Millions of people graduate from college every year and many are totally unprepared for careers or the future of work. Some research suggests that the overwhelming majority of graduates are not ready for the workplace. Gallup research shows that only 13% of US adults say that college graduates are ready or prepared for the workplace.
With this in mind, I started to think about some of the serious career questions that new grads should be asking.
Answering these career questions will help new grads know what they should be thinking about before they jump into the future of work.
Career Questions New Grads Should be Asking
Job Search Questions
1. Do I have a professional resume, cover letter and thank-you letter that have been critiqued and ready to be modified as needed? Find your career center on campus for free assistance with any of these documents. You can also register on our job board and get a free resume critique by a professional resume writer.
2. Have I asked any of my professors, coaches, former bosses or mentors to write reference letters for me? Who would recommend me for anything at this point? Know that you are not the only person who will be asking, so it is wise to get in line early. Read our 9 Key Elements of a Good Reference Letter.
3. Do I know which job search myths are stalling new graduates? Read – New Grads Falling Prey to Job Search Myths
4. Have I cleaned up my online persona? Have I sanitized my Tweets, set my Facebook privacy settings, Googled myself? What did I find and what will I do about any negative information? Do I have a LinkedIn profile?
5. Have I made a list of everyone in my networking circle? Key tip to remember with networking is that “Givers Gain.” Don’t expect to be asking for help and not be willing to share.
6. Do I know how the career center can assist me with my job search after graduation? Find a list of HBCU career centers here.
Career Planning Questions
7. Have I been to the career center on my college campus to learn which employers are recruiting grads on campus?
8. It is too late to do an internship now that I am graduating? The quick and simple answer is NO. Why Internships?
9. Am I graduating without knowing my Real V.I.S.A (Values, Interests, Skills and Abilities)? Meet with career center staff on your campus, talk with a mentor or do some personal exploration with the career assessments here.
10. Do I have the technology and digital skills that will make me employable after graduation?
Career and Industry Questions
10. Do I know my three (3) top preferred industries? Expand your career and industry awareness with company and industry research.
11. Have I joined any professional groups like The HBCU Career Center group on LinkedIn? Am I a member of any professional associations so I can stay on top of how my chosen industries are changing?
12. Am I getting the latest career and college graduate success tips targeted for me? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and your college career center tweets or blogs. Find other resources you trust on line.
13. Is going to grad school in my future? What do I want to study and how will I fund graduate education?
Completing college is difficult and you should be congratulated for getting to this significant milestone.
However, Americans continue to say that college graduates are not ready for careers or the workplace. This is true. So, if your goal is to make a good transition into the workplace, start asking yourself some tough questions now.What Employers Want