:

  1. Make Preparations before Graduating College: Considering the difficulties in getting quality jobs faced by college graduates today, it is best to start making preparations before graduating college. Research shows that employers still value job experience — and having experience as a paid intern makes things even better.

The good news is that you don’t have to be out of college to get relevant job experience. You can still intern while in college; look for relevant organizations that have internship organizations for you while you’re still in college, and slowly build up your work experience. By the time you graduate, you don’t have to be disadvantaged due to lack of work experience.

  1. Get Creative About Job Applications: As a fresh graduate, don’t assume that you can get hired by applying to advertised jobs. Some sources show that up to 80 percent of jobs are unadvertised.

Instead:

  • Regularly reach out to family and friends to inquire about unadvertised job openings they know of.
  • Avoid having your life story on your cover letter. Research shows that recruiters spend less than 10 seconds going through it. Keep your cover letter short and simple.
  • Don’t ignore the internet in your job search. Apparently, 80 percent of recruiters have hired people through LinkedIn. Create and polish your LinkedIn profile.
  • Don’t just wait while you try to get hired. Take advantage of technology to accelerate your prospect of getting hired: you can start a blog or create a simple website. Case studies abound of people who got hired through their blog/website, and many said employers were wowed more by their blogs than by their degree.
  1. Pursue Side Jobs and Alternate Career Options: Many college graduates wait for years, sending hundreds of job applications, without getting their dream job and spending all that time doing nothing. This eventually leads to depression.

Get creative about other ways to earn while looking for your dream job. You can easily find side jobs that will help you sustain yourself while pursuing desirable job opportunities; income from these side jobs reduce pressure on you and help cater to some of your day to day responsibilities.


About John Stevens

John Stevens is an entrepreneur and founder of HostingFacts.com, an online portal that reviews web hosts. He is a regular contributor to Standford’s blog, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and other major publications. Follow him on Twitter @hostingfactsj.


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.

What’s Next After Graduation? Looking for Your First Job 1

Congratulations, you’ve graduated from college! But now that you’ve gotten your diploma, what’s next?

Step one: Find a job.

If you haven’t found a job and you are already into the summer of your graduation, then it is time to update your resume, apply for a number of jobs that you qualify for, and prepare for the professional interviews that are to come.

When building your resume, be sure to research as much as you can online from a variety of different sources. Trends in hiring can, and do, change quite often, which means it is vital for you to be able to create a resume that will highlight your skills and experience and get noticed by potential employers. A resume is a bit like an elevator pitch of your accomplishments. Keep in mind keywords, format, length, readability, relevant experience, and anything else that will show hiring managers what value you can bring to their company.

Depending on your degree, stay open minded about the types of jobs you apply to. Look for work that has decent starting pay, is generally in your desired career field, and offers you a chance to gain quality experience and learn from your employer. You may be sick of learning, but college and work are two completely different worlds. Getting an internship at a company where you want to work is also a good way to get your foot in the door.

Never pass up the opportunity to work under experienced professionals that can mentor you and give you valuable skills to put on your resume for your next job. Believe it or not, only around 27 percent of college graduates find a job that is directly related to their major, according to the US Bureau of the Census. What this means is the bulk of your skills will come from on-the-job experience, so finding an employer that will help you grow is essential.

No matter what your goals are, the most important part is to keep an open mind. You never know what sorts of opportunities will present themselves. Fortune favors the bold, so get out there and start applying.