The job marketing is looking better for college graduates this year than in 2011. According to a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers responding to the 2012 Job Outlook Spring Update say they expect to hire 10.2 percent more new college graduates from the college Class of 2012 than they did from the Class of 2011.
This is, of course, good news for new college graduates who are about to enter the “real world” in today’s job market. But when we look deeper into this report, on average, you have a 5% chance of successfully landing a job for every position you apply to when you’re a new college graduate. This is definitely not a walk in the park. So, what can you do to get ready for your upcoming adventure in the job market?
Here are some suggestions for entering the job market after getting a degree:
• Have clear job search goals. Today, graduates need to clearly present their capabilities for specific jobs. A solid exploration of the market, job titles and current opportunities will provide a job seeker with well defined, realistic goals.
• Establish clear personal brand. Personal brand is a new “must- have” for any job seeker. In a saturated market, you need to differentiate to get noticed. What’s included in your personal brand? Your unique value, proposition and promises. These should be exhibited in your resume, cover letter, during networking and in interviews. You can have a personal brand without years of experience.
• Work your way up. Gone are the days when new grads could walk into big name companies and be given impressive titles and stock. Today you should be prepared to work your way up, proving yourself every step of the way. Work hard and do a terrific job for a pay that is realistic for current market values. Widening your search to include start-ups and smaller companies, not just big name companies, can increase your odds.
• Start somewhere. It’s OK to take some time to figure out what your long-term career directions are. Focus on finding a job that utilizes your strengths, matches passions and interests, and provides an opportunity to grow. View the first year or two on the job as a time to learn, explore the industry and gain insights into a long-term career path.
Graduation is an exciting time. Getting ready for the next phase in life doesn’t have to be stressful if you know how to be prepared as you enter the professional world and start your work life. Take action now and enjoy the journey!