Q: My son just graduated from college in May, 2014. He has replied to hundreds of ads. How do college graduates find jobs? My wife and I read this column every week to him but it never seems to address the problems of recent graduates.
A: Congratulations to your son! Landing a first job is not always easy. Here are some tips:
- Use the career services office and the alumni relations office.
- A resume should be well laid with no typos, spelling errors or wild fonts.
- Join Linkedin. Connect with fellow graduates, professors, friends and neighbors. Join groups which make sense, either in terms of career interests or geography.
- Never say no to an intro. It is not only the uncle who could be a useful contact, but all of the uncle’s contacts!
- Check email daily.
- Be gracious. Send thank-you notes or emails.
- Consider temping or contracting. It builds real-world experience and professional contacts.
- Don’t spend hours behind a computer shooting out resumes. Instead, spend this time networking. Set a goal of 75% networking and 25% PC time.
- Do a social media check. College grads need to make sure that their Facebook page doesn’t portray an image which would be concerning to an employer.
- Be positive. Even if the job search has been a challenge this does not mean you should share the pitfalls of job hunting with a prospective employer.
- Have an elevator speech. This is a 1-2 minute summary of who you are and where you hope to be professionally. Practice it in front of the dog, a sibling, a friend or a parent.
Matt Masood, a recent college graduate and job seeker from Marshfield, Massachusetts shares, “It all comes down to connections, from professors to friends to cousins.”
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section. Click here to read about more employment topics in The Job Doc Blog at Boston.com.