4 Mistakes College Grads Make When Searching for a Job

By Bryan Hufford.

In the past, going to college always meant you were guaranteed a great job once you walked across the stage to receive your degree. Sadly, those days have now been replaced by a workforce that not only wants a college degree, but on-the-job experience as well. With fewer jobs and higher requirements, getting a job after college requires more effort than ever before.

Are you a recent college grad who is having a tough time landing a job? If so, you could be making a few critical mistakes during your job search that are holding you back from getting interviews. In fact, you might not even be aware of what you are doing wrong. Fortunately, you can change all of that by reading through the rest of this article, which will reveal some of the most common mistakes college grads make when looking for a job (and how you can avoid them).

Mistake #1 - Not Putting in the Necessary Legwork

These days, getting a job isn't as easy as putting in an application, going through the interview process, and getting hired. In other words, nothing is guaranteed. If you really want to get a job, you're going to need to put in some serious work. It's not going to come easy, but it is the only way to increase your odds of landing a job in your field. Slack off and you could find yourself looking for work much longer than you may have anticipated.

What to do instead: You need to be willing to put in the legwork in your job search. That equates to being proactive and staying on top of things at all times. You can't expect to land a job if you're not willing to put forth the effort.

Mistake #2 - You're Not Getting Out Enough

In today's world with technology playing an important role in job hunting, it's not uncommon for people to apply for a variety of jobs on the Internet. If this is your main plan in finding the perfect job, you're going to be solely disappointed. You can only hide behind a keyboard for so long before you need to get out and make the necessary connections to get where you want to be.

What to do instead: You need to get your face out there by utilizing your personal network. Talk with friends and family to let them know you are actively seeking a job. Keep an eye out for internships in your career field too, as they can open up doors and lead to permanent job opportunities.

Mistake #3 - Failing to Customize Your Resume

When applying for a variety of jobs, you should never send out the same resume. If you carefully look through job descriptions, you will see that many of them require a variety of different skills. Sending out a resume that isn't tailored to each job you apply for will only end in disappointment and wasted time.

What to do instead: Always tweak your resume and cover letter to specifically match the job you're applying for. For example, a software developer wouldn't use the same resume and cover letter to apply for a software engineer position as they would for a web development job. Although both careers may share some similarities, specific job requirements between the two often vary widely.

By changing up your resume to match each job you apply for, you will increase your chances of getting more callbacks and interviews. It takes more time, but the effort you put in upfront will pay off in the long run.

Mistake #4 - Not Taking Advantage of Career Assistance Offered by Your School

One of the best things about college is that many will offer a variety of helpful career resources that are absolutely free for you to use. Believe it or not, however, many college graduates don't realize that they can use their school's career center to help them increase their network reach and land a great job with a top-tier company. If you're not taking advantage of any type of career help that you college offers, you may be leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.

What to do instead: Call up your college and ask to speak with someone in the career resource center (or check your school's website online, as there may be information available there as well). Many local businesses tend to partner with area colleges for internships, but you typically will not know this information unless you check with your school. If you want to land a job and have someone help your foot in the door, having your school help you is a great way to make it happen!

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