For recent graduates, that first job search is rough… perhaps now more than ever.
To help with that challenge, our friends at Young Entrepreneur Council asked their members this question:
“What’s your best advice for a recent college grad embarking on a serious job hunt for the first time?”
The result is some great advice from the business and start-up owners you could end up working for:
Re-Examine “Job Security”
“For some reason, people mistakenly think that working for somebody else gives them more security. Not only is there now a ceiling on how much you can make or what you’ll be allowed to do, but your fate is tied directly to who’s running the company that employs you. If it hits a bad spot, you’re expendable. Always have a plan B in the form of your own projects just in case!”
– Travis Steffen, Cyber Superpowers
Bring Real Value
“Most recent college grads don’t go for the best jobs because they are not confident in themselves or they don’t feel they have the experience. If you are able to show an employer why you would bring a nice return to them hiring you, chances are you will get the job. Know how to differentiate yourself from the rest, and be able to equate that to how you will help them run their business better.”
– Louis Lautman, Supreme Outsourcing
Emulate Successful Resumes
“Find someone who owns a business, and ask him for the best resumes that he has ever received. If he doesn’t have them collected, ask him if he can send you a bunch of them. Take a look at the resumes, and pick elements that you like from them to come up with the most impressive-looking resume possible (I’m only talking about formatting and looks, of course).”
– Ziver Birg, Zivelo
Don’t Send “Drive-By” Applications
“We get a lot of “drive-by” applications where it’s clear that candidates are sending the same cover letters to many companies. Go for quality over quantity of applications. If you take the time to research the company and use its product and service, you’ll have a much better chance of getting to the interview, and you’ll be able to tell a better story about why you’re a good fit.”
– Bhavin Parikh, Magoosh Inc.
“It’s no longer enough to just submit your resume and cover letter and expect a job. At this time of year, millions of recent grads who essentially look the same on paper flood the market. As such, you have to stand out. Recent grads need to be creative in the way they approach their search, persevere past all the no’s while still remaining positive, and hustle, hustle, hustle (take action!). ”
– Lauren Friese, TalentEgg
Forget What Other People Think
“The last year of college, everyone is obsessed with getting a job or getting into grad school. Though it may seem like everyone is screaming about their offers on Facebook, don’t buy into the hype. A lot of people will spend a few months figuring things out post-graduation, which is smart. Make sure you don’t just accept an offer because you feel pressured; take your time and find a good fit. ”
– Heidi Allstop, Spill
Conduct Informational Interviews
“The hardest part is getting your foot in the door. Use the “recent college grad card” to get informational interviews with people who you want to be like. Ask them what they did to get to where they are. Listen. When the interview is done, ask them if there’s anyone else they’d recommend you talk to. Inevitably, these informational interviews might lead down a path you never knew existed. ”
– Brett Farmilow, Digital Marketing Company
Prepare for Interviews
“When preparing for investment banking job interviews, I had hundreds of flashcards that allowed me to memorize equations and company-specific information. Having a huge volume of information to pull from when interviewing will increase the likelihood that you seem knowledgeable, prepared and trustworthy. The investments you’ll make learning about a particular industry will be repaid with more offers.”
– Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors
Think of Tasks, not Just Missions
“I see a lot of grads looking for jobs where they’re passionate about the mission, which is great, but then they get there and hate what they’re actually doing day to day. It’s important to care about why you’re doing what you’re doing, but it’s also important (potentially even more important!) for you to like what you’re doing every day.”
– Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean
Put this great advice to work in your job search… and let us know any proven advice you have, in the comments below!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at YEC!
About the Author: The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.