URBANDALE, Iowa – As some college students gear up for graduation in May, the U.S. Department of Education reports there will be nearly 3 million graduates looking to enter the workforce. That’s a lot of job-searching, and according to vocational rehabilitation counselor, Susan McBroom, a lot of stress.
“I tell my people to apply for five to seven jobs a week, on average,” she said. “If you can increase that, that’s awesome. But they’ve got to be really aggressive with the job search. They have to document where they applied, who they spoke with, call that employer back.”
McBroom helps current students and recent college graduates with the job-search at Compass Clinical Associates in Urbandale. She says students should prepare for a three-month process in finding that first job. Here are some simple tips to make the hunt a lot easier:
- Clean up those social media accounts: It may not seem like a big deal, now that everyone’s on Facebook, but McBroom says an unprofessional picture (i.e. partying, booze, etc.) or status can make the difference between you and someone with your same skills in landing that first job.
- Keep the resume short and sweet: Definitely include information on education and objective up top, and don’t forget to add your skills, as well as how those will benefit the job you’re applying for. But don’t be messy or long-winded; McBroom says a hiring manager will likely spend only 15 seconds glancing over your resume.
- Look at “Green and Growing Jobs:” These are jobs that are quickly growing in the U.S. Careers in the medical field, like physical and occupational therapy, as well as social services, green jobs like wind and solar energy, and mechanical occupations are all becoming more available in today’s economy.
McBroom’s final piece of advice: Don’t give up. The biggest mistake a graduate can make is to not go at the job-hunt aggressively enough. Five to seven applications – at the least – a week should be your target. Keeping a log of where you applied and when, as well as who you spoke to, and setting reminders for when to follow-up are the only way to expedite the process.