How College Graduates Can Get Hired During a Recession

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When you graduate college, the next step is finding a job in the field you’ve studied for the past few years. That’s not necessarily easy, however. The availability of jobs depends on your specialty, and both the global and local economies can have a major impact on your ability to land a job. 

When you graduate during a recession, it can be exceedingly difficult to secure employment, and a recession is when you need a job more than ever.  As you work hard on your job search, get in touch with our career coaches and have them guide you along the way. Here’s how you, a recent college graduate, can get hired during a recession. 

Make connections immediately

When you’re fresh out of college, you don’t necessarily know many people who can help you get a job. Networking is critical in any career—sometimes more so than your qualifications—so work diligently to connect with people in your field. 

Start with those closest to you. You may have a friend or a family member working in your field, so ask if they know of a job opening or if they can at least give you some insight into how you can get ahead of your competition in the job search. These connections are extremely beneficial because they can give you an edge over other candidates. If a friend or a relative recommends you for a job at their company, they put you miles ahead of other applicants because employers value the opinion of current employees when it comes to filling vacant positions.

As a college graduate looking for a job, you should also create a LinkedIn profile to connect with like-minded professionals. A polished profile that lists your skills and achievements will mark you as a strong candidate when a hiring manager looks you up online. Don’t be afraid to reach out on LinkedIn to people you don’t know but who can help you find a job—that’s the whole point of this  platform. People will be happy to lend you a hand if you’re polite and offer something of value to make the relationship mutually beneficial. If you need help creating your profile, hire our LinkedIn experts to get you set up.

Finally, you can make connections by simply applying for positions you find on job sites or even in person. This isn’t as personal as making connections before applying for a job, but you can’t always make meaningful connections before you apply. So, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs even if you haven’t reached out to the employer first. This is, in fact, the normal course of events, and the employer doesn’t expect you to have reached out previously—it’s just a bonus if you have.

Clean up your social media

You may have enjoyed your college experience, maybe a little too much. Your social media profiles could be offering a detailed glimpse into your wild college life, but that’s not something you want a hiring manager to stumble across. If you don’t delete any offending posts and photos, recruiters will definitely find them because most employers nowadays search your social media accounts to learn more about you. 

If your social media is filled with inappropriate content—be it wild party pictures, angry posts, or other controversial fare—they won’t consider hiring you. You can delete objectionable content or modify your privacy settings to control who can see your page and what they can see. Make sure to check whether any friends have tagged you in public photos that you don’t want potential employers to see—if they have, delete the tag so the photo isn’t accessible from your profile.

Focus on your resume

If, like most fresh college graduates, you don’t have much experience in your field, you can use your resume to show that you nonetheless have the necessary skills to perform well in the job. Read the job description carefully and note what keywords and requirements it contains, and incorporate the ones that apply to you into your resume. Not only will this communicate to the recruiter that you’re a good candidate despite your lack of experience, but it’ll also allow you to get past the applicant tracking system (ATS), which scans resumes for the company-specified keywords and discards those that don’t contain enough. 

Also, make sure there are no typos or grammatical issues in your resume. Such mistakes will send an application to the rejection pile regardless of how qualified the candidate is.

Practice your interview skills

If this is your first job application, you may not be familiar with how job interviews work. Prepare by practicing ways to sell yourself as the top candidate for the job. Think of a few good selling points that promote your work ethic, and come up with an elevator pitch—a 30-second pitch that highlights your value as a person and a professional. 

Perhaps the best way to prepare is by doing a mock interview with our professional career coaches, who can guide you on how to say what and when. With our detailed feedback, you’ll know what you need to work on and where your strong points lie. Whether your interview is over the phone or in person, be confident—it’s hard because job interviews are inherently nerve-racking, but composure goes a long way.

Follow up promptly

Whether you connected with someone on LinkedIn or had a job interview with a recruiter, follow up to express your gratitude for their time. You could send a personal letter, but an email is definitely more standard and much quicker. In addition to thanking them, this also gives you the opportunity to get your name in front of them again. Thanking a recruiter after an interview may be more important than you think since some of them disqualify candidates who don’t follow up with a thank-you note. 

Are you having trouble finding a job right after college? It can be challenging, especially during a recession. Even if you feel like there’s no hope, following these tips can make your job search extremely effective. If you need help writing your resume, contact our resume experts today! 

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