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Job Search Myths that Stall New Grads

male female HBCU gradsI spend a lot of my time talking to new college grads about their job search strategies and career plans. What I have found after 15 years of working with new grads is that many new grads have their job search stalled by job search myths and pre-conceived notions. Most new grads are having a hard enough time landing a job after graduation in today’s tight job market, but if you add some simple misconceptions and job search myths, they will inadvertently add extra time to their job search.

Once I talk with a new grad, I know that I have to spend some time unraveling job search myths before we really move forward with job search strategies. From my experience, if these four job search myths are not checked, they can cause a new grad a lot of additional frustration.

I Don’t Have to Sell Myself in the Interview Since I Went to XYZ College

I hear this one all the time, particularly from the new graduate who did not expect that he or she, simply because of the school they attended, would have to compete for a job after graduation. Some new college graduates have bought into this notion that the reputation of their college is their personal reputation. To some extent, yes, your school’s reputation goes a long way in terms of which employers may be attracted to recruit through university relations programs. However, although your school’s reputation might bring an employer to your campus, it will not make the employer hire you. New grads must be able to compete regardless of the pedigree of the college the attended.

I have to find a job in my major.

Usually my question to new grads who say this is: Tell me what you mean by that? The new grad usually goes on to say something like, “Well, I am a marketing major, so I want to find a job in my major.” After I remind the grad that he or she is no longer in college and they are no longer limited by “major,” we go on to talk about how to make the transition from major to career. I remind college graduates that although I have a degree that is called a master’s in business administration, it does not mean that my job title is master in business administrator. In fact, I won’t see that anywhere as a job title. New grads in the job search have to remember to read job descriptions and look at duties and tasks rather than focus on the name of their college major.

Internships Are Only for College Students, Not Graduates

Not true. Many new grads look at internships and fellowships as a way to get some work experience after graduation. A recent New York Times article addressed this issue by stating, “Many college graduates who expected to land paid jobs are turning to unpaid internships to try to get a foot in an employer’s door.” Why not look for an internship as a way to get your foot in the door? New grads who are combing through employer career websites should be looking at the company’s internship requirements, as well.

Employers Will Find Me on Job Boards, All I Have to Do Is Upload My Resume 

This job search myth is pervasive among new grads. Too many new grads believe that a successful job search strategy will involving posting resumes to as many job boards as possible and then sitting back. Job seekers succumb to this career myth quite a bit. I have seen some changes, though, more recently as more new grads are being more proactive in the job search by following up, using niche job boards, and using social media to be more interactive in the job search.

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