Focusing On One, Perfect Job
Having just graduated college, most young people will hunt for their one dream job and put all of their effort into that application. Sadly, however, most people don't land the job of their dreams right out of school. While you should definitely apply to jobs that excite you, be sure that you are also casting a wide enough net to find a job that might eventually lead to that dream job.
Relying On The Internet
In this day and age, young people do pretty much everything online. Most recent college graduates search for a job mainly by searching websites and sending emails. While this is an effective way to find out about tons of opportunities, the internet can't replace the value of networking. The internet also makes it easy to apply for jobs, which means that recruiters receive tons of applications. The best way to stand out is to actually meet or speak with someone at the company.
Emphasizing Education Instead Of Experience
It makes sense that, having just graduated college, most young job seekers will focus the bulk of their attention on their resumé or in an interview on their education. While a good education is definitely something to boast about when applying for a job, companies are also looking for some experience in the field. If you haven't had any internships or leadership roles, talk about a specific class or project you did in school that relates to the job.
Not Asking Around Enough
There is something to be said for making it on your own, but the fact is that to get a lot of jobs today, it's all about whom you know. Don't be shy about asking your relatives and even random acquaintances if they have heard of any job openings or if they know someone looking to hire. You never know who has a connection to your dream job!
Trusting Facebook's Privacy Settings
A lot of young people think that they can just check a box in their Facebook settings and they won't have to worry about what's posted on their profiles. But there are still several ways for employers to see what is on your profile. Be sure that you keep your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts attributed to you professional.
Making One Resumé
To apply to a lot of jobs, many recent college grads will craft one resumé that they send to every position they're applying for. To have a better shot at landing the job, you should be using a different resumé for each position. Pay attention to the keywords in the job listing and use them in your resumé.
Not Following Up
Most recent grads will send out a job application and then wait for a response, hoping for the best. With so many applications for the same job, it can be easy for yours to get forgotten. You should be following up on all the jobs you're applying for if you haven't heard back from them.
Underutilizing The Career Center
Almost every college in America has a career center to help students find a job. Unfortunately, most students will only use the career office once for a quick resumé read-over, or maybe won't use it at all. Most career centers offer a lot of great guidance for students, such as mock interviews, networking connections, helpful websites, and resumé reviews. While you're still in college, be sure you use this resource.
Not Asking Questions
So many recent grads want a job so badly that they forget that the interview process goes both ways. Sure, the company is interviewing you, but you are also interviewing them to see if you are a good fit and can thrive there. Make sure you come prepared with thoughtful questions that show the interviewer that you have seriously considered the position and are enthusiastic to learn more.
Sure, that silly voicemail greeting you have was funny for your friends while you were in college, but now potential employers won't find it as hilarious. Make sure that your voicemail message is clear and professional.
Not Sending A Thank You Note
Sending a note may seem old-fashioned, but it can actually decide which of two equally qualified candidates will get hired. You can really make yourself stand out by sending a hand-written note thanking the person who interviewed you for their time and consideration. At the least, make sure to send a thank you email to your interviewer.
Boring, Biographical Resumés
According to some experts, younger job seekers think more about what they want from a job and less about what they can offer to a company. This mentality often leads to resumés that simply list the things a person has done in the past, instead of actively relating the attributes that the person can offer the company to help it succeed.
Emphasizing One Skill Set
Instead of honing in on the one skill that you think is your strongest or that you think the company is most looking for, be sure to mention a number of your skills. Employers want someone who is well rounded, with both technical skills and also more abstract skills like creative thinking and communication.
Leaving Cell Phone On During Interview
Going even a couple minutes without a cell phone can be torture for younger people, but if it goes off during a job interview, you can be sure that the hiring manager will not be pleased. Turn your phone off before you enter an interview.
Not Knowing About The Company
One of the most important aspects of a job interview is knowing about the company. Many recent grads haven't had the experience of going on several interviews, and assume that they should be talking about themselves for the entire time. While the interview does focus on you, you should also be able to display that you know about what the company does and how you fit into its mission.
Talking About Mom And Dad
A good amount of college graduates will spend some time living at home with their parents while they look for a job, but this is not something that you should bring up in an interview. Your parents obviously care about you, but the less they are involved in your actual interview or application, the better. Companies are looking to hire independent people who want a job to support themselves.
This one should be pretty obvious, but so many employers still tell stories of young interviewees showing up in jeans and a T-shirt. How you dress is a huge part of the first impression that this potential employer will have of you, and it's one that you can totally control. Even if the company is casual, wear a nice suit to convey professionalism.