When you graduate from college, you enter a whole new world. It’s fun. You’re filkled with professional enthusiasm. The opportunities are practically limitless. Where will you head to? Whatever you want to be, you can become. However, you’ll have to go through a real struggle before you get there.
The moment you start searching for your first job, you’ll realize you were overly optimistic. During periods of labor market weaknesses (we’re still recovering from the Great Recession), the young workforce faces a disproportionate increase in unemployment. Currently, the unemployment rate for college graduates is 5.6%. Many of the employed ones (12.6% of them, to be precise) are underemployed.
Does this mean it’s impossible to get that ideal first job you were dreaming of? Wait, where did your professional enthusiasm go?
That initial enthusiasm you have when you graduate from college is your factor of attraction.
Use Your Professional Enthusiasm to Get into the Job Market!
If you start looking through job ads, you’ll notice most of them prefer experience. The entry-level positions are meant for applicants with no experience, but you feel like you’re overqualified for them. The lack of experience is a serious drawback when you compete on the job market. But let’s see: what makes you better than an older candidate with experience competing for the same position?
- Your knowledge is fresh | You just took many exams and wrote outstanding projects. The academic writing standards are much higher today. If you’re a great writer, you can highlight that fact in the resume.
- You have no fear of challenges | You know the real world is full of them. You know that college didn’t prepare you for all of them. You’re ready to face what you need to face and stay persistent through the challenges. A potential employer clearly sees that advantage in young applicants.
- You can fully commit yourself to the job | Chances are, you still don’t have a family. Most recent graduates don’t have family plans in near future. This may seem discriminating, but employers would gladly accept such a candidate over someone who cannot stay overtime because they have a baby at home.
How to Show Your Enthusiasm and Get That First Job
- Start Your Search Right Away | If you still haven’t started searching for a job, you should start doing it before you lose your initial enthusiasm. Now is the right time to start sending applications! If you really need a vacation, don’t make it longer than a month.
- Highlight Your Skills and Knowledge | Since you don’t have much experience to brag with, you’ll have to balance the resume out. You can do that by writing a functional resume that highlights your skills and knowledge. Maybe you don’t have any work experience, but you do have life experiences. Share details about your internships and volunteering activities. Employers are excited to see such experiences in a resume. They prove a candidate is a well-rounded person with interests and commitment.
- Meet as Many People as Possible | Tell everyone you just graduated and you’re open for opportunities. Show people you want to work and the opportunities will come to you.
- Nail the Cover Letter | Where do you show your enthusiasm? The cover letter gives you that chance! Unlike the resume, it’s written in first person. It allows you to include details that don’t fit in the resume. Write about your interests and show your enthusiasm to work for this particular company.
Useful Tools for Career Search
You don’t know where to start searching for a job? Here are few tools for you to check out:
- LinkedIn | If you still don’t have a profile, do it now! Start making connections. You can use the platform to search for open positions.
- Indeed | A classic job search engine that leads you to localized results.
- CareerBuilder | Craft a great resume and upload it. The platform will pair you with the right opportunities.
You’re at a turning point in your life. You’ll be under a lot of stress to get that first job, but don’t lose your professional enthusiasm.
It’s exactly what makes you attractive to employers.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Campus to Career!