A 2013 study conducted by the Pew Research Center suggests that college graduates experience greater rates of economic stability, job satisfaction, and long-term career attainment than do their non-college educated counterparts. While this news bodes well for recent college graduates, in today’s saturated job market a college degree alone may not be sufficient to make you stand out from your competitors. But with a little extra know-how, you can drastically improve your chances of making a successful transition from newly graduated to gainfully employed.
Stick to your strengths. One of the biggest mistakes young job-seekers tend to make is applying for jobs for which they are unqualified. After all, for even the most exceptional individuals, landing a job can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. Applying for positions for which one is not a viable candidate wastes time and energy that could be better spent seeking out and applying for jobs for which one does possess the requisite degree, training, and/or experience. Applying for jobs you are not qualified to do is also likely to make your name stand out unfavorably in the eyes of employers and, in turn, can even negatively impact your chances of ever working for them in the future.
Look good on paper. Once you have located one or more job openings for which you are qualified, review your resume to be sure that it reflects all education history, training, and work experience relevant to the position for which you are applying. If you are applying for more than one job, you may even need to create more than one version of your resume in order to address how your skills fulfill the specific needs of each organization in question. That said, keep it simple—your resume should be clear, concise, and organized so that the potential employer is able to ascertain what he or she needs to know effortlessly.
Never lie. Honesty is equally vital to job market success. When creating a resume or interviewing with a potential employer, you may be tempted to exaggerate concerning your education history or experience, or even to omit an unfavorable piece of information concerning past employment or legal troubles. In the Internet Age, however, a background check is just a click away. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 96% of all organizations perform some form of background check on each individual they employ. It is thus far preferable to be straightforward in the early stages of the job-seeking journey than to be caught in a lie down the road.
To stay on track during the job search, stay true to yourself. By targeting employment opportunities that are a good fit for you, you can not only make the most of the time and energy you devote to seeking a job, but also maximize your potential for job market success.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services.