July 6, 2013

Overcoming the Obstacles of the College-to-Job Search Transition

Businesswoman standing on mountain cliffGraduating from college is one of the crowning achievements of one’s life, but most-recent grads know little to nothing about the job market that they are forced to dive into head first. For starters, you usually cannot expect to walk into your dream job right after school. Finding your best fit takes a lot of preparation and involves leveraging modern technology in your job search while also perfecting your resume and interviewing skills so that they work for you and not against you.

One way technology can make your job search more effective and boost the value of your traditional resume is through video resumes. When hiring managers are comparing bland paper resumes, they are unable to get a real sense of the personalities of the candidates. So even though a resume by a recent college grad may not impress as much as a veteran candidate, a hiring manager will find it impossible to distinguish the fact that the newly-minted grad would be a better cultural fit for the company, despite lacking a substantial work history.

With video resumes, you get to introduce yourself and present your skills in the way you want, allowing employers to get a real taste of your personality and the work ethic you bring to the table. And with the number of employers using video technology as part of the hiring process, you have more opportunities to transform your resume into a living representation of who you are. Video technology also offers an alternative to traveling when interviewing for jobs out of your area. You can even start your job search before you graduate and interview online without having to leave your home.

Aside from the typical job search where seekers are largely going in blind, college grads have an added advantage; their school’s alumni network. By seeking guidance from your campus career center, you can reach out to build your professional network and look for jobs and employers through the existing alumni network. And the fact that you share an alma mater with your contacts already works to your advantage.

Don’t waste your time spent interning throughout your academic career either. Not only was your work during those periods valuable work experience, but, if you found that you enjoyed your job and developed a good working relationship with the employer, you can reach out to your inside contacts to check on any job openings they may have. And even if they don’t, there is always a good chance that they know someone who does.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Use the technology that is available to job seekers for the first time in history. Prepare your resume and practice your interviewing skills to perfection then look for opportunities to use video resumes and interviews to display your unique personality and value. Taking the time to do a thorough job search using traditional search tools like job boards, your school’s alumni network, and employers with which you interned can go a long way to helping you find your perfect job. It can be very difficult to adjust to the job market after operating so long under the college mindset, but by using smart and powerful job search techniques you’ll become quickly adjusted and ready for work.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.