10 Job Search Mistakes New Grads Make

Graduation is a time of excitement and anticipation. It can also be an uncertain, or even overwhelming, time. You need a job, and competition for desirable jobs can be fierce. However, there are ways you can position yourself ahead of the pack. Your best bet to position yourself as a stellar candidate is to avoid these 10 job search mistakes new grads make.

1. Not Being Open to Opportunity

One of the biggest mistakes new graduates make when beginning their search is to only consider their vision of the ideal job. It’s great to have an idea of the kind of job you’d like to have. In fact, things such as whether you’d like to work at a startup or a larger, established company are important considerations. However, try to avoid setting unrealistic expectations or limiting your opportunities by only looking at particular job titles or gigs within a certain industry. Flexibility is the key to finding a satisfying work in a tough job market.

2. Lack of Strategic Approach

Your job search can be a job in itself. It takes a great deal of time and effort to find leads, prepare and send out application materials, practice for interviews and follow up. You will increase your chances of success dramatically if you draft a strategic plan for job hunting. Visit your career services center to learn the best practices for finding quality job postings, writing a resume that sells, interviewing well and networking. 

3. Failing to Network

The importance of building a network is often overlooked by new grads. Graduation is a great time to reach out to favorite professors to thank them for what they’ve taught you or to touch base with a former boss to update them on your life. Make new contact through community groups or online outlets in order to develop useful connections. 

4. Neglecting Research

In the job search, you need to be on top of your game and present yourself in your most positive light. One way to do this is to always be researching. Learn about the latest happenings in your field and to study the company websites of businesses that wish to interview you. Be ready to impress them with your knowledge.

5. Making a Bad Impression

It’s important to always make the best impression through every job search communication. Your resume, phone interactions and face-to-face meetings provide an impression of who you are. Be careful to present yourself well by proofreading all written documents, speaking professionally, smiling and shaking hands confidently.

6. Not Showing Your Worth

The job search process truly is a competition. In order to win the prize, you need to demonstrate that you are the best. Doing so involves the ability to communicate your worth to hiring agents. Be sure you can communicate concisely the kinds of skills and personality traits employers desire.

7. Sending Only One Resume

Along these lines, selling yourself is not a one-size-fits-all action. Frequently, new graduates will send out the same resume and cover letter to every job opening. Doing so is not an effective way to sell yourself and your skills. You need to tailor every communication to the job for which you’re applying, making sure the information is relevant to the employer’s needs. 

8. Having a Poor Online Presence

Your online presence is your brand. These days, recruiters nearly always do an internet search to learn about potential hires. Try to make sure that what they see is positive. From now on, be sure to post social media updates that aren’t filled with profanity and resist the temptation to bash classmates, professors or supervisors.

9. Being Uninformed Regarding Salary

Knowing what entry-level positions are paying in your field and geographic location is essential to successful negotiations. You don’t want to sell yourself short, nor do you want to turn off an employer by asking for too much. Salary is a touchy subject. Tread carefully by not bringing up the topic. Wait for potential employers to ask. 

10. Providing Irrelevant Information

One final tip is to avoid going overboard on your resume. No employer is interested in every course you took or even in your hobbies. Remember that you only have a brief moment to make your first impression. Resumes are scanned quickly, so be sure to include your most important selling points in a concise manner. 

This comprehensive list should help you to start your job search off right. By avoiding these job search mistakes, you’ll greatly improve your chances of landing the gig that’s right for you.