Post-College Job Hunting Mistakes

college graduates

Finishing college is an excellent accomplishment. It shows employers that you have a willingness to succeed, work well under deadlines, and possess a high level of intelligence. However, it’s not a walk in the park for every student who graduates. The job market is improving, but a college degree does not guarantee you a job. There are many other factors that go into it, like strength of your academic institution, GPA, and work experience to name a few. Many recent graduates artificially inflate the strength of their job application based on their collegiate background, and they fail to realize the reality. College is simply a stepping stone to gain experience. You don’t immediately land the job of your dreams unless you are lucky, and it’s likely you’ll be functioning in an entry level role at the bottom of the totem pole.

Allowing Salary to Dictate Decision-Making

You should always pick a degree based on your interests, and let the money follow. Having a job that you don’t enjoy is no way to go through life, and when you attend college you have a choice in the career you’d like to pursue. A lot of students pick careers based on how much money they will earn. This is a mistake. Since most jobs available to college graduates are entry-level, the money won’t start flowing until later in your career. If you let money dictate your career choices, the jobs that you apply for might be out of reach. High-earning workers typically move their way up through an organization and receive incremental salary increases throughout the process. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the get-go. Pick a career where you will enjoy the entry-level work responsibility. It takes hard work to get the job you want.

Grandiose Expectations

A lot of college students feel a sense of entitlement when they receive their degree. As a result, some of the jobs they are applying for are simply out of reach. A college degree is a gateway to opportunity, but pretty much everyone has to start at entry-level. There are some great entry-level jobs available for college students, and the average salary for these positions is usually $50,000 per year. For a business major with dreams of becoming a millionaire investment banker, this might be a hard pill to swallow. However, it’s a simple fact. Job rejection can always be attributed to a source, and for college graduates, it’s usually overestimating job qualification. Avoid this mistake at all costs, and look for jobs that are less of a reach and more a reality.

Don’t Settle

Even though you might need to find an entry-level position, that doesn’t mean that you should settle. Still look for jobs that offer excellent career potential. Accepting a low-end position can have a dramatic impact on the course of your career. We all need money to pay the bills, but you should hold out as long as possible while searching for your new career. For example, let’s say you pick a job in retail while you are looking for work, and you still have trouble finding a new role. Months might turn into years, and when hiring managers look to see your work experience, it will be a huge red flag for the HR team. They will wonder why you haven’t been able to find work and it will have a negative impact on your job application. You can avoid this by waiting for the right job. It won’t happen overnight.

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Matthew Welch

Jobdiagnosis blog author Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist and content marketer from Boston, MA. Read blog content relating to job search by Matthew Welch.

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