• Not sure what to major in? See if your passion fits these in-demand degrees.

    August 16, 2017 by

     

    If you haven’t selected a major yet, you are probably getting all kinds of advice from peers, parents, faculty and everyone with an opinion on social media. Many advise that you study what you’re interested in. To follow your heart, because that way you’ll find a job you’re passionate about.

    Considering a major that will actually be in demand

    I agree wholeheartedly that you should study what you care about. But shouldn’t you at least know what degrees are actually in demand, so you can make an informed decision?  Continue Reading

  • The hidden problem with big data

    October 17, 2016 by

    1547174HR has long measured recruitment success. Now, in the age of “big data”, we are generating so much more to measure. One benefit of analyzing big data is that with more information we’ll have better decision-making and reduce the stubborn subjectivity that comes with using human brains.

    Right?

    We should be cautious to assume that human bias will disappear just because we have more analytical tools at hand. In fact, big data can expose our bias and force you to walk the walk. Once you track all those numbers, some unconscious bias and unintended discrimination may emerge and will now be in plain sight. Ultimately, this accountability is a great step forward in recruitment. You’ll just want to make sure your company is ready to respond. Here are three examples of where it’s wise to examine your data practices.

    Scraping personal data from online sources. It wouldn’t be too hard to discover a candidate’s race or sexual orientation, given how much personal trace we all leave on the Internet. We’d love to assume those factors make no difference, but too many studies have shown otherwise. Some minority job applicants have even resorted to “whitening” their resumes. A study published this year showed that minority applicants were more successful if they deleted information from their resume that hinted at their race, for example, if they attended a Historically Black College or were a member of Hispanic professional association.

    Key word searching. Keyword searching can be a great way to sort out quality candidates among the thousands of real or potential applicants. However, employers must “apply the same rigor that they would use when creating job advertisements. For example, avoid any terms that could be considered directly or indirectly discriminatory (e.g., ‘‘recent graduate,’’ ‘‘highly experienced.’).”

    Hiring tests. Many companies give candidates a test at the interview stage to help them make decisions based on qualitative data. It sounds great, and can be, if it’s administered fairly. If you use these tests, you must use them for all applicants. And you must—gasp!—actually pay attention to the data. For example, it wouldn’t be fair to only give the test to minority candidates (this happened), or ignore White candidates’ bad test results (this happened too).

    Using big data can be used to make good hires. Just don’t forget to be honest with yourself. If you analyze a big pool of data to select qualified candidates, and they all end up being of one race and one gender, this is a sign you may have accidentally inserted your own bias. Go back to the steps in your process. Ask yourself, “Are my words or actions appealing to only certain demographics?” (This recruiting tech company uses their own big data to help you look at wording in your job postings, for example.) As one of America’s most popular economists, Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame, puts it:

    We believe that if you get a pile of data representing a million decisions, that that’s better than asking three people what decisions they made. While I very much believe that to be true, and I very much applaud all the instincts for all of us to work with data in aggregate to distill the biggest truths, I also know that we’re humans and that …we’re biased in a lot of ways.

     

  • How self-underestimation leads to job interview failure

    August 29, 2016 by
    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    People are notorious for underestimating their skills and abilities, and it happens for a variety of reasons. It’s a part of human nature to hesitate, to compare, and to have a fear of imperfection. Everyone faces these challenges on a daily basis. And when it comes to the job interview, every candidate knows there’s a crowd of other applicants who might be much better, which can cause panic. This feeling is a destructive force that can lead to a lack of confidence and low self-esteem. But there are also lots of things you can do to stay confident.

    The greatest weapon against self-underestimation is good preparation. When you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to behave in a job interview, self-underestimation will be greatly reduced.

     

     

    Here’s what you need to do:

    Be active

    One of the most important things your potential employer wants to see is your record of engagement and activities. Besides studying, listing part-time jobs or freelance work is a plus. A huge plus is also going to be any other kind of engagement – running a blog, working as a tutor, starting a book club, volunteering, and so on. Focus especially on the activities that relate directly to the job for which you’re applying. Thanks to this information, you’ll prove to be an active and enthusiastic person, which is very desirable for any job position.

    Answer typical questions in advance

    Every employer asks a set of fairly typical questions. These often include the following: Why should we hire you? What are your greatest professional achievements? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your strengths and weaknesses? They are rather simple and repetitive, and yet candidates tend to stumble when answering these questions. You have a chance to practice at home, so make the most of it. Ask your parent or friend to help. For half an hour, your parent or friend plays the part of “employer” and asks you those typical questions, and you answer them. Act as if you were in a real job interview and try to memorize what you would say to answer an employer’s questions.

    Learn more about the position

    Don’t forget to read the job description carefully and learn more information about the company to which you’re applying. Your employer will likely ask you what you know about the company. Your aim is to not get caught off-balance. Some people, especially when nervous, find it difficult to collect their thoughts, and as a result they get stuck. In order to avoid an awkward moment, research the company – there’s obviously a company website with all the information you’ll need to sound intelligent and articulate.

    Work on your cover letter and resume

    Make your cover letter and resume stunning so they stand out from others. In fact, these two items constitute a potential employer’s first impression of you, and it makes sense to do your best. Take care to avoid the following common mistakes:

    • There are lots of templates for cover letters and resumes available online, but using them without making changes is a bad idea. Recruiters receive dozens of cover letters and resumes that seem nearly identical. How can they choose the best one if all of them are equally ordinary? And what if employers check for plagiarism? I doubt they will want to hire someone who cuts corners and doesn’t bother to write a decent original resume and cover letter.
    • Don’t write the same information in both your resume and cover letters. These two papers should complement the image you introduce to the potential employer. Respect your employer’s time and don’t repeat yourself. Including irrelevant information is also no good.
    • Don’t make your cover letter too long or too short. Just find a happy medium. If you’re a recent graduate without much employment history, neither document should be longer than one page.
    • Check your cover letter and resume for mistakes and typos. Sometimes it happens that you don’t find errors within your text. For this reason, ask your friend to proofread your writing. In addition, you should also run your cover letter and resume through an automated spell checker.

    Confidence comes with practice, and your confidence in the job interview can only be gained if you prepare yourself and go to a few of them. Remember that recruiters are not your enemies, and you don’t need to resist them – you’re just going to have a nice talk to find out if you’re the right person for the position. You’ll see there’s no need to overly dramatize the process!

    Rose Scott, guest writer

    Rose Scott, guest writer

    Need more job search and job interview assistance? Check out our great salary calculator and free resume editing tool. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
    Rose Scott is a literature teacher who aims at improving education. A lifelong dreamer, she finds her inspiration in pep-talks with meaningful people whose enthusiasm is contagious. Outside of her teaching pursuits, she cannot imagine her life without writing. It is something more than just a hobby. Writing is her passion. Rose will be glad to meet you on her Twitter:@roserose_sc

  • Biggest networking mistake you can make

    August 26, 2016 by
    Asking photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    For many college students and recent graduates, networking is likely to be part of their job searches. Their success or failure when interacting with recruiters and hiring managers will depend on their approach. While securing internships or entry-level jobs is a priority, college students and recent grads don’t want to come off as too aggressive when asking about career opportunities. Job seekers should not assume that just because they are eager to work that employers will automatically tell them about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market.

    When networking, students and graduates can inform professionals about who they are and what interests they have. At the same time, they can ask questions to learn more about potential employers and what they have to offer. Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, discusses a key mistake to avoid when networking and shares helpful tips for a better experience.

    “The biggest networking mistake is asking people if they know of any open jobs. It’s good to be aggressive and show you’re looking for work. But why should anyone recommend you, especially if they don’t know you or your work ethic?

    The best way to network is showing curiosity about what people do. Ask them and tell them you’d like to learn more about their profession; establish an interest in them. They may recommend you and say “This person is interested in…and may be good for the position.” Asking employers if they’re hiring won’t be as effective as “Hey, what do you do?” Avoid that mistake and you’ll be better at networking.”

    Want to improve your networking skills? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

    Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

    Marc Prosser is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for 10 years. He joined as FXCM’s first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.

  • Why building great relationships with career services benefits employers

    August 18, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Employers and career services offices/college campuses each play important roles in the lives of college students and recent graduates. Employers can provide entry-level jobs and internship opportunities to students and graduates; the former can be their first real jobs and the latter offer them valuable work experience preparing them for those first real jobs. Career services offices and campuses guide college students not just academically but professionally also. Career services professionals can help with various parts of the job search such as writing resumes and cover letters, interview preparation, and networking. While recruiters are partners for employers in finding young, top talent to fill job openings, they are often not the only ones.

    Building great relationships with career service offices and campuses is a smart move for employers, recruiters, and hiring managers. If companies know the type of job candidates they need, and colleges have them, then it’s a win-win for both sides. Employers gain access to communicate directly with qualified candidates, and career services offices and campuses connect college students and recent graduates with internship and job opportunities. Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development at Whittier College, highlights her school’s relationship with Peace Corps.

    “There are several employers who come to mind that have built great working relationships with Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), but the stand-out employer for the CCPD team is the Peace Corps.

    Peace Corps has a terrific talent acquisition approach which appeals to students and emerging professionals. Nick Leichliter and Tiffany Tai, the Peace Corps recruiters assigned to Whittier College, partnered with us to design customized on-campus recruiting sessions. The Peace Corps recruiting sessions included two employer meet-and-greet roundtables, coffee talks, one hiking session (with a Peace Corps dog), and two classroom presentations. Nick and Tiffany also provided one-on-one coaching to Whittier College students offering our students tips to succeed with the intensive Peace Corps application process. Peace Corps extra efforts paid off, and the organization received a record amount of resumes and attention at the annual Career and Internship Fair.

    Our partnership with Peace Corps continues to deepen. The CCPD’s goal for this year is to establish the Peace Corps Prep certificate under the auspices of the Whittier College Early Talent Identification Program.”

    Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean of Whittier College's Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development

    Deborah Pratt, Assistant Dean of Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development

    Employers, want more advice on recruiting? Reach out to College Recruiter for help and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Assistant Dean Deborah Pratt leads a dynamic team of career development professionals at Whittier College’s Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development. In this role, she drives the strategic vision and blueprint for the college to transition from a traditional career services business operation to a four-year career development college-wide approach and program.

  • 3 events employers won’t want to miss on college campuses

    August 11, 2016 by
    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly searching for top talent to fill job openings for employers. A lot of the talent employers need and want can potentially be found on college campuses. Recruiting on campus means taking time from their busy schedules unless employers reach out to companies like College Recruiter for help with creative advertising solutions. If companies decide to visit institutions of higher education face-to-face, what are the most important events for them to attend? For employers pondering this issue, Jennifer Donovan, Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, shares three events recruiters and talent acquisition professionals should attend on her campus.

    • Fall and Spring Career Fairs, where thousands of students can meet employers, learn about their companies and career opportunities, and schedule one-on-one interviews with recruiters on the spot.  More than 500 employers attend Michigan Tech’s Career Fairs each year. This is pretty impressive, considering that we are about as remote as you can get, 500 miles north of Detroit and near no other big cities. Our dynamic Career Fairs probably account for Michigan Tech’s astounding 94 percent job placement rate within 6 months of graduation.
    • CareerFest/Industry Days, a series of industry-specific events in a tent in the middle of campus, including hands-on activities, demos, barbecues, lab tours. A very popular and well-attended one is Automotive Days. Others include Steel Days, Rail Days and Mining Days. CareerFest and Industry Days give employers a chance to zero in on the students who are particularly interested in their industry, to inform them and perhaps attract new interest in the field.
    • Design Expo, where student teams display and explain their year-long research projects, ranging from a micro-scale processor that can fix pacemakers in place to a dryer for small-scale hops growers. The projects are industry-sponsored and give the students a chance to work across disciplinary lines to solve real-world employer problems. Employers attending Design Expo could see what innovative problem-solvers Michigan Tech students are trained to be.”
    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Jennifer Donovan, Director of News & Media Relations at Michigan Technological University

    Looking for more advice on recruiting top talent? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Jennifer Donovan is Director of News and Media Relations at Michigan Technological University, a STEM-focused state university on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She assigns, writes, and edits stories for the university’s news website and daily e-newsletter, Tech Today, and works with news media locally, nationally, and internationally to help them find expert sources and story ideas. In a previous life, she was a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. She lives in Houghton, Michigan, with her two cats.

     

  • How to create ideal job postings to hire the right candidates

    August 05, 2016 by

     

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    Photo courtesy of StockUnlimited.com

    When writing job postings, you’re always trying to attract the best candidates for the job. You want to make sure whomever you hire is about as close to perfect as you can get.

    The only way to hire great people is to attract those same great people to apply. This is easier said than done. Most of the best candidates are working for other companies and not sitting around applying for jobs all day. Your job ad not only has to get them to apply, it has to get their attention in the first place.

    The good news, as you may have read at College Recruiter, is that although they’re not sitting around all day applying for jobs, 73% of current employees don’t mind looking for a new job while they’re still employed. Most of these people are young people, suggesting that they’re looking for something better.

    Keep this willingness to find new work at the forefront of your job description, and you’ll have more luck. Think about what your company can offer that other jobs can’t. Here are a few other things you can do that will help.

    Write an Advertisement

    Many employers will approach a job ad like they’re doing someone a favor. While this might be true of regular out-of-work job seekers, it’s not true if you’re looking for the right people. Employers often have a hard time finding these people.  If you approach this process with a me-first attitude, you’ll be missing out.

    Create a job advertisement like a sales pitch. Approach it like you do selling your product or service. Maybe even talk to your marketing team to see what they can come up with. You want people to see your ad and to act on it. It needs to be enticing, solve pain points, and have a clear call to action.

    Don’t just put up a bullet point list of duties and qualifications. Bullet points are easy to read; you just want to make sure they say something of value. If you’re just listing things, there’s nothing enticing about that. You’re asking people to uproot their lives, leave a solid paying job, and work for you. You must be convincing.

    Tips from Content Marketing

    Most companies know they need to create great content in order to get that content viewed by other people – why not put those tips to work with your job ad?

    • Subheadings. Make your job ad easy to read and something they can skim. You may not have a lot of time, so you’ll want to get your point across. Use subheadings and bullet points to illustrate various sections and key perks.
    • Length. Don’t go crazy writing the next great American novel. You’ll want to keep it at and easy to read length. Too long, and you’ll lose them. Too short, and you may not give them enough info.
    • Make it Sharable. Content marketers use this strategy very effectively to get their message out. Use it in job postings. Even if the gig isn’t for them, if it’s interesting enough, they’ll share it. Some companies now hire on social media for this reason.
    • Make it Interesting. Don’t just write a typical ad. Make it stand out. Make it different. All the things that make great content sharable – do it here. The more interesting, funny, or unusual the job ad, the more likely it will be shared and attract applicants.

    Company Culture

    It’s not just about salary anymore. It’s about the company itself. What does the company stand for? Are the hours flexible? What kind of perks exist? You’ll want to outline these in the ad. Talking about your company is key to getting someone to quit an existing job and work for you.

    People want to feel a connection with the company they work for. They don’t want to feel like a mindless drone. Work doesn’t always have to be fun, but if you have to do, wouldn’t you choose the place that most fit your lifestyle?

    If you’re looking to attract creative individuals, you’ll need to give them an environment they can thrive in. Ensure the company culture is built around this, illustrate it in your job ad, and you shouldn’t have a problem.

    Job Description and Title

    The job description is the meat of job postings/job ads. You’ll want to do your best to make the title and description stand out.

    • Be Specific. Let the potential applicants know exactly what the job is. Don’t sugar coat it. That’s what the rest of the ad is for.
    • Qualifications. Be clear about what’s required. If they can learn on the job, say so. If not, let them know that too. It’ll weed out poor applicants.
    • Type of Employment. Full time? Part time? Be clear upfront if you want to attract the right candidate.
    • Growth. Is there opportunity to move up the ladder? Throw it in there.
    • Salary and Benefits. This will help attract those people that are in your price range. Don’t be afraid to list this thinking it will scare people away. If it’s actually the salary range you’re offering, the people it scares away are out of your price range. Don’t waste your time.

    Finding the right candidate is all about attracting the right applicants. Be bold with your job ad. Be truthful. Don’t worry about scaring people away. They won’t be the right ones for you anyway.

    If your job ad reflects your company personality, you’ll have much better luck at finding the right people that will fit in.

    Do you need help filling part-time jobs, internships, or entry-level job openings within your company or organization? College Recruiter can help. We offer a variety of advertising solutions for employers and talent acquisition professionals. 

    Rick Riddle, guest writer

    Rick Riddle, guest writer

    About the author:

    Rick Riddle is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Connect with Rick on twitter and LinkedIn.

  • 3 tips for getting the most out of part-time jobs

    July 18, 2016 by
    Retail, portrait, clipboard photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    As a college student, it can often feel like your part time job is purely for bringing in the cash you need to splash on your expenses and social activities. This, however, is not necessarily the case. The experience gained from working a part time job can be invaluable towards assisting with your selection of a future career, as well as contributing to landing your first full-time entry-level job later down the track.

    1. On-the-job experience

    As far as choosing a career goes, you may have already decided. Obviously you’ve enrolled in a college degree, and now it’s just a matter of time before you land your dream job and get started, right? Well, actually, using your choice of part time work to gain particular experience that will assist with your career selection is a good start. Sometimes when you gain on-the-job work experience in a particular field, you may actually change your mind about thinking it’s the perfect career for you.

    Part time jobs can be tricky to land, but if you are presented with choice, why not select one that’s closest to the type of job you’ll work once you’ve completed your degree? For example, work as a veterinary assistant while studying to become a vet. Use this opportunity to test the waters and see if you feel comfortable working in a similar environment in which you’ll soon be qualified.

    2. Future benefits

    As well as using your part time job as an opportunity to test if you enjoy a particular type of work, you can also leverage it to land yourself your first ‘real’ job sooner. The work experience you gain during college will be included on the resume you submit for prospective full-time jobs once qualified. An empty resume won’t impress a prospective employer, nor will having one that fails to contain any outstanding information.

    Separate yourself from future competition by using time worked in your part-time job to earn credit for future job applications. Accomplishments such as taking on higher duties, greater responsibility, winning awards, and being promoted will all look fantastic on your resume. Ask your manager if you can take on new work so you have the opportunity to learn different job skills and gain broader exposure to the work environment. You could also assist with designing a strategy to save the business money or increasing the level of customer satisfaction, for example.

    3. Expand your network

    Holding down a part-time job will also help you to expand your professional network. You’ll create connections and relationships with people that may be able to assist you with finding work at a later date. Your manager may be willing to provide a reference for you, or your colleague may recommend you to their employer at such time as they gain full-time work.

    Working hard now will pay off in the future, as you present a resume and work experience that demonstrates your commitment to work and your enthusiasm to achieve beyond minimum expectations.

    Searching for a part-time job? Visit College Recruiter and follow our blog. Also, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

    Joe Flanagan, Senior Resume Consultant at Velvet Jobs

    Joe Flanagan, Senior Outplacement Consultant at Velvet Jobs

    Joe Flanagan is the Senior Outplacement Consultant at Velvet Jobs, offering outplacement services and a search facility for job seekers of all ages and industries. His expertise include resume writing, job search tips and hiring issues. When he’s not trying to improve the unemployment rate you can find him traveling the world and learning new languages.
  • Networking on college campuses builds relationships

    June 30, 2016 by
    Human resources photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Building a relationship with anyone requires time and effort. Once a relationship is established, both parties must work to maintain it. If recruiters and hiring managers want to really connect with college students, they should consider showing up on college campuses. These are networking opportunities not only for students but also for employers. Employers can create connections by personally interacting with college students, answering their questions, or by handing out business cards or other company information. Recruiters and hiring managers who spend time and energy on college campuses can not only network with students but also potentially build long-term relationships with schools. Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific, shares his thoughts on the importance of recruiters attending networking events on college campuses.

    “It’s important for organizations with ongoing hiring needs at the college degree level to build and maintain excellent working relationships with their target institutions. Many times, it takes a year or two for given organizations to begin building strong brand reputations at colleges and universities that will attract the top caliber talent they (and other employers) desire.

    Creating good recruiting relationships means you want college students talking to and talking up your organization to other students. Nothing is more powerful than trusted friends making a referral based on their own first-hand experience. Approved sponsorship opportunities with key student groups can also help cultivate student recognition of your organization.

    Developing a strong partnership with the college’s career services operation is probably the most important thing an organization can do. Doing so can open all kinds of opportunities to engage students and even faculty potentially. In my 20 plus years doing this, I have seen time and again those employers who commit to long-term relationships with schools (i.e., don’t abandon the relationship even when employers are not hiring or there may be a market downturn) will be the most successful.”

    Learn more on the importance of networking on the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

    Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

    Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

    Tom Vecchione is the Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University, specializing in college student career development. Tom has 22 years of progressively, responsible experience in career services/placement and university student affairs and works extensively with employers seeking to hire college students or alumni.

  • How to get a dream job even without experience

    June 20, 2016 by
    Dream, job, way photo by StockUnlimited.com

    Photo by StockUnlimited.com

    It’s intensely frustrating. You spend years getting further education, you work your butt off, you rack up extra debt, and afterwards no doors will open because ‘you lack experience’ or because university ‘didn’t teach you the skills you need.’ But how can you get experience if nobody will give you a job?

    Well fear not; there are actually ways to get that dream job after all, and that’s without first working 10 years at some entry-level position trying to make your mark. It just means working hard right now and showing everybody that you’ve got the mojo to pull it off.
    So are you ready to get noticed? Here’s what you’ve got to do.

    Do the time

    Despite what many young people think, the world doesn’t owe them anything. That means your dream job is not going to get thrown into your lap. If you want it, you’ve got to look for it, hunt for it, and when you found it, battle to get it. So make sure you don’t sit back and wait for something to happen.

    Instead, pursue every channel to get the job you want, be it social media, friends of the family, career counseling at university or the classifieds in the local newspaper (some people actually still use those). And apply to everything that sounds close to what you want. Even if you don’t end up wanting it, the experience from going to the interview can be just what you need to wow your future employers when you do land the right interview.

    Develop your soft skills

    One of the biggest problems employers have with fresh graduates is that they don’t have the soft skills necessary to actually get anywhere in the workplace. By soft skills I mean teamwork, communication, writing and problem-solving skills. An even bigger problem? Graduates think they’re actually very good at those things and therefore don’t take the time to become better at them. Don’t be like everybody else; accept that you’ve still got a lot to learn, then go out of your way to learn soft skills!

    Be confident but not arrogant

    There is another good reason besides soft skills that many people don’t like hiring recent graduates – and that’s because recent graduates often have a much higher estimation of what they’re capable of than what they’re actually capable of. They come swaggering into the workplace believing that they’ll show these business people a thing or two about how it’s done.

    The thing is, often they don’t know how it’s done. They’ve got too little work experience and often too much idealism. They’ve got a lot to learn but think too highly of themselves to realize this is so.

    Don’t be that person. Be respectful, accept that you’re still at the beginning of your life and that experience is valuable, but make it clear to your future employer that you’re smart enough to know what you know and driven enough to learn what you don’t. That will impress them.

    Prepare for the interview

    There are some tricky questions interviewers can’t ask you, and if you haven’t prepared then they may stump you. So take time to prepare. Not only that, but make sure you know the names of the people you’re going to interview with, as well as whatever basic facts you can find online. People will be impressed if you are well-informed. It shows that you care, that you’re a good researcher, that you’re proactive and that you’re willing to invest effort to get what you want.

    Show off your expertise

    If you want the dream job, you’ve got to show that your skill set is much greater than your limited CV gives you credit for. So you’ve got to show off your expertise. This can be done in multiple ways–by getting an endorsement from somebody who matters in the industry or one of your professors, for instance, but probably the best way is to actually start working in the field. So either start freelancing while you’re still in college, or otherwise start blogging and build up a reputation as somebody who knows what they’re talking about.

    Be passionate

    Read books and articles in your field, understand theory as best you can, know who the players are, and when you get around to writing your cover letter, show them how much you care. Now don’t be a gushing ninny. You’ve got to be professional, but you still have to demonstrate to them that even though you don’t have as much experience as everybody else in the field, you’ve got more than enough passion to make up for it.

    Be a protagonist

    You’ve got to take responsibility for your actions or your lack thereof. It won’t be easy to jump the cue. It will, in fact, take a lot of hard work, so you’ve got to prepare for that. That said, it is possible so long as you take the time to be do what you’ve got to do and show that you’re a cut above the rest.

    And if it goes wrong, own it, learn what you can from it and get back up again. Then push on. That’s the only way it’s going to work. You’ve got to be the hero of your own story, because otherwise you’re the victim. And who hires the victim?

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen, guest writer

    Jonathan Emmen is a student and an inspired blogger from Copenhagen. His passion is writing, and he finds inspiration in traveling, books, and movies. You can follow him on @JonnyEmmen or you can also follow him on Kinja.