10 Job Search Mistakes of New College Grads

Although this year's college graduates are facing a tough job market (and the smart ones are facing it now, rather than waiting until after graduation), they have an advantage over other job seekers, according to Andy Chan, vice president of career development at Wake Forest University: They are among the age group most likely to be hired in the coming months.

"Organizations are very interested in hiring young people because they have a lot of energy and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done," Chan says.

But no matter how well-positioned these young people are, they -- and all job seekers -- will have a better chance of success if they avoid these common job hunting mistakes: Click Here


8 Signs Your Job Search Strategy Needs Help


If you're having trouble finding a job, it might simply be the reality of a tough job market—but it might signify that the problem is in how you're approaching employers. Here are eight signs that it might be time to take a fresh look at how you're approaching your job search.

1. You're not getting any interviews. If you're not getting a single interview that suggests that either your resume and cover letter need some serious help, or you're applying for positions you're not suited for. In this tight job market, your resume needs to show that you have a track record of success in the skills the job requires, and your cover letter needs to demonstrate that you're well-spoken, enthusiastic, and sane. And you can't target jobs too far outside your skill set; with so many people seeking work, employers have the luxury of not taking risks on untested candidates.

2. You're getting plenty of first interviews but no second interviews. If you're getting interviews, your applications materials are getting you in the door. But if you're not getting call-backs, your interview skills might be working against you. Try better preparing for interviews beforehand, and consider asking a trusted contact for some feedback about how you're coming across. The best experience in the world won't make up for a bad impression in an interview.

3. When you ask past colleagues for networking help, they all come up with reasons why they can't help. If people who know your work aren't comfortable vouching for you, you might have a reputation problem. Were past co-workers disappointed with your work ethic, competence, integrity, or general pleasantness on the job? That can come back to haunt you when you're counting on them for introductions or recommendations later on.

4. You're not sure what jobs you'd even be suited for. If you don't know what you're qualified to do, you can't expect an employer to figure it out for you. Employers respond to clear, compelling cases for why a candidate would excel at a position, so you need to figure out a way to make that case for yourself.

5. You've been unemployed for more than six months. Job searches are taking longer these days, and searches of six months or more aren't uncommon. However, if you've been looking for longer than six months without at least some serious interest from employers, it's worth revisiting your resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills. Often this kind of re-boot can get the phone ringing again.

6. You're only searching for jobs on the Internet. While plenty of people get hired by responding to online job postings, it doesn't change the fact that you'll be up against an enormous amount of competition. Having someone in your network connect you to a job opening can be the boost that sets you apart from the rest of the pack, so it's crucial to activate your network on your behalf.

7. You're convinced the hiring process is unfair. Hiring isn't fair. Jobs don't always go to the most-qualified candidate; sometimes they go to the person with the inside connection, or the person who was easier to get along with in the interview, or the person who showed more willingness to learn. But if you get hung up on the idea that you're somehow being wronged, your bitterness will show in interviews and will send employers running.

8. You're feeling desperate. When job seekers are feeling desperate, they often make bad decisions—from trying gimmicks like sending gifts to their interviewer to being overly aggressive in calling employers. If you're feeling desperate, try to stay calm and don't start doing things that you know deep down are cheesy, inappropriate, or overly aggressive.


A Winning Job Search Strategy

You've posted your resume online and are submitting resumes and cover letters for all the job openings that seem to fit you.  Is there anything else you can do to look for a job? 

Absolutely! In fact, the more diverse your job-hunting strategy, the more effective it's likely to be.

 Here are eight tactics you can use to track down job opportunities: 

1. Contact Professional Organizations in Your Field
National, regional and local professional organizations exist in great part to help their members with career development. Many organizations include field-specific job listings on their Web sites or in their printed publications.

2. Visit Company and Organization Web Sites
Many companies and organizations post their job openings right on their own Web sites (usually under an Employment or Career Opportunities link).

3. Apply Directly to Organizations That Interest You
Do you know you want to work specifically for Company X or Organization Y? If so, send a well-written cover letter and your resume directly to the company, either to its human resources office or, often more effective, to the person who would likely make hiring decisions for the part of the organization that interests you. It isn't always easy to find the right person to get in touch with; typically, you'll have to do some digging.

4. Network, Network, Network
Generally the most effective job-hunting approach, networking is simply talking to people to either track down helpful personal contacts or learn about job openings that may not necessarily be widely advertised or advertised at all. Start by talking to your own family, friends and acquaintances. Let everyone in your life know you're looking for a job, and give them an idea of what type of job you want.

5. Join Professional Associations
If there's a professional organization in your field, join it and start participating in its meetings and other events so you can get to know people in your area of interest. Work with a career counselor at your school to both tap his contacts and learn of alumni from your school who might be able and willing to lend you a hand in your search. Finally, don't forget to tap your professors' connections as well.

6. Participate in Job Fairs
Many cities, particularly large ones, host job fairs at various locations throughout the year. Most colleges and universities hold their own job fairs as well, either individually or in collaboration with other institutions. A job fair is a rare opportunity to have employers come to you, so make sure you attend whenever possible.

7. Use a Placement Agency or Recruiter/Headhunter
There are companies out there that specialize in helping people find jobs. Some of them even focus on working with college students and recent college grads. Maybe one of them can help you. A word of caution, however: While most organizations receive their fees from employers (and not you, the job seeker), some will seek money from you. So be careful, and make sure you know who's paying the bill.

8. Consider Temping
Often, by working briefly as a temp for a company, you can position yourself to be hired for a full-time, permanent position that opens up later on. Even if that doesn't happen, however, temping can help you see various companies from the inside, meet people in your field of interest and earn some pretty good money.

The more diverse your job-hunting methods are, the more opportunities you'll uncover and the greater the chance that you'll find, and land, the job you really want.
ns for the part of the organization that interests you. It isn't always easy to find the right person to get in touch with; typically, you'll have to do some digging.