Perhaps your son or daughter has graduated but can’t find a first job.
It’s a common complaint among parents who have toiled to ensure their child gets a college degree, only to face apathy from potential employers.
Even though prospects are bright for new college graduates, some will have problems finding work because they make mistakes in their initial job search, such as writing wordy resumes, according to a new study. Often young graduates who have under the youth service corps (nysc) will take a scatter shot approach in job searches, employment pros warn, with some sending out many resumes and receiving no response. Graduates often make common mistakes in formatting resumes that miss the first automated cut.
Maybe an interview can go up in flames just as easily as a first date, and a poorly written cover letter is a surefire way to get cut from a candidate list.
In an industry as highly competitive as international development, there is little room for slipups. A friend of mine asked global development recruiters for the biggest mistakes they see recent graduates and early career professionals make when trying to get a job to help you avoid them.
Mistakes Graduates Are Making That’s Denying Them Success
Jumping straight to salary
One of the biggest mistakes that came to mind for Alex Ginn, an international recruiter for Nathan Associates, starts with phone interviews.
“One of the first questions [candidates] ask is ‘what is the expected salary for this position?’… Although I know that four years (or more!) of eating ramen noodles and surviving off the fumes from your bank account can elicit a trigger-ready approach to salary discussions, try to hold off until the recruiter brings it up,” Ginn suggested.
Jumping straight to talking about salary expectations might signal to your recruiter that you are less interested in the type of work they do, he explained, and more interested in how much they’ll pay you to do it.
Submitting Job Applications without Self-improvement/skill
Most times you might have spent a year waiting for a job, but yet you added no single VALUE to yourself. That isn’t wisdom and you have wasted a whole year of your life achieving nothing!
There are ways to improve yourself and value like I explained here; it involves adding much value to yourself. There are several ways you can do that, but one of the major ways is to; “Get a Skill”.
When you get a skill, you can easily add them up to your CV and become someone of great value. When your value is on the high side, you become a wanted commodity which would help you financially.
A friend says that showcasing volunteer work is an effective way for graduates to connect their existing experience to the company’s corporate values.
Graduates should also seek personal connections in any company they are applying to.
“Managers often prefer to hire candidates who are referred to them by people whose opinion they value,”
Leaving out key examples of past experience
Interviewers like to know how you have performed or behaved in past circumstances, so make sure you are able to provide examples that illustrate circumstances, actions and outcomes.
While you may not have too many working examples from university that you feel are relevant to the workplace, try to think of those relevant to the research you’ve carried out rather than from social activities.
Failure to Negotiate
A good first step is to start your job search with a salary in mind. Being honest about your salary requirements early on can save you and potential employers a lot of wasted time. Calculate how much you realistically need. Do some research online or ask a trusted mentor for input on how much you can expect to make in your first job. There’s no guarantee that what you’ll get will match the number you find in your research, but you should come away with a good idea of what to expect.
When you get an offer, think about it overnight and always make a counteroffer for more money, better benefits or both. It’s rare to lose an offer as long as you don’t go overboard or act like an entitled jerk. The key is to request, not demand.
Depending on your University Certificate
Depending on your university certificate is one of the mistakes graduates make when they leave school. Regardless of your CGPA, nobody would give you a job for coming out with an excellent result except on rare occasions.
The following factors can give you a good job;
- Skills in high demand
- Professional Certifications
- Interview performance.
What you have upstair apart from certificate
Today’s top employers are looking for candidates who do not just bring the right skill set. They are looking for people who go above and beyond and give back to their communities and society.
The graduate should be able to look at the company and say, ‘What have I done that would be beneficial to this company?
Showcasing volunteer work is an effective way for graduates to connect their existing experience to the company’s corporate value
Not Thinking About the Future
For recent grads, five years from now might as well be 500 years from now. It’s easy to focus on short-term issues instead of long-term goals, making young employees likely to jump around from job to job without having a clear goal in mind.
Start thinking about where you want to go from Day
- Look for opportunities to learn, and take on new responsibilities. Before you know it, you may have already written your next job description.
- Become a student of the industry,
- Become deeply obsessed with what has worked in the past in order to take those as learning, and adopt for the needs of the future. One way to achieve this is by cultivating relationships with mentors.
- If you start feeling restless early on, keep your long-term goals in mind, and don’t be lured away by perks like a little more vacation time if the job itself could lead you off your personal path.
- Always remember the passion you came in with, especially in the ad world, It’s a world of ‘no, it’s not in budget,’ or the client doesn’t like the work. Keep that passion that got you the job in the day-to-day. And always work harder than anyone else in the room.
No matter if you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job in the field or an executive level professional looking for your next leadership challenge,
Career Navigator offers articles, reports, videos and online events to help guide you on the first step, or next step, of your professional journey. Where do you want to go?