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Posted September 06, 2016 by

10 tips for college grads who complete an internship without a job offer

Person pointing at job search

Person pointing at job search. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Many recent college graduates head into a summer internship hoping they secure full-time employment with that company once the internship is completed. But, for a variety of reasons, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Now what? How do recent college graduates and entry-level job seekers move forward in the job search when they don’t secure a full-time job from an internship?

With confidence, because they just gained the invaluable on-the-job training employers covet.

Because, for recent college graduates, the number one goal of any internship should be to gain work experience in a professional business setting, says Bob LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff, a company that serves as a career matchmaker for recent college graduates, and companies that are looking to fill entry-level jobs.

While larger companies tend use their internship programs as a way to evaluate interns for employment in a subsequent year, small and medium employers are more likely to hire interns to accomplish specific goals, like completing a well-defined project or to cover staff for the summer vacation season, says LaBombard. Not getting hired full-time is in no way indicative of an interns performance on the job.

“Either way, internships are a great way for students to apply their skills in meaningful work, and learn how to receive feedback and apply coaching tips from supervisors,” says LaBombard. “Even if an internship does not result in a full-time job offer, the experience should help interns better define their value proposition to employers by gaining a more focused appreciation for the core skills they possess, and how they have been successfully applied in the workplace.”

So what should job seekers who completed an internship without a full-time job do next? Start by registering as a job seeker with College Recruiter. We’ll send you new job leads tailored to your interests and preferences and save you the trouble of searching for them on a regular basis.

Next, consider these tips from Bill Driscoll, district president for Accountemps, and Tel Ganesan, Board Chairman of Kyyba, Inc., a global IT, engineering and professional staff augmentation company, and Managing Partner of Kyyba Ventures. Both have experience working with recent college graduates who have completed internship programs. They help answer the question:

My internship is over, now what:

1. Be flexible: College graduates looking to land their first jobs need to be flexible, proactive and creative. Consider volunteer assignments or temporary work as a way to continue to gain additional experience and build your skill set, says Driscoll.

2. Network: Online and off. Many companies don’t advertise open positions, so networking plays an important role in finding out about hidden job opportunities. “Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job, whether in-person at industry association events, or using professional networking websites,” says Driscoll. “You’d be surprised at who might be able to help.”

3. Use college career center/alumni resources: College career centers usually welcome recent grads and can help in your job search. You also might be able to connect with other alumni who can provide advice. These resources are often underutilized by recent college grads who don’t go back to their college/alumni career center seeking assistance. They are ready to help you – even now that you graduated. Learn more about how to use your college career center in the job search.

4. Don’t overlook your online image: Applicants need to actively monitor and maintain their professional reputations online. Keep a clean online profile. Future employers are watching.

5. Initiate contact: Research companies you would like to work for and ask for an informational interview to learn more about the organization. “It also can help employers get to know you so you’re top of mind when that company has a vacant position,” says Driscoll.

6. Meet with a recruiter: Staffing executives can be your eyes and ears in the job market. Recruiters also provide useful feedback on your resume and interview skills, and help you locate full-time and temporary jobs.

7. Ask for references: Before your last day, ask your manager, and/or co-workers if they will be references. Professional references can sometimes hold more value than a supervisor from a work study program, or college professor (but those are both viable references if need be).

8. Update your cover letter and resume: Did you track your achievements and successes at the internship? Be sure to update this information on your resume and put it at the top of your resume, right under education. “Highlight any unique activities you partook in that may set you apart from the competition,” says Ganesan. Include project work and results, being a part of a team, technical/computer skills learned/used, and any other success story.

9. Apply for more than a handful of ideal jobs: Set target companies or jobs, but be flexible in your search. “Consider numerous possibilities, especially when you’re just starting off,” says Ganesan.

10. Use your social network: Use your social media network, as well as family and friends, to find a personal connection at particular companies. “That individual may be able to assist in securing an interview or simply provide advice and insight into the organization,” says Ganesan.

Don’t view the completion of an internship without a job as the end. View it as a new start, and a new beginning to a job search that is now backed by real world internship experience – something every employer craves.

For more tips on how to secure a job after your internship is completed, and other job search and career advice, visit our blog and connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted May 09, 2016 by

6 common mistakes grads make when searching for entry-level jobs

First Job word; business man touching on red tab virtual screen courtesy of Shutterstock.com

PhuShutter/Shutterstock.com

Recently, research from the Australian government shows how the shift from college education to full-time employment is becoming more challenging. Job prospects for young Australians are decreasing and on the other hand, recent graduates are making key mistakes when searching for entry-level jobs. Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online educators, has gathered information from a variety of recruiters to help recent graduates understand their mistakes when applying for entry-level jobs. Avoid these most common mistakes to avoid when searching for entry-level jobs.

1. Negative attitude towards work

Australian government research confirmed young people do not have enough of a positive attitude towards work. Recruiters recommend job seekers be more motivated and demonstrate enthusiasm to potential employers.

According to the study, young people need to be more responsible and reliable concerning their behavior and approach to their jobs. Recruiters suggest working with a business for a while, coming in to shifts, being punctual, and showing respect to colleagues, and customers or clients.

2. Think learning is over after college

Recruiters ask young professionals to be more open to learning when they start their first entry-level jobs. We all need to continue learning during our professional lives to stay updated with industry changes. But when starting a new job, it is especially important to have the right attitude towards learning because everything is new; employees will need to gain knowledge of the working process in their new companies and the different procedures to complete work correctly and in a timely manner. Your first employer is giving you an excellent opportunity to learn and gain valuable experience, so absorb as much as you can.

3. Underestimate the importance of previous work experience

Even though job seekers are applying for their first full-time entry-level jobs, having some related work experience will give them a competitive advantage. This may be some volunteer work done while still in school or some unpaid jobs during the summer. Don’t underestimate this experience; include it on your resume and tell your interviewers about it.

Studies are essential, but having first-hand experience shows employers that you have some practical skills and a better understanding of work responsibilities and professional work life.

4. Failure to make a good first impression

Whoever says his opinion is not influenced by the first impression is lying. In an interview, job seekers only have a few seconds to convince interviewers that they are the right candidates, so along with their studies, work experience, and the right attitude, their presentations during interviews will play an important role in their success in landing their first full-time jobs.

According to the research, recent graduates often dress inappropriately for work and have untidy hair, so recruiters recommend paying special attention to appearance. Not every company’s dress code is the same, so make sure to verify details about the company culture before an interview in order to dress appropriately.

5. Poor job search and application skills

When looking for their first jobs, Australian young professionals are making very common mistakes, according to research. These skills improve with time and practice, but a couple pieces of advice recruiters give are: make sure each application (resume and cover letter) is tailored to the position for which you are applying, and always double check your application’s spelling and grammar. Recruiters see these types of mistakes as a lack of attention to detail and unacceptable in today’s marketplace.

Recruiters also suggest job seekers approach employers directly after providing their resumes and personally following up with them.

6. Unrealistic work expectations

When applying for their first entry-level jobs after college, recent graduates need to understand they cannot “start at the top.” They have to make an effort to work their way up through the business.

Another common mistake is to expect high compensation. This will also come with time as employees gain experience and assume more responsibilities. The nature of the work they do may not be exactly what they want initially, but as long as workers are learning and doing something they like, they are on the right path.

Need more tips for your job search? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain, guest writer

Maria Onzain is a content marketing expert writing for Open Colleges about education, career, and productivity. She is passionate about all things digital, loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling, and good food.

Posted February 03, 2016 by

Overcoming employers’ preference for candidates with work experience

Many employers prefer job candidates to have work experience when they apply for jobs. While gaining work experience gives college students and recent graduates a leg up on their competition, there are ways to overcome not having it. Bill Driscoll, District President of Accountemps, discusses the work experience dilemma and offers advice to college students and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs. (more…)

Posted May 13, 2015 by

Even if Undergrad Was a Struggle, Grad School is Still Possible

Ryan Hickey

Ryan Hickey, Managing Editor of Peterson’s & EssayEdge

There’s good news and bad news for those who had a rough time in undergrad and are now thinking about graduate studies. The good news is, you are now older and have more experience, so it’s likely you won’t get caught up in the same business that gave you trouble in the first place. The bad news is, you’re going to have to find a way to overshadow any anomalous GPA issues. But let’s start with the most important concern. (more…)

Posted May 06, 2015 by

Effective Job Search – How to Impress through your Resume?

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job

Young smiling man holding his resume applying for a job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You never heard of the word resume until before college, but here you are drafting and making your own resume right after your college graduation. Your resume is the initial, first or the fundamental step towards the professional life. It acts as a gateway, as it is through your resume or the CV, your interests, forte and your abilities are reflected and analyzed by the employers. With the help of this formal piece of document, you can demonstrate yourself. All your skills, abilities, your educational life and part time activities are discussed in this document, which allow you to sign up for the professional life. Also known as a CV, it mentions all your past academic aspects, your earlier job experiences and other achievements and awards you might have received. CV or a resume is drafted carefully and with intense detail, the reason behind this is that, it is through this paper, an employer will take further decisions on whether to hire an individual or pass on. Creating and initiating the resume is a complex part, some individuals, even though with an impressive background, are sometimes not able to get the job they desire. All because, they might have flaws in their resume or might have not cautiously and wisely put their strengths and abilities aside. So make sure, before applying, your CV stands out and is highlighted among the piles of many others. As hundreds of people apply for work every day, it becomes a challenge for the employers in terms of hiring and employment. They look for diversity and variations within the document, something that excites them and removes them from the monotony. So how can you make your resume stand out? Here are some of the basic tips. (more…)

Posted May 05, 2015 by

Tips for Entry Level Job Seekers

Maggie Searle photo

Maggie Searle

The nightmares of not being able to get a job or the taxes mounting on and no personal or social life are the notions which you start getting right after you step in your senior year of university. Fretting over these thoughts or creating a tantrum is not at all a big deal at such a naïve stage of your professional life ending and stepping in to practical life. These are the common concerns of all the fresh graduates or soon-to-be-graduates to look for a job, because it is one of the primary needs of survival. (more…)

Posted May 01, 2015 by

Make Yourself More Employable Upon Graduation – 6 Things You Can Do Right Now

Portrait of two happy graduating students. Isolated over white background.

Portrait of two happy graduating students. Isolated over white background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Yes, it’s a tough job market; yes, the statistics say that the jobs are just not there the way they used to be. But a certain percentage of college grads do land jobs in their career areas. Sometimes it is because they are in high-demand, low-supply fields; in a few cases, they have contacts through a parent or other relative. But there are grads who land those jobs because they have taken some critical steps before graduation that just make them more attractive to employers. Here are 6 steps for you. (more…)

Posted April 23, 2015 by

Build Your First CV with Volunteer Work

Team of young volunteers picking up litter in the park

Team of young volunteers picking up litter in the park. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Building your first CV can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you do not have much or any work experience. The common thought is that you need work experience on your resume to get a job, but you need a job to get that work experience. It seems like a catch twenty-two situation. However, if you have completed volunteer work all is not lost. For first time CV creators, volunteer work can be the key to highlighting your experience and qualifications. Most employers understand that recent graduates have not had much time to gain paid work experience. Also, it is understood that in certain fields it is necessary to focus on your education, which leaves little time for a job. If you have volunteered throughout your high school or college years (or both), you could actually have amassed more work experience than someone who has worked part time at a paid occupation. (more…)

Posted December 16, 2014 by

Entry Level Students: Ways to Boost Your Job Prospects even With No Experience

Cheerful young volunteers with garbage bag after cleaning the streets

Cheerful young volunteers with garbage bag after cleaning the streets. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

For anyone approaching college graduation looking to step straight into the world of work, it’s surely about time you began an active job search. However, as many of you begin writing your first resume, you may start to feel that a lack of professional experience is going to jeopardize your chances of landing an interview.

Job-hunting with minimal experience has always been difficult, regardless of the economic climate, and with record levels of graduates entering the American job market, your concerns are well founded. However, it’s not all bad news. The growth of websites like LinkedIn now offer new ways in which you can network within a specific industry, and a plethora of job board websites also help open the door to more job openings than ever before. If you prepare well and do the right things early on, it’s quite possible to land a really great job fresh out of college. However, this preparation means taking immediate action to gain the experience you need, along with writing an inspirational resume that a fairly represents your potential as an applicant. (more…)

Posted November 04, 2014 by

5 Tips For Writing An Amazing Resume

Jimmy Sweeney

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy

There are resumes that do the job. They’re functional, neat, and clearly written––similar to those that cross a hiring manager’s desk every day of the year.

And there are resumes that get the job interview––the one that can lead you to the job you want in the location you want, doing the kind of work you want to do. That’s the resume to write the first time. Don’t waste your energy trying to figure out on your own the best thing to say and the way in which to say it. Study examples on the Internet and see which ones express your personality and style. Then use them as guides for writing your own. And be sure to include the information in the following five tips as you write a resume that gets the interview: (more…)