No matter who you are, the job search arena is a daunting place to be.
Yet every June, most graduating students join the millions of Americans every year who compete intensively for good jobs. Looking to rise above the competition, we rely on what we believe to be efficient networking skills, “magic” internships, and online resources to land that post-grad job.
But did you know that some of the most widely believed job-searching strategies could, in fact, be largely unhelpful?
Read on as we debunk five of the most common job search myths, and see what changes you can make to find post-grad employment.
The search itself
Myth 1: Only seek paid employment
All of us dream of working full-time upon graduating, but in reality many of us will spend months and months with no job to speak of. While you should never stop your search, be sure to make room for other options in the interim as they may give you a start of some kind.
“In this economy, the job search for grads can take six to nine months,” says Bora Un, assistant director of Undergraduate Preparation at the University of Chicago. “In the meantime, find some volunteer work or internships to do that will add to your resume. You should still be searching for jobs, but even unpaid activities can let you acquire the soft skills that employers seek.”
Students seem to be figuring that out for themselves, too.
“Out of school, I’ve been looking for internships as well as jobs,” admits Alexandra Churchill, who graudated from the University of New Hampshire. “You have to be able to consider internships and entrepreneurial work, too, or you will not survive in this economy.”
Alexandra, for her part, has accepted an unpaid magazine journalism internship over the summer to prepare herself for any future career in the field. Though the pressure to clinch that post-grad job is overwhelming, be open to any opportunity! Unpaid positions can turn into a full-time job, so you just never know when they might help.
Myth 2: All employment websites are helpful
While big job sites like Monster.com can be useful, career counselors are urging newly graduated students to limit their reliance on them. Sure, you’re getting your resume out there. Sure, you’re giving yourself more of a chance to be picked up by an employer.
But unknown to many college grads, the online job site can actually work against you.
“With most online job centers, you’re dealing with factors that disadvantage you in the job search,” explains Tom Dezell, professional career advisor and author of Networking for the Novice, Nervous, or Naïve Job Seeker. “You’re facing the most competition possible, and you’re not targeting a specific employer so your resume just looks generic.”
Or, if you do see a specific employer on a job site that interests you, resist submitting the generic resume associated with your account and directly send them one that’s tailored to their company needs. Not only will you open yourself to employers seeking your exact qualifications, but the chances that you’ll land a job in your desired field are much higher.
Myth 3: Missing one or two qualifications? Then don’t apply
It may be normal to forgo a few job applications here and there, but throwing away too many options because you don’t think you have all the qualifications can leave you trapped and (still) strapped for cash.
“While employers do prefer that you do have all that they’re asking for, don’t be discouraged from applying if you would still be a good fit for the workplace, which is exactly what Human Resources and employers look for,” says Un. “You may not have as big of a chance as some other job candidates, but it is definitely still possible for you to get an interview.”
So even if you think you might not get that IT Assistant position you’re aiming for, send in your cover letter and resume anyway! You may be missing just one or two things on the list, but you’ll definitely have no chance at all if you just let the opportunity pass by without even trying for it.
For more debunking, check out the complete article right here.
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