Collegiate graduations occur at a fast and furious pace. The end of college life creates much anxiety in many newly-minted graduates. The four (or more) years of work and play inevitably culminate in having to face the real world.
Students who have taken out student loans simultaneously feel the relief of no longer using debt to finance their education and the fear of knowing their first debt repayment is due in only six months. Other more fortunate students can only vicariously appreciate the joy in their parents’ eyes once the tuition bills cease.
Commencement speakers across the nation are offering words of wisdom and posing challenging questions for graduates to ponder. However, the nagging question on the minds of many is simply “will I find a job?”
You can cite all the metrics you want about the current state of hiring and job creation in the US, but the job market for most graduates is daunting. Frankly, it is hard to get a job. Most job seekers will testify that the most common phrase offered in entry level position descriptions is “candidate should have two or more years work experience in order to apply.” So to start your career you need to already have career experience. Joseph Heller could not have put it better!
How novel would it be if entry level meant entry level. What about posting a job description along the lines of “no experience, but please contact us immediately.” Now that situation would be refreshing.
The approach to getting a job straight out of college has changed. For some, internships are the path to job offers. For others, social networking might be one of the most useful career tools for graduates. For some young workers, word of mouth with one friend helping another is a really effective tool. Rather than having your resume stuck at the bottom of a stack, the single best method cited for obtaining that first job is having someone on the inside helping the applicant.
Social networking works at the speed of light. By the time a position has been posted to the outside world, odds are that the young people in the company have already lined up their friends or former classmates for the coveted interviews. Companies may have a tendency to be lazy about recruiting for entry level employees and many seem to be happy to rely on their younger employees to do the first round of screening for them.
Both of my daughters have been instrumental in helping several recent graduates get through the corporate door of what became their first job. One daughter has set up two hires by her former boss at a New York City publishing company. So, our advice to the new graduate is to leverage your social networking to drum up some help in getting face time with your first potential employer.