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The Top 5 Job-Search Myths That Are Keeping New Grads From Getting Hired

Source | FastCompany : By DON RASKIN

You did everything right. You graduated college with a marketable major, kept your grade point average up, did a few internships in your field, and participated in extracurriculars. You’ve got plenty to talk about on an entry-level interview. Only problem is that you’re having trouble landing one.

There are a few common expectations about the job-search process that may have once helped steer new college graduates toward their first-ever experiences in the workforce, but don’t anymore. Others have really never held much water. Here are some of the most widespread misconceptions that the class of 2016 needs to discard in order to secure good entry-level jobs.

MYTH 1: A GREAT RESUME WILL GET YOU A GREAT JOB

A great resume will get you in the door for an interview. What it won’t do is score you a job offer. To be fair, no responsible college counselor has suggested otherwise, but the increasing focus we’re putting on resumes (in an age when cover letters are on the wane and recruitment software is on the rise) may be leaving new grads with misguided assumptions.

I’ve interviewed many recent graduates myself who believe that a great resume alone will carry them through the interview process and lead to a job offer. But the truth is that once you’re sitting across from a hiring manager, the details of your resume tend to fade into the background.

Instead, your ability to tell your story takes center stage: What special attributes will you bring to the job that can’t be immediately spotted on your resume? Why are you the better candidate than the one who interviewed before you? In order to land a great job, you need to spend as much time polishing your story as you did polishing your resume.

MYTH 2: LANDING A JOB IS A NUMBERS GAME

A statistician may disagree on a technicality, but it isn’t exactly true that the more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to land one—at least not a good one, and at least not efficiently.

In reality, it’s less a numbers game than a thoughtful process, one that requires customizing a range of content to fit the requirements of each job you apply for. Since this May, I’ve received hundreds of resumes for entry-level positions from new college graduates. About half of them have an objective statement (which many career experts recommend scrapping anyway) of working in the field of public relations. Since my company is an advertising and marketing agency—not a public relations agency—I automatically delete these resumes.

Now, you could dismiss this as foolishness on the part of job candidates, ignoring oft-repeated advice to simply do your basic homework on the positions you’re applying for. But it still hints that may class of ’16 grads are anxiously pumping out high volumes of applications, thinking they’ll land something eventually if they do.

But most hiring managers will assume that if you don’t put the time and energy into fitting your credentials into the specific opening you’re applying for, you’ll bring that type of skim-the-surface work to the job. You’re much better off applying to five companies with highly tailored materials than applying to 50 employers en masse.

MYTH 3: THE JOB DESCRIPTION ACCURATELY REFLECTS THE JOB

Not always. Like it or not, are companies out there that will romance the job description in order to generate interested candidates, in the hope that they can sell the candidate the job during an in-person interview. Call it counterproductive or even unethical if you like, but it’s a common practice that entry-level applicants may not all know to look out for.

Read On…

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