Tyler Wiechman writes about the challenges the Millennial Generation has overcome and the ones the Millennial Generation still faces.
The most frustrating months for many college students doesn't happen during finals, that semester of questionable grades, or their senior thesis. No—the most stressful months come post-graduation. The bliss of a bachelors degree is wearing off, the dreams you had in college start to ebb away as you become desperate for any employment opportunity. Many are forced to take minimum wage jobs throughout the food service industry and retail environments, but many find even getting those jobs is rather difficult. Many are turned away from being too qualified, and then can't find anything to put on their resume during their time of un-and-under-employment. How frustrating is it that that entry level job requires three to five years of experience?
Does this describe you? My guess is that if you're of the millennial generation and a recent college graduate you've probably experienced at least a month or two of this bleak wake-up-call. If not you, perhaps someone you know is currently looking for employment and is struggling to find a job that will lead them to happiness and better things.
Well, the good news is chances are you'll eventually find a job—the bad news is that it may not be anything you thought you'd be doing in college. But from personal experience, the experience of a variety of young professionals throughout a multitude of fields of study, and current economic trends I have some tips that have helped land that first job.
In this Three Part Post we'll examine a few techniques to enhance your resume, make connections, and get the job.
First and foremost: don't get discouraged. Continue to apply, connect, and send out your resume. You'll never get a job you don't apply to, and it may not sound like advice, but so many people become complacent with their predicament. There is a power in numbers, and what's worked for me to land my first job, and then advance into my first real career path since college was that power. Apply to everything you can possibly call yourself qualified for.
To give you perspective, between my graduate school drop out and my first job I spent four months unemployed. In that span of four months I applied to over four hundred jobs. Yes, you read that correctly, FOUR HUNDRED jobs, before one finally stuck. And it wasn't a great job. It wasn't terrible for an entry-level position, but it wasn't anywhere close to being where I wanted to be. But even if you don't like your job do it well (We'll get to that later), and months later I realized I didn't want to be there anymore and I applied to less jobs the second time around, but still well over one hundred before I finally got the advancement I had been looking for.
Secondly: Use all of your resources. There are at least a dozen job-finding websites out there. I highly recommend Indeed.com and Careerbuilder.com as my top two choices. Indeed provides you with a lot of company reviews and detailed position descriptions, but careerbuilder.com really helps you apply the power in numbers mentality. For most positions listed on that board you only need to send off your resume. Careerbuilder.com is actually the resource that directed me to my current job. But besides the internet don't be afraid to look at local businesses, and even your community/regional newspaper classifieds. A newspaper advertisement was how I got in contact with my first post-grad employer. LinkedIn is a fantastic resource to connect and browse opportunities as well, and many of you are social-media minded so it isn't much of a chore.
Use all of your resources and apply to everything you are qualified for—that's a great place to start as you the summer turns into fall and student loan payments will soon be upon you.
In Part II we'll talk about bolstering your resume with continued learning and volunteering, and Part III will discuss other options that may work for some of you but are very industry specific. Part III will also wrap up the remainder of this discussion.
Thanks for reading.
If you have questions, comments, or personal stories related to this subject matter that you would like to share please check my about the author page for ways to contact me.