5 Avoidable Mistakes College Graduates Make When Job Hunting

So, you have just graduated from college, and the long study hours have finally paid off. Congrats! Like most graduates, this marks the beginning of a whole new chapter in their lives. Your job-hunting process has officially begun.  While this might be scary at first glance, It can be an exciting experience if you plan everything strategically and cut out avoidable mistakes.

Here are some of the mistakes to look out for during your job hunting season.

Putting in little effort.

Job-hunting is a process that will require dedicated efforts. How then do you put in the work? First off, start by polishing your resume and having an extra pair of eyes have a look for any corrections or recommendations. There are so many people online and, in your community, who are willing to help you with your resume. In addition to this, do your research on prospective employers you want to work for. Prepare and prepare even more. I cannot emphasize further the importance of this. Come up with a job-hunting checklist that will help guide your search and help you stay focused and on course. Define what your goal is and what you need to do to achieve it. Also, be open to advise and help from those willing to give it. Part of putting in the work is asking for help when you need it.

Comparing yourself with others

The comparison culture that stems from college may make graduates tend to compare themselves with other job seekers. As cliché as it sounds, avoid such tendencies. You are an individual with unique sets of skills. If the ones you started with are high up in their career ladders, good for them. Your time too will come. Your journey is never going to be similar to that of your friend or former classmate. Keep the focus on you and your goal.

Setting unrealistic expectations

Failing to manage your expectations is a big job-hunting mistake. A mistake that will earn you a mountain of disappointments. Expectations about the nature of your first job, your first salary as well as the time you will take to land that managerial position. A job-hunting tip for you is to be open-minded and ready to work your way up the ladder from the very bottom. The first job you get won’t be the one you wanted. Take, for example, a graduate in Media and Communication. As an upcoming journalist, you will want to work for the most prominent and accomplished media station with an excellent starting salary. Does that mean that you will say no to a job opportunity from an upcoming media house? I hope not. Remember, the small beginnings are those that you will cherish the most. 

Being entitled

While it may be natural to want to be offered more, this may be hard to achieve if you have little to no experience in the desired field. Take some time and weigh on your skills vs what the job market pays. It can be an opportunity for you to build on skills that will make you stand out.  

Failing to invest in soft skills

Soft skills are non-technical skills that help determine how you relate with others both in the workplace and other environments. You may have graduated at the top of your class, but unfortunately, this may mean nothing if you aren’t a team player or cannot get along with people. Take a look at what other skills you have aside from good grades.  Are you well versed with people skills? Are you able to communicate effectively and eloquently articulate your ideas? Have you invested in or trained your emotional intelligence? Have a list of these questions and determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Being desperate

This is a major pitfall when it comes to job hunting. As much as you need a job, you may also want to have your goal in mind while settling for an offer. We can all agree that it can be an exhausting exercise but be careful not to sabotage yourself in the process. In your search for a job, or as you wait for one, keep yourself busy and create opportunities that will keep you occupied in the meantime.

Ignoring/Neglecting your networks

According to a study conducted by LinkedIn, one of the key contributors to a successful job-hunting process is your network. This can be a family member, a former classmate, a friend or anyone who is already in the job market. When job hunting, don’t only focus on online or adverts in the newspaper. Instead, talk to people about it. Mention it to your networks and let them know that you are currently searching. These are the same people who are more likely to mention your name in a room full of opportunities.  Maximize on professional networking platforms such as  LinkedIn, which also allow you to specify your current job status. If you do not have an account be sure to open one and start connecting with your prospective employer. You can also go a step further and attach your well-prepared resume on your profile. 

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