Job Search Strategies for Graduates

Remember that job listing sites for executive level positions can be a waste of time, and search by using the main job boards on your search network that offer entry- and mid-level listings. Also search niche listings in matching career fields.


Use your career center. There are online career portals, with a wealth of knowledge, opportunities and expert help for those who seek them out.


Depending on a single source for listings.Using only one job site or relying solely upon on internet-based job sites as resources for openings severely limit your range.

Sending out boiler-plate resumes and cover letters.While it is true most large companies scan resumes for keywords, human beings eventually make the decisions. Tailoring a resume for a target job or company improves the odds.

Considering the college career office a waste of time.Too many students miss out on the networking, resume building and interview preparation offered by college mentors and career counselors.

Not researching the company to which they’re applying.Using a scattershot method of blasting all companies with related openings is a waste of time. Worse, without due diligence you’ll look terrible at the interview when you know so little about the prospective employer.

Paying only lip service to networking.Sites like LinkedIn can find you a friendly face at a company. Recommendations and introductions from current employees can provide the deciding edge in hiring.

Creating poor branding in your communications.Sending emails with no signature or an unprofessional one can be show stoppers. Learn job communications etiquette. Be friendly but formal, avoid overly colloquial remarks and above all, use no emojis or chat speak.

Failing to clean up your online presence.Posting links and career related comments in social media can boost your profile. On the other hand, thinking that antagonistic, off-key, profane or questionable language and content in a blog won’t be found by employers is a grave mistake. LinkedIn and Google searches are also part of a background search.

Looking through a narrow lens.Deciding there is only one perfect employer, one career sector, a single geographical location, one acceptable starting salary, or one job title that’s worthy will do you no favors in the long run. Standards are good to have, but flexibility is important, too.

Applying shotgun style for unrelated jobs without real interest.Whether it’s out of desperation or boredom, it can be a total waste of time to send out resumes, cover letters and applications for a job you’d never take. If you want practice interviewing, practice with employers for jobs you’d accept, scheduling “informational” interviews to gather details about the company.

Starting too late.Networking for your first job begins on the first day of college. Students often miss opportunities to join career-related organizations and clubs, speak with visiting professionals, attend off-campus professional meetings and presentations, take internships or volunteer for related business and civic groups.

Posted in Career Guidance.