The Hardest Challenges Facing Graduates

Posted by Belinda Luby

This month at GradConnection we thought we wanted help our students and grads with resume writing, with a contribution from Gavin Redelman from Red Star Resumes. Gavin has taken the time to provide some very helpful advice to job hunting graduates, and offers a special discount to our GradConnection readers on resume writing services if you would like to add a professional touch to that first impression. 

The Hardest Challenges Facing Graduates: By Gavin Redelman 

Competition: Too few jobs and too many graduates

Here is the scenario... You have graduated college with a good looking degree; you feel on top of the world and ready to pick and choose your dream job. The reality however is that you're one of a many in the same boat. While you feel as though you would be best suited for a particular role there can be hundreds of other people who feel the same way as you do. I often tell the story about my days as a recruitment consultant where I used to recruit for graduate positions. I would post a graduate position on the job boards and by lunch time I would have 200 applicants in my inbox. So what can you do to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd? You need to ensure that your resume is in the top 5-10% of all resumes. A single mistake in your resume can be the difference between your resume ending up in the interview stack or in the "deleted" folder.

Downturn in the economy

We are all sick and tired of hearing about the global financial situation, sluggish economic growth and rising unemployment. Unfortunately this is the situation which new graduates find themselves facing when looking for a job. My best advice is to network, stay patient and increase the effort into the job search. You are going to have setbacks and days when you feel like the whole world is against you. The real challenges will be ones of continuing perseverance and confidence.

Lack of Real world experience

My advice to all graduates (and those preparing to graduate) is to seek work experience. I personally hated this advice while I was at university but looking back now my work experience helped me plan out my career and gain vital experience in competitive industries. When the time came to put forward my resume, my previous work experience set me apart from many of my competitors.

Expectations that are too high

Many graduates (myself included) complete university and expect to hand pick the job which they want. Furthermore, graduates have an expectation that they know what is best and should actually be the boss rather than working for the boss. So many times I have had graduates apply for job positions which are so unrealistic and are then severely disappointed because they are not getting interview requests. It's important for graduates to realise that they need to gain the experience before they can call themselves the boss.

Debate between further higher education and job seeking

Do you continue to study or start straight away with the job seeking? Many graduates don't have a choice in this matter but for those who do, continuing to study can lead to greater results long term (financial and job position), and also further help distinguish yourself apart from other graduates. On the other hand is it better to start working and get your foot in the door? There is no better education than the real life experience of learning on the job.


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