College Graduates: Avoid These 5 Job Search Mistakes

While this year’s college graduates are facing a tough job market, they can take comfort from the fact that many employers are seeking younger workers. So says Andy Chan, vice president of career development at Wake Forest University.

“Organizations know that younger workers come in with a great deal of energy and new ideas,” Chan notes. “And they are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” But Chan suggests that young people — like all job seekers — will stand a better chance of being hired if they avoid these 5 job search mistakes:

Not being proactive enough: Create a hit list of the companies you would like to work for. Then really utilize your network to create an “in” at these companies. In addition to friends, your network might include parents, grandparents, their friends, your old Scout master, past teachers, and even the people you used to babysit for.

Not creating a customized resume: Listing degrees and past experience is not enough. Use your resume to make a strong statement about yourself, your career goals, and what you can bring to an employer.

Setting expectations too high: Your first job may be just that; a place to learn a great deal, be super busy, and be surrounded by many people in the professional milieu you hope to excel in.

Appearing unprofessional: It’s not just about how you look or behave in an interview. Sanitize your Facebook profile and other social media pages and ditch that smart aleck cell phone greeting your friends all find so funny.

Failing to follow up: It also isn’t enough to send out resumes, go on interviews, and pray the phone rings. Write thank you notes or emails to the interviewer emphasizing your skills or strengths and hustle to follow up with a phone call to keep your resume from ending up in a slush pile.

Source: Barbara Pronin, RISMedia Columnist

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