You’ve officially made it out into the real world with your college degree in hand. Congratulations! We have some good news and some bad news.
We’ll get the bad news over with first: While the worst of the recession may be behind us, we’re still feeling the effects. With 71 percent of the labor force on the market, recent college graduates will face tough competition landing a job. And to add on to the competition, workers are more willing to wander — 35 percent of employees are changing jobs at least every five years.
Ok, now the good news: There’s hope for the college graduates who play their cards right. According to a recent study by Jobvite, four in 10 job seekers said they found their favorite or best job through a personal connection. And fortunately, younger job seekers, including college grads, tend to be more “social” job seekers who are more likely to land a great job; they understand the power of a strong personal network and know how to utilize it through social media.
So what should you keep in mind as you begin to forge the path for your career?
Use your network
As mentioned above, using personal connections is one of the best ways to land a job. This is right in line with recruiter preferences as well — 64 percent of recruiters rated referrals as the highest-quality source of hires. So, whenever possible, try to identify a personal connection you have with an employer you are interested in. By using the network you’ve built, you’re much more likely to find a job you’re truly going to love.
Get in front of recruiters
There is a significant disconnect between where job seekers and recruiters are online. An overwhelming 94 percent of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, while only 36 percent of job seekers are. Clearly, if you’re not already on LinkedIn, you should be.
More importantly, if you are on LinkedIn but have an incomplete profile, get that finished today. Having an incomplete profile is actually worse than having no profile at all. Although it may not seem like a big deal to you, an unfinished profile shows a clear lack of motivation for presenting yourself professionally and signifies to a potential employer that you may not be able to handle the tasks they assign you. It should be optimized, updated, professional and caters to the employer audience you want to attract.
Clean up your social profile
We know college is fun and there are a lot of photo opportunities to share with friends and family. However, do not underestimate the importance of a clean and professional social profile. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking: 93 percent of recruiters are likely to look at a candidate’s social profile and 42 percent have reconsidered a candidate based on content viewed in a social profile, leading to both positive and negative re-assessments.
To keep your social profiles in check, modify your social media presence through upgraded privacy settings, delete specific content and untag yourself from pictures, or delete unprofessional accounts altogether.
Mobile is the way to go
According to the Jobvite survey, 43 percent of job seekers use their mobile device to engage in job-seeking activity. But be careful — if you’re a mobile job seeker, there are a few things you need to be wary of:
- Be mindful of typos or grammatical errors when sending applications through your phone. These costly mistakes can be much harder to spot on a smaller screen. If you must use your phone to apply, take extra special care to go over the text and check for no glaring errors.
- The LinkedIn mobile app does not allow you to customize your invitation to connect. This is a very important touch to include when reaching out to potential employers. So, make a note of who you want to connect with when you’re searching on your phone, and then add your elevator pitch in the invitation to connect when you’re around a computer.
Know how to find success online
Today, a number of job seekers are mostly dependent on social media for their job search — 30 percent of which includes individuals who earn more than $100k per year. The majority of those social job seekers found their current position on Facebook through an opportunity shared by a contact. However, LinkedIn is where most of the active or passive job searching is done. The bottom line is you should make sure you are active on both channels to ensure you are finding all the best opportunities.
Good luck as you embark on your journey to employment and let us know if you have any questions along the way, the Doostang team is always happy to help!
About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president ofCome Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.