However, many of the job search mistakes new grads make can be avoided with a little bit of research and preparation. The following ten job search mistakes are easy to fix. If you believe you are not making job search progress then you need to pay immediate attention to this list of job search mistakes.
Bad resumes and cover letters
This is a no brainer. Data suggests that 75% of job applicants are eliminated from their resumes alone. There are so many resume samples and cover letter samples available for free on the internet, there is no excuse to have a bad resume or cover letter. Find a layout you like, write your résumé and take it to the career center on campus for a critique.
Digital dirt everywhere
Too many new grads forget to clean up their digital dirt on social media. Twitter bios and timelines, Facebook pages etc. should all be stripped of any negative or embarrassing information that could cause a recruiter to dismiss you as a candidate. New grads who make this mistake often don’t know what they are doing to drive recruiters away.
Not speaking of outcomes
New grads sometimes forget that they need to do more than talk about their degree or their college major. Skills, experience, internships, accomplishments, leadership and career goals should be part of the conversation. More importantly, there needs to be information about outcomes from using your skills or gaining experiences.
Not networking enough
In a digital economy, some job seekers believe that posting a resume on a job board is all they need to do in a job search. Not true. New grads must have an online job search strategy, but they must also have an “on-land” strategy. Move away from the computer and meet actual people At job fairs, community events etc.
No follow up
Whether it’s with a job lead, a networking contact or a personal referral, new grads struggle in the job search without consistent effort and follow up. Time is of the essence. It is important for new grads to act with a sense of urgency. Follow up on leads within 24 hours.
Poor interview performance
If new grads are failing in the job search because of poor interview performance, a mock interview could be the answer. Practise interviews will help new grads develop their ability to answer questions and stay confident in the job interview. Remember my 3 C’s of Interviewing: grew excellent COMMUNICATION skills to speak with CONFIDENCE about your COMPETENCIES.
Not using the college career center
National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that 72% of graduating seniors who plan to enter the workforce use the campus career center. I know from my personal experience in career centers, that the percentage of students of color using the campus career center before graduation is about 35%. Greater use of the campus career center, will definitely yield greater job search success.
Don’t know what employers want
This is a big job search roadblock for new grads and yet it is one of the easiest issues to address. Just read this list of the skills employers want from graduates and make them the focus of your resume and your interview.
Lack of research
This is biggest complaint that employers would make about new grads they interview on campus. Too many new grads do absolutely no research on the job, the company or the industry.
No mentors or career advisors
Personal mentors and career advisors play a critical role in a successful new grad job search. These are the professionals who help new grads answer questions about the job search process and evaluate job opportunities.