According to NACE’s (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Job Outlook 2010 Spring Update, employers plan to hire 5.3 percent more new college graduates in 2010 than in 2008-2009. This is great news for the class of 2010 since hiring recent college grads has been in negative territory for the last couple of years. In spite of this upturn, college graduates can still expect the hiring environment to be extremely competitive. Preparation for the job hunting market is more important than ever before.
Any college student with a TV or a computer knows times are tough, but what does it mean to them and what can they do about it? It means a great deal of unlearning – letting go of their sense of entitlement — and retooling to position themselves for an “Employers Market.” Employers hold ALL the cards and that’s the perspective job seekers need to work from.
The unlearning starts with recognizing some of the LIES™ that new college grads are living with and understanding the truth about who they are and how to translate that into what employers are looking for.
The Lie: Telling prospective employers that I have a strong work ethic or saying it in my cover letter is enough. I’ll give them examples when they interview me. Or I’ll prove it to them once they hire me.
The Truth: First of all, you have to get them interested enough in you to invite you in for an interview. You can’t tell your story until you’re sitting on the other side of the door. Evidence of your work ethic must show through the experience you present on your resume.
- Demonstrate your work ethic by developing a professional resume free of errors, and completing the application with care.
- Make sure your cover letters are well-written and speak to something specific about the company. That shows you’ve done your homework and researched the company, industry and the position for which you’re applying.
- Did you work during the school year and summers? Were you able to hold down a job, participate in extra-curricular activities, volunteer work and still get good grades? If you did, finding a way to include that in your resume or cover letter using terminology that resonates with employers will make your good work ethic shine through. Provide evidence of all you were able to accomplish or contribute to while still performing well academically.
The Lie: My Facebook and Twitter activity has no impact on what employers are seeking. I am who I am after hours, and that has nothing to do with how I’ll be at work.
The Truth: Our world is no longer private. Studies show that employers are checking out prospective employees on Facebook.
- If you say it on Facebook or Twitter, you never know where or with whom your image, information, or words will end up. The idea of six degrees of separation was real. Facebook, Twitter, and the like have reduced that number.
- Unless you’re completely comfortable with the world knowing what you’re saying and doing, don’t post it on a social media site. Just as your friends can check you out, so can prospective employers.
- Check out these two resources to learn more about the impact of social media on employment.
- “More Employers Use Social Networks to Check Out Applicants.” This New York Times article references an August 2009 study where the percentage of employers checking out Social Media pages of prospective employees was 45%. Imagine what it is now.
- “Do you Pass the Social Media Recruitment Test?” This is definitely worth a few minutes of any job seeker’s time – whether they’re a recent college graduate or not.