2017 Job Strategies for Recent Graduates

College-grad-Job Hunt

When the graduation celebrations have ended, many recent graduates must consider what they are going to do with their lives. Boy, how things have changed! When I was in college (the 1980s), it was an unspoken rule for college seniors to have a few job offers and have a good concept of what they would be doing. In fact, the question, “where do you see yourself in five years” is a standard question of college recruiters on campus. Answer this question timidly or with revocation, and you were assured not to get a follow-interview. Go home to live with parents was not on my radar or any of my close friends.’

Yet, when I started talking with my students and other graduates from other institutions, the clarity of what they were going to do after college life was murky at best. Surprisingly, the majority of the graduating seniors did not have any idea of what they were going to do. Perhaps, it is generational because Millenniums have a different outlook than Baby Boomers or Generation Xers. However, this mentality is nothing new to me. Working for the federal government for over 25 years, I found this mindset while visiting university campuses across the country.

The situation caused me to research this matter and write my book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. I attempted to assist frustrated parents, anxious students, bewildered educators, and others who are deeply concerned about the welfare of recent college graduates and their employability.

job strategies-Amazon

With my co-author, William Bailey, we discovered a huge disconnect between what organizations desired from potential employees, and what today’s job seekers expect of employers. In this discussion, we will examine 2017 job strategies to assist recent college graduates, their parents, or other supporters in how to increase their success in employment.

The economic picture should give recent college graduates some hope. According to the Blackrock Investment Institute’s 2017 quarterly market report, economic opportunities continue to increase. Global growth expectations are on the rise. While the United States provided most of the economic growth in 2016, non-U.S. entities created the global stimulus for economic growth in 2017. In fact, earnings upsurge was particularly strong in Japan and emerging markets despite terrorism abroad, government stability, and uncertainty in the EU countries.

Focusing more closely on the United States, individuals should feel positive about employment prospects for recent college graduates. According to a recent National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top bachelor’s degree, which would be in the highest demand, was business administration and management. Of the 169 surveyed employers, 86 stated they intended to hire graduates with this degree.

In another college employment study by CareerBuilder.com, 74% of employers planned to hire more recent college graduates this year (up from 67% from 2016). Half of these employers planned to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year; 39% of these surveyed employers would start recent graduates with $50,000 or more (compared to 27% in 2017).

The most sought after majors for these employers were: Business (30%), Engineering (26%), Computer and Information Sciences (23%), Engineering (16%), Communications Technologies (13%), Mathematics/Statistics (11%), Construction Trades (11%), and Health Professionals/Related Clinical Sciences (10%). With this positive job outlook, college graduates cannot afford to relax because of the continual changes in the job market.

Recent college graduates must enhance their job strategies. In today’s competitive environment, getting a job in one’s major is not easy. In fact, more experienced and older workers are now competing for entry-level jobs. Companies are more demanding due to the surplus of seasoned and young talent before them.

With globalization causing more U.S. companies to compete, many businesses are turning to technology (i.e. automation) and foreign-born talent to offset any workforce shortages. Thus, employers are very picky about prospective employees. For example, some graduates who were excellent students with high GPAs without any experience might find themselves on the outside if they compete against work experience.

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, one in eight colleges graduating class of 2016 were under-employed. Underemployed relates to those individuals in the college-educated workforce that are doing jobs that don’t require a college degree or not in their intended major. With that said, those unemployed individuals would prefer to be working in their major full-time. In the Office of the New York City Comptroller’s 2016, the study found that, by 2014, Millennials were making about 20 percent less in real terms than what older generations made during their first years in the labor force. Thus, recent graduates cannot afford to misunderstand the job market.

Peter Cappelli, the author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, notes that the impersonal nature of the current employment process: “Like a replacement part, job requirements have very precise specifications. Job candidates must fit them perfectly, or the job won’t be filled, and the business can’t operate.” In a surplus market with numerous potential candidates, employees can be picky.

When a list of prospective applicants does not meet the requirements, many times, these positions are left unfilled. Sadly, most job seekers have not figured this reality out. Yet, loaded with the right attitude and good job strategies, recent graduates can ensure themselves of better success in this job market. The following are the 2017 job strategies for more employability:

  1. Possess a good character that makes you an attractive person.
  2. Connect your ideal job with your interest, skills/abilities, and value/belief system.
  3. Build an effective personal brand, including an online personality connected to Linkedin.com and critical online networks.
  4. Pursue additional education and certifications (i.e. Google digital marketing certifications) that separate you from the competition.
  5. Use daily positive self-affirmations about your skills and abilities to keep your energy level positive.
  6. Build an incredible professional network for identifying job opportunities.
  7. Learn how to seek out critical advice and mentorship, but develop the capacity to use it.
  8. Develop a questioning attitude about life to promote problem solving.
  9. Network with subject matter experts, industry leaders, and highly successful people to increase your job opportunities.
  10. Target desired positions and apply periodically (daily, weekly, etc.) so that you are actively engaged in new employment.

In today’s difficult economy, college graduates must be more assertive despite the positive forecast for employment. Getting a job isn’t easy. This article describes 2017 job strategies to assist recent college graduates to become successful in today’s employment landscape.

Unlike when their parents were starting their careers, many Millennials will face future employers that have a variety of job options to fill a job vacancy. Individuals who understand the new mindset of current employers will have a better chance of successfully navigating the employment landmines.

Yet, a savvy job seeker understands these employment changes and makes the necessary corrections to make his/her personal brand attractive to potential employers. If individuals want to be more effective in their job hunt for 2017, they can use these job strategies to navigate future career challenges. Pray that it is not too late.

© 2017 by Daryl D. Green

 

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Building A LinkedIn Profile for More Job Opportunities

Linkedin

Today’s college students face a landscape of great opportunities as employers look to this Millennium generation to infuse bright ideas and energy into their organizations. In recruiting young engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy, I soon discussed a major disconnect between what employers desire from potential employees (i.e. college students), and today’s job seekers’ expectations of employers.

I often spoke on this matter and wrote these discoveries in several formats including articles, books, and lectures. With that said, I believe marketing these concepts are also vital on Bison Hill too. In this discussion, we will examine how an effective LinkedIn.com profile can be utilized to showcase students’ potentials to future employers and increase their personal brand.

Having an online presence is vital for today’s employment opportunities. According to Business2community.com, 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.com, an online job board; 8 million job applicants said they found their job on Twitter.com.  Eighty-nine percent of employment recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.com.

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Mapping Out the Right Job Process for 2013 College Grad

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Picking the right job candidate is not easy.  I was given the task of recommending college students for summer employment for my organization.  I promptly pulled together a team of both seasoned professionals and recent college grads to make the job selection.  We reviewed more than 100 resumes and interviewed several candidates.  We had to make these selections quickly.

To my surprise, I was flabbergasted at the lack of employment preparation for by some people.  For example, some students did not have the correct phone number listed on their resumes. We did not have time to waste tracking down candidates.

In one situation, we had called a prospect to interview him but missed him on our call to set up an interview.  He called us back with a list of times he was available to be interviewed.  In other words, he expected us to work our interview schedule around his.  Needless to say, we did not call him back.

In other cases, we contacted prospects and asked them two basic questions: (a) why did they want the job and (b) what separated them in terms of skills and abilities for the job.  In some cases, the students could not answer those questions.  I am sure in hind sight; they would have understood that those types of questions would be asked.

We were fortunate to land two quality candidates.  The team continued to be concerned about the lack of understanding by these college students about the job interview process.  Because of this, we developed a job strategies checklist to provide universities and college students for our campus visits or university interactions.

Sadly, these miscues in understanding the financial climate and the hiring process of employers could jeopardize their future.  In this blog, we will examine the current economic crisis and how students and parents can better position themselves for more employment opportunities.

The current economic forecast looks bleak in the near term for college grads and those preparing to graduate in 2013.  The U.S. Labor Department estimates that the unemployment rate for recent college grads between ages 21 to 24 has averaged over 8%.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, recent grads will probably need to settle for low-level positions.[1]  In fact, about 52% of employed college grads under age 25 were not working jobs that require a college degree according to a Northeastern University economist.[2]

College grads and current students must find alternative strategies to overcome employment obstacles. Rising tuition costs, a stagnate economy, and lack of career advancement continue to haunt ambitious young professionals.

Seasoned professionals are too cautious to retire early due to the uncertainty in their own future with the rising health care costs as they age.  In fact, getting a college education appears to be a big liability and financial load for students.

As the clock struck midnight several days ago, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans jumped from 3.4% to 6.8% until Congress can change it.[3] Some estimates conclude that the average college student will see an additional $2,600 cost for his or her loan.

According to the Project on Student Debt, two-thirds of 2011 college graduates had an average debt of more than $26,000.  Consequently, millions of college grads will see themselves carrying massive college debt loads with dim hopes of finding jobs in their majors.

Columnist Hadley Malcolm summed up this situation best, “Like countless Millennials across the country, they find themselves tethered to that debt load, stuck between the desire to become fully independent adults and not being able to afford the financial and cultural milestones traditionally associated with young adults.”

Employment opportunities have changed because the hiring processes have changed, yet most individuals do not realize this fact.  A process is defined as any part of an organization that inputs and transforms them into outputs in hopes of greater value to the organization than the original inputs.[4]

Robert Jacobs, Richard Chase, and Nicholas Aquilano, authors of Operations & Supply Management, note, “Understanding how processes work is essential to ensuring the competitiveness of a company.”

Yet, understanding the hiring process would be an asset to college grads who are competing with their college peers and seasoned professionals.  For most college grads, this reality makes it vital to find a good, well-paying job.  Yet, most people are in the dark about the job strategies necessary.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that employers have shifted their expectations on prospective employees: “With an abundance of workers to choose from, employers are demanding more of job candidates than ever before…To get a job, you have to have that job already.  It’s a catch-22 situation for workers – and it’s hurting companies and the economy.”  Regardless of where you stand on today’s college students, it is clear that some intervention is necessary if they are to be successful in this troubled market.

 

With the increases in college debt and decreases in significant job opportunities, both college grads and college students must understand today’s hiring process. Additionally, with the rising cost of a college education, parents cannot afford to idly sit by and watch their child wander aimlessly through college.  Individuals can help themselves by becoming knowledgeable in all aspects of the employment process.  The road will not be easy, but planning will create the right environment for success in the future.

Please discuss employment processes that have changed since you graduated. Provide valuable employment strategies to recent college grads and current college students. 

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

 


[1] “Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects” by Annalyn Kurtz

[2] “Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects” by Annalyn Kurtz

[3] “The cost of student debt loan” by Hadley Malcolm

[4] Operations & Supply Management by Robert Jacobs, Richard Chase, and Nicholas Aquilano.

 

21st Century Job Strategies

 

Approximately, 15 million people are unemployed.  Simply put, landing a job today is an extreme uphill challenge, considering the large number of graduating students combined with the rising number of the unemployed. Currently, college graduates find themselves competing with other individuals who are more seasoned and experienced for basic entry level positions in their career field. Therefore, emerging  leaders need a different type of strategy during economic turbulence.

With the fierce competition for limited jobs, many students wonder if they will be able to land a good job in the marketplace.  I understand and see it when talking to my own students. Hope is not lost.  William Bailey and I spent several months researching strategies for current and future college graduates. The results were outlined in our new book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century.  We have found a huge disconnect between what organizations are desiring in potential employees and what today’s graduates are providing.

Economic troubles in our nation and abroad continue to create an unstable and unpredictable job market. Parents across this country tell their children “get a good education and you will get a good job.” However, in this economic rollercoaster, this is not always true. US manufacturing jobs continue to evaporate as global outsourcing becomes the norm for businesses that seek to increase their profits.

According to some business estimates, employers are expected to cut 2.7 million jobs in 2009 (2 million were cut in 2008). These glooming trends make it difficult for even college students to be optimistic. However, having a good plan can increase the odds for most students in landing a good job. Opportunities will present themselves in some form in the future. Therefore, college students need to be proactive about landing a job. 

Below are strategies for college students entering the job market in an economic down-turn: 

  1. Branding
  2. Communications
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Current & well-versed
  5. Flexibility
  6. Global Citizen
  7. Job Homework
  8. Leadership
  9. Love & Passion
  10. Networking
  11. Opportunity
  12. Seasoned Worker
  13. Uniqueness

 Although many people are feeling very pessimistic about future career opportunities, hope is not lost if people are prepared for the future. Bestselling Sci-Fi author H.G. Wells explained, “’We were making the future,’ he said, and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is’.”  By taking control of the career strategy, college graduates can make a positive step in navigating these difficult economic times and landing their future jobs.

 © 2010 by Daryl D. Green