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Job Search Mistakes College Grads Are Making

October 27th, 2011

New graduates don’t know what to expect from the job market, and most of them come out of the gate in an explosion of high spirits and costly mistakes. If you’re among them, these mistakes can slow the search process and may eventually put a drain on your patience and enthusiasm. At worst, they can drag your search on for so long that you can end up getting frustrated and lowering your standards. Don’t let that happen.

It’s a rough world out there for new graduates and first time job seekers, but the right moves and the right attitude can land you a coveted first rung on the ladder to a fruitful career and a comfortable life. Stay focused, have courage, and avoid these easy missteps.

 Being Too Shy, to Lazy, or Too Cool for Offline Networking

Real networking is difficult and takes a bit of social courage, but it’s because it’s difficult that it works. Many graduates simply don’t have the nerve to be persistent, and don’t have the maturity and self- possession to meet with adult professionals face-to-face. If you have the chutzpah to actually pick up the phone and arrange meetings with people who can help you, these people may be reluctant or annoyed at first. But eventually, some of them will be impressed. Call people. Call again if they don’t call you back. Learn to take rejection gracefully. Don’t measure your success in offers, measure it by the meetings you manage to schedule.

 Using Your Network Correctly vs. Incorrectly

Once you have someone’s attention, ask the right questions. Find out how the person got where they are, and ask them for advice. People enjoy talking about themselves, and they enjoy helping young people who want to listen. Don’t say “I need a job”, since the conversation should not be about you. Stay curious and attentive, and keep your focus outward.

Internet Dependence

Most jobs are not advertised online. It’s estimated that about 80% of available positions never make their way to the internet, but about 80% of job seekers (especially first-timers) conduct their entire search online and never look beyond the screen or pick up the phone. Job-wise, that makes the internet seem like an ultra-competitive and somewhat generic wasteland. Close the screen and get out the door. You’ll find a wider range of opportunities that may be more interesting, better tailored to your skills, and easier to obtain.

Impatience and Fragile Spirits

Have you been searching for (OMG) nearly six months and haven’t found a job yet? Are you falling into despair because you called one busy, professional marketing manager for an informational interview and she didn’t call you back? Be patient and persistent. This process will take some time. You may need to mow lawns for a while to make ends meet, and there’s no shame in that, but don’t give up on your goals and stop searching for something better. Lawn-mowing is honest and humble work, but if you have a college degree, you need to keep chasing contacts until you find an opportunity to get out into the world and put your degree and your unique skill-set to use.

Get some help! Contact a recruiting agency in Fairfield County at Merritt Staffing for better tips on getting a better job and use your college degree for a more comfortable life ahead.

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