Basic Lies about Job-Hunting Young Graduates Believe in

23/03/2013 09:36

As soon as you become a member of job-hunters’ community, you may hear a lot of advice and ‘absolute truths’ that should determine your job search. Looking at these vaguely repeated opinions from different angle, you may be actually surprised how false they can be. Here are 5 most common lies about job-hunting young graduates can come across.


A Good Degree (from Prestigious University) Will Secure me a Job

Some companies like Google or Microsoft surely aim to recruit top class students with the best merit (and from the Ivy League universities). At the same time grades or the degree itself are not the only criteria even at these enterprises. They will also measure your attitude, motivation and mainly team and cultural fit. Degree itself will never as they say ‘open you doors to job market’. It can surely widen your options, but if there is no true purpose behind the degree and adhered knowledge and capabilities are not essential for the offered job, employers will not perceive the clear match between you and the vacancy. Degree will not secure you the job! And watch out – recruiters are very used to the ‘but I have a degree’ game and aim to screen out college graduates in particular.

Advice: Attitude is everything. Change your attitude about your degree – present only what is the real quality behind the degree and how this makes you the right candidate for the advertised role.


No Work Experience=No Job Opportunities

You hear this all the time: ‘Recent graduates cannot get any job after finishing their degrees because they are always asked for experience, which they cannot have…’ Articles pointing at this ‘bloody circle’ dominate all media. And guess what? They are not helpful, stop reading them! First of all, you should redefine what counts as work experience. Not only full or part time jobs should end up on your list of professional background. Any student extracurricular activities, any projects and researches you worked on count as well. If even after then your resume is blank, tough luck – you set up your priorities long time ago and you are now responsible for the results. Second, let’s speak about the job fit. It is not that employers fear the limited professional experience graduates can offer, but frequently graduates apply for positions which should not be in their scope at all.

Advice: Lack of entry openings for recent college grads is a pure fact. However, this is reality you have to work with. Be proactive and work on yourself during your studies. Recruiters will appreciate you have already some ‘work attitude’. Lack of this quality is actually the main reason for refraining from recruiting graduates.


Good References Will Secure me a Job

Let’s be honest – most of us got a lot of promises from our professors, people we networked with, met at that conference or seminar. But have you ever heard from them? Have they really helped you to get the job? Certainly, there might be lucky exceptions, but remember no one but you will really get you the job. Plus, reference check comes at the very end of the recruitment process. Before getting there, you will really need to amaze the future employer to the extent that they will like to hire you.

Advice: Good to have your references ready. But do not ever rely on anybody but yourself during your job hunt. Direct your job-hunting!


Networking Is the Key (and it Is Easy)

Networking, networking, networking! Everybody has to be part of some network, keep connections, widen their chances…But should this be the real purpose of networking? Of course not! Networking is much more complex process than the most of us think. It is a type of relationship which should be mutually beneficial – in other words both parts shall gain. Instead, we frequently waste valuable contacts (especially young people who have still very little experience from real world people interactions). In the end we are disappointed about the value of networking and give up. Don’t ever give up on networking, because if practiced properly, it can completely change your job hunt.

Advice: Network in the right way. People you network with will not create a job for you, just because you introduced yourself and threw the best smile you have. Try to develop the relationship with the person and find out what you have in common at first. Perhaps they can be interested in the recent research you have done in this and that, so you can easily get back to them and fill in the information gap they were desperate about. Be sure they will remember you!


Rejection Is Tragedy

When you are young, every single rejection may feel like you are dying. It is tragedy, total failure! But the unfortunate truth is that the more you are trying, the more opportunities you create and the more you are going to be rejected as well. You are not going to fit in every single position. Take it! And believe that very often, rejection is the best thing that can happen to you, especially if you are refused by an experienced professional. It can mean, you would suck at that job and probably not enjoyed doing it. So good for you! And by the way – ending up on the second place during candidates' assessment is not the worst thing that can happen to you; it is a great success!

Advice: When rejected, always ask yourself why this happened: Was it because of your bad performance at the interview and your inability to ‘sell’ yourself and therefore, this should be your main area for further improvements? Or was it that you were a wrong fit for the job and hence, you shall redefine your job search?



Do you think there are other absolute truths about job-hunting which may actually turn out to be total lies? Please, get back to me with your ideas, so that we can extend the discussion.

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