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Do you really need college?

When you’re in high school, you are told that you need to go to college to get a good job. You’re faced with College Prep trainings, ACT’s and the long college selection process. It’s a long road, but in the end it will all be worth it”, isn’t it?

Not always. Lots of college graduates face the same obstacle while looking for a job: finding that first job. Most companies want too much from applicants, while some companies aren’t specific enough about what they need. Most college graduates turn to internships or a referral from colleagues to find a job, but many of them end up working for less money than what they’re worth. While this can be annoying, the job search after college doesn’t have to be a failure.

Let’s have a look at Sarah, for example. She went to college for 5 years. She has two degrees in Marketing and Accounting. She has some experience from internships, but not a lot. She graduated last spring, and has sent her resume out to dozens of recruiters in the past few months. She has taken classes on job preparation and resume preparation. She has even talked to the career counselors at her college to make sure she will be prepared to enter the real world when the time comes. Still, she hasn’t gotten a single response from anyone who wants to hire her.

This is annoying for her because she studied hard to be prepared for a career and to succeed in the real world. It’s dually difficult for her because her uncle works in the automotive Department at a big box retailer and makes almost $50,000 a year, with no college education. She can’t even find an entry level position for $20,000 where she can work her way up. What is she doing that is so wrong?

For starters, She is sending the same resume to every employer. In addition, she has a generic cover letter that accompanies her resume. She has everything that a position would require in her resume and cover letter, but she isn’t directing her words to each employer.

Employers want to know what you can do for them and every job listing is different. Consequently it is essential that you adapt your resume and cover letter to each job you apply to. She needs to look at keywords that are in the job announcements and use them in her resume writing. She also needs to look specifically for beginner positions, because she only has that one internship under her belt.

Another helpful tool that she can use is using her inexperience to her advantage. By this, we simply mean she can take the time to emphasize her lack of real work experience, and give it a positive spin. For example, because of her lack of experience, she can fully be trained to a company’s specific needs. She’s not set in her ways, and has no routine that has to be broken. This sounds much better than “I’ve never worked in this field before.”

Resume writing can be challenging, as much as looking for a job. However, as long as you provide a polished resume that makes you stand out, you can ensure that your phone will be ringing in no time.

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