Times are tough. With many college graduates and fewer jobs, college graduates are facing a challenging job market. As companies are limiting their college recruitment, a degree by no means guarantees finding a job. Below you will find advice on how to increase your chances.
Recruiters are increasingly looking for innovative ways to identify high quality talent in an ever-more competitive marketplace; this includes sourcing talent earlier. Second year programs are a way to actively engage with recruitment processes before you graduate. Attracting and recruiting college graduates is increasingly a year-round ‘business as usual’ activity.
Even being on target to graduate with honors and having a strong commercial awareness is not enough to secure a position. Find out what skills prospective employers want you to have, and take the lead in developing them as much as possible.
Work experience is essential. It facilitates employment and also builds valuable skills that support employability more generally. Nearly two-thirds of recruiters warn that college graduates with no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful.
Almost all leading employers offer work experience programs for students and recent college graduates. The importance of work experience is echoed by the Talent Acquisition Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where a variety of work experience and placement schemes are in operation: “We see work experience as key. While it’s great if a candidate has been on a formal program, any customer facing role can be very helpful.”
Recruiters are increasingly looking at social media as a way to source, target and reach the best candidates. Make sure they find you by creating a professional online profile (e.g. on LinkedIn) - that is separate to your personal profile.
Ensure career development is high on your agenda: some recruiters receive 250 applications per role. Differentiate yourself, so you are more appealing to recruiters. It is also important to be clear about why you want to work for the particular organization to which you are applying.
With more recruiters looking at objective methods to select candidates for their programs, prepare yourself and practice the types of assessment they will ask you to take.