Just Graduated, Now What?
New Graduates Have Lots of Choices in Today’s Job Market!
Nothing quite matches the enthusiasm of a recent graduate. Fresh off of a rigorous academic program and eager to put their degree (and tuition money) to good use, graduates hit the ground running wanting to land that perfect, ‘’just right’’ fitting job.
You’ve Got Options
Not sure of what work you exactly want to do, what industry you want to be in, or what company you want to work for? Not ready to commit to a direct hire, long-term role? Or maybe you know exactly what role and the specific company or field you want to enter as soon as you walk off the graduation podium. Today’s job market has several hiring options that will be fitting of your personal circumstances, here are the three most common:
Temp: A ‘’temp’’ job is usually a short term work assignment with a company that has a definite end date. Companies often use temp employees to fill short-term need or if a long-term employee take a leave of absence.
Temp-to-Hire: A ‘’temp-to-hire’’ job is a short term assignment that has the likely potential to result in converting a temp worker into a direct hire employee once the assignment is completed if the employee has performed well. This is a great way for companies to make sure that a new employee is a great fit before committing to long term employment. Temp-to-hire is also a great opportunity for recent graduate employees to test out a company’s culture or line of work before having to make a large commitment.
Direct Hire: A direct hire is taking a job with no defined end date. This is great for graduates who know exactly what they want to do and are ready for a large employment commitment straight out of college and also have the previous work experience to be able to leverage into direct hire role.
DIY Job Searching? Or Staffing Companies and Recruiters?
Not only do you have options of what type of employment you want to pursue, but also how you want to go about finding employment. You can apply for jobs online by applying to the company directly or on a hiring website like Craigslist, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn Jobs or Facebook Jobs. This process can sometimes seem like a shot in the dark – the large the applicant pool on these websites make it difficult for your resume to stand out or even get seen. Working with a recruiter or staffing company can appear intimidating, but is actually a very time efficient method of job searching.
By having exclusive access to hiring managers and knowing what jobs are on the market, recruiters are able to easily match you and your skillset with that ‘’just right’’ fitting job. Recruiters will often go above and beyond to get you hired as the livelihood of their company (and their job) requires them to! Don’t know how to reach out to a recruiting or staffing company? Research recruiting or staffing companies in your area to see which aligns best with the type of work you are interested in and then send them your resume! Make sure that when working with recruiters you remember all those self branding tips so you can convey your best professional skills!
No Work Experience or Job Skills?
With a newly minted degree in hand, many recent graduates expect to be met with wide eyed, excited hiring managers or recruiters only to be disappointed by being told they lack job skills and work experience or may face the challenge of having a large gap in their resume due to taking time off to focus on their college studies. Completing a college degree requires very serious dedication and tenacity which is a very relevant, marketable skill that demonstrates your willingness to learn and work hard. Yet, even in a tight job market, it often does not compensate for having an empty resume or lack of industry specific experience. In an effort to build up your resume to pursue a career in the field you received your degree in, consider taking a temp assignment. These temp job opportunities not only contribute to your work experience, but also gives you the rare chance to try out different companies or facets of the industry to make sure you REALLY enjoy the work before you fully commit to a long-term, direct hire role.
Realize You Potential and Dream BIG
Do you imagine yourself coming straight out of college ready to pay your dues at an entry level job, earning less money than you would prefer and live in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of town? Think again and set your sights higher! By building your brand and knowing your worth you can avoid not reaching your fullest potential and settling for a job you don’t absolutely love.
You Are a Brand
What are your value propositions? Think about this as what can you bring to the table better than anyone else can? Also important, knowing what areas you are a specialist and generalist in, sell those skills well! We would recommend writing two lists with 2-3 skills each you are a specialist and generalist in and then brainstorm how these skills add value to a company. Are you great at marketing and meeting deadlines? Well then you have significant impact to bring to a company’s content calendar and executing marketing projects no matter the size. By identifying your value propositions and specialties/generalities you will find the core values of your personal ‘’brand’’. You should build your own brand and market yourself like you are your own company by having a well rounded sense of your professional skills. However, make sure to stick to just a few (3-4) skills that you are really great at executing rather than promising expertise in a wide variety of unrelated skills you are average at leveraging.
Good Examples Get You Hired
Anyone can write up a list of important characteristics and skills, so always be sure to give specific examples! Anyone can say they are organized and get the job done in time. But they can’t tell the hiring manager about the time they went above and beyond to get a report done that brought their company significant value. Employers and recruiters LOVE specific, tangible examples so they REALLY know who is coming to work everyday after they hire you. It’s also much easier for the interviewer to then take these examples back to the hiring manager or HR and be able to easily justify the value of hiring you and that there is less risk with bringing you on.
‘’Pre-Canned’’ Interview Answers Are a Must
Preparing for an interview? You can always be sure that interviewers are going to ask a few commonly used and generic questions in any interview. These questions include: Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What stood out to you about this job? If you can create prepared or ‘’pre-canned’’ answers it can be very helpful in ensuring that you don’t leave out important details of your skills and expertise while limiting opportunity for awkward pauses while you scramble for words. With these ‘’pre-canned’’ answers or information about yourself, you will go into an interview sounding confident and like you are the perfect candidate for the role!
Organization is Everything
Job searching can be stressful and time consuming – especially if you are in the final weeks and months of college and searching for that perfect first job. In between classes and assignments it can be challenging to also keep track of job interviews, recruiter emails and what ever happened to that job I applied for 3 weeks ago and forgot about?!? During a very active job as a recent (or soon-to-be) graduate, it is very important to stay organized. We recommend creating an Excel spread sheet to keep track of job leads. You can document every job you apply for and make note of every time you speak with a recruiter or hiring manager, take an interview, complete a task or assessment and receive any information on your candidacy for that position. Staying on top of every job that you apply for is hugely important and will make sure that no jobs will slip away.
Are you a recent (or upcoming) graduate? Send PACE Staffing your resume at CandidateServices@PaceStaffing.com and we’ll help you find that ‘’just right’’ next step into your DREAM career!
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest job seekers find their “just right” jobs for over 40 years.
A 3 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation , PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE provides multiple placement options….
- Direct Placement – Full or Part Time
- Temp to Hire Auditions
- Short or Long Term Temporary or Contract Assignments – Full or Part Time
Our Professional Placement Services include…
- Resume reviews and consultations
- Access to the “Hidden Job Market”
- Insider intros to TOP Employers HIRING NOW
- Confidential Job Searches
- Professional Career Guidance
Never a fee to a candidate using our services. Paid absence and healthcare benefits are provided to employees assigned to work at client sites thru our services. .
To learn more about how one 2 minute application can open doors to a full range of PACE placement services plus introductions to local employers hiring now, contact PACE’s candidate services team at 425-637-3301 or e mail candidates services at firstname.lastname@example.org