This years college grads should have a good chance finding a job.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers expect organizations to hire four percent more new grads this year than last.
Despite the good news, many will be graduating without a job offer.
The Robert Half Administrative Jobs and Staffing team outlines some common situations that can stall the search and how to overcome them.
Situation No. 1: I’ve submitted for many jobs online and haven’t gotten any interviews.
Solution: Rework your resume and find a connection. Tailor your resume for each position so it contains keywords from the job description, as that will help resume scanning software identify you as a potential match. More importantly, find any connections you have at the company and ask them for input about the role. See if they would be willing to submit your resume personally to the hiring manager. A personal connection can help you stand out from a large number of online applicants. Plus, managers often prefer to hire candidates who are referred to them by people whose opinion they value.
Situation No. 2: I don’t want to list my salary history on an application, as I had low-paying jobs through college.
Solution: Focus less on history, more on the future. The reason? Many cities and states have banned employers from asking about salary history. Hiring managers instead ask candidates for their salary expectations and often do so early in the selection process. Refer to multiple sources to understand market rates for your skill set. Check the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guides, and talk to specialized recruiters, industry groups and your network so you can prepare for the salary conversation.
Situation No. 3: I don’t have any experience in the field I want to pursue.
Solution: Pinpoint transferable skills and find other ways to gain experience. Highlight examples on your resume that show how you’ve helped companies save money, create efficiencies, and find new business — these skills are valued by any firm. Also show your abilities to train, learn, take on new duties and collaborate. Gain relevant experience by volunteering your time with an organization that needs your skills. If you’re interested in the marketing field, for instance, offer to redesign the website, write a blog or plan a fundraising event. Add that experience to your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Situation No. 4: I’m thinking about returning to school for a graduate degree to help me get a better start to my career.
Solution: Think carefully and consult others. Before you invest substantial time and money in another degree, know the expected return on your investment. Talk to people in the field to see if it’s a must-have or nice-to-have in your chosen industry. In some situations, a certification or technical skill may be in greater demand — and command higher pay — than a master’s degree.
Situation No. 5: The starting salaries I’m seeing in my field are too low. I need to make a lot more to cover bills, student loans, rent and other expenses
Solution: Change your mindset from what you need to what the market will pay. Hiring managers don’t base a salary decision on what you need or want; their focus is on supply and demand. Highly specialized skill sets that are in short supply command higher pay. If salaries in your field are too low, consider taking on extra work as a contract employee or pursuing a different industry.
Situation No. 6: I’m feeling alone in my job search.
Solution: Spend less time on your devices and more on face-to-face interaction.
The job search can be isolating, particularly when you spend most days behind a computer looking online for jobs. Leads to new contacts and jobs can come from anywhere, so spend time interacting with new people at volunteer activities and industry events.
To learn more about Robert Half, click here.