The diploma now hangs framed on the wall, memories of “Pomp and Circumstance” are quickly fading, and the student loan collectors are only a phone call away. The reality of job searching in a less–than-desirable economy for the almost two million 2012 graduates with a bachelor’s degree is slowly setting in, prompting uncomfortable questions like, “What now?” and “Was it worth it?”
Armed with the higher education promise of elevated pay and problem-solving tools for the navigating the “real world,” recent graduates and their loved ones can become daunted by constant unemployment statistics. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains.
“The more you learn, the more you earn—and the less likely you are to be unemployed.” Furthermore, the National Association of Colleges and Employers projects that approximately 10.2 percent more graduates from the Class of 2012 will be hired than from the Class of 2011.
If those statistics are not enough to inspire a little optimism, Rob McGowan, the author of the international bestseller, “How to Find WORK in the 21st Century,” offers a list of practical advice for those toiling away in search of the ultimate validation of their degree – a job.
Clean up your online presence
The first thing employers will do is to see what they can find out about you on the Internet. Are you ready for that? They may look at your Facebook page during the interview. Are you ready for that?
Look for WORK, not a JOB.
Don’t scare off employers by communicating that you’re looking for a job and all the traditional benefits that go with it. Make it easy for them to hire you by making it clear that you are happy to accept part-time, temporary, or contract work. If you are equipped to work from home, tell them that too. It may appeal to them.
Put yourself in the shoes of any employer you plan to contact. Why would they be interested in you? What exactly do you have to offer them? Show them in your first contact with them that you know about them, the type of work they do and the industry they’re in. NEVER send out lots of resumes in a shotgun fashion.
Why should we hire you?
Assume you’ll be asked this question during the interview and be ready to answer it. Focus on the key points you made in the material you sent to them. Those are what got you the interview.
Bite your tongue
Talking too much in the interview is among the biggest mistakes graduates make according to employers and recruiters. The more prepared you are for the interview, the less inclined you’ll be to ramble on.
Do your homework
There’s a wealth of information available on the employer’s web site. Amazingly, many graduates never take the time to thoroughly analyze this information and be ready to answer questions about it in the interview. It will also help if you can talk about some of the key issues going on in their industry.
Create your own job
Instead of waiting for someone to offer you a job, consider what millions of graduates around the world have been doing for years; i.e. operate as a freelancer. The following will give you an overview of the world of freelancing:www.elance.com, www.odesk.com, www.vworker.com.
Finally, you may get some business ideas at: www.springwise.com.
McGowan has lived by his own advice. He survived being downsized twice and has successfully made the transition from a corporate career into self-employment. He currently speaks at hundreds of universities domestically and abroad every year.