5 Common Job Search Mistakes New Graduates Make By Donna Moores

While transitioning from college student to college graduate is a huge, highly-celebrated accomplishment, transitioning from college graduate to career professional is often a stressful, daunting task. New graduates have mastered the world of education but are often unsure about the standards and components of the working world. While there are numerous outlines to help recent graduates on their initial job searches, like this Ultimate Guide for Finding a Job, many still make simple mistakes that hurt their chances of landing their dream job.


Here are the five most common job search mistakes a new graduate usually makes:

  1. Focusing on the Wrong Achievements

The requirements needed to get a good job differ from the requirements needed to get into a good college. While it was important to show on your college application that you were involved in a variety of activities in high school, the same doesn’t apply on a job application. Employers want to know why you are a good candidate for their company, so your job application should solely reflect the technical skills and thinking skills required for that specific position.

  1. Too Much Emphasis on Education and Not Enough on Work Experience

In today’s job market, entry-level positions are more complex. Equal importance is placed on education and experience. While it is amazing to have achieved a consistent 4.0 GPA throughout your college career, the value of that accomplishment slightly diminishes if you have no related work experience. Today, employers expect new graduates to have at least two years of work experience when they complete college. This can include internships, volunteering, temporary jobs, and part-time work in their particular industry.

  1. Spamming Potential Employers with the Same Cover Letter and Resume

Don’t submit the same cover letter and CV to every job you apply for. Customize each document for each potential employer. Do include some key words from the employer’s job description in your resume or cover letter, but don’t copy large chunks of the employer’s wording. A potential employer will probably spend less than a minute scanning your cover letter and resume, so they need to see the experience that is directly related to the specific opening they are seeking to fill.

  1. Attending an Interview with No Background Knowledge About the Company

Do your homework! Check a potential employer’s website and social media. Become familiar with their current message, products, and achievements so that you can have a meaningful conversation about the company. Always be prepared to ask good questions in the interview as this is extremely important. Employers expect candidates to ask thoughtful questions about the company and position during their interview. Asking good questions is a great way of impressing the employer and standing out among other candidates!

  1. Being Unprofessional on Social Media

Employers don’t expect new graduates to have abundant experience, but they are looking for growth potential and good judgment. Today, countless employers assess a candidate’s judgment by viewing their social media presence. Before you start your job search, clean up your social media. Your LinkedIn profile and online resume should be current and professional. And all your other social media pages should be held to the same standard. As a rule, don’t post anything that you would not want your grandmother (or potential employer) to see! Even if your pages are private, you never know if a potential employer could have access to your page through one of your friends or followers.

You can check out the latest trends of job hunting below in the infographic created by HandMadeWritings,  where you can learn about the common resume mistakes graduates usually make, and the different types of resumes that exist. Taking into account all the tips on making a great CV will definitely help you to find a job of your dream. Happy hunting!

Donna Moores is a professional recruiter and a writer who aims to help people find the job of their dreams. She has spent more than five years gaining outstanding HR experience within some of the biggest industries and businesses. Follow her on FB and check out her Professional Blog

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