The present state of the global economy and employment perspectives is viewed as concerning even by seasoned HR experts. If you have just received your graduation papers and are considering the first steps to your future career, you may encounter substantially greater challenges than your peers 10 years ago. That is why we have prepared ten surviving tips for college graduates to help you get to the other side of the modern age in one piece.
- Don’t panic
Writing your first CV, applying for your dream job or being interviewed by multiple professional HR specialists and company executives on a daily basis may seem like more than you can handle. Keep in mind that thousands of future professionals like you also experience high-stress levels while looking for their first jobs according to a recent survey.
- Start small
Choose the three most critical tasks that you need to complete in the next few weeks. We would advise refining your CV, writing a motivating cover letter and choosing 5 companies that you would like to work for. Find out what type of common mistakes college graduates make while writing their cv.
- Prepare yourself
While the ‘copy-paste’ approach to job applications may seem like a good solution for maximizing your ‘coverage’, the effectiveness of this method is moderate, to say the least. Try to think about each company as an individual. If you selected them as a potential place of your future employment, there must be some organizational elements that you find especially attractive. So spend your time and do your company-related research to convince the HR specialist that you share the vision, mission, and goals of this organization. Also, think about what motivates you and how this motivation could influence your performance.
- Think about your unique selling points
You may be a graduate of a globally known business school or university and view this as your unique advantage. Well, so do thousands of your fellow students who will graduate in 2019 or have graduated in the previous three years. Actually, selling titles is the primary goal of educational institutions. To win your dream job, you need to find your own unique selling points. What skills do you have that separate you from your peers? What are your unique personal traits and hobbies? What makes you special?
- Be ready for some closed doors
Your rookie status and the current economic situation are working against you. Most likely, you will get some unanswered requests and polite turndowns along the way. Keep in mind that high ‘failure rates’ are normal for college graduates seeking employment. Do not take it personally.
- Maintain your focus
Until you have secured your new position, looking for a job should be your full-time job. Many graduates allocate 2-3 hours a day to this task hoping that this will get them there. We think that you should be spending 40+ hours a week on sending application forms, looking for new openings, revising your CV and working on your interview skills.
- Start building your network
A social network can easily be transformed into a professional one if you maintain contact with your college peers in the future. The recent Adler Group survey revealed that up to 85% of all jobs were filled in through networking. Hence, strong connections in the industry are a must for your future career development.
- Create emergency reserves
As employment stability problems concern even seasoned industry professionals, it is not unlikely for a graduate employee to hear that some company does not want to employ him or her after the initial probationary period. Create emergency reserves that will allow you to survive for another 2 or 3 months until you find a new employment position.
- Repay your student loans as soon as possible
Firstly, a timely loan repayment improves your credit history. Secondly, it is more logical to close this debt by allocating smaller payments on a monthly basis before you apply for a mortgage contract for your future house.
- Minimize your expenses
Spending your newly earned money from your first ‘real’ job on the things you’ve always wanted or rented an apartment close to the place of your probationary employment may seem highly attractive. However, we would recommend that you should develop a strict monthly budget instead. Adhere to it until you have realized some of the above-mentioned objectives and feel absolutely certain of your job security.
Surviving in the unsteady environment of the modern era, the labor market may be tough. Do not treat your first decisions as final as many things may change due to both external trends and your own professional growth. Making a poor choice and acquiring experience at a sub-par job is still better than avoiding serious choices in life. According to the recent research, impostor syndrome is one of the primary reasons for the confidence crisis experienced by millennial graduates. Hence, the best advice that we can give you is to accept any mistakes as an inevitable element of this ‘limbo’ stage. Try focusing on your personal development to unlock new career paths. Good luck!