Job Search for College Grads

Job Search for College Grads

When I was the Director of the Career Center at Columbus State University in Georgia, I had a cartoon hanging by my desk. It was two obviously concerned parents standing next to their son in his graduation cap and gown. The caption was the son saying, “What? Look for a job after all I’ve been through?” Clearly, for some, the job search is an afterthought in the matriculation process.

The Basement is off Limits

Parents: Here’s what I know: You just spent a heap of money getting Junior through a four-year degree. You love Junior with all your heart and you want more than anything to see Junior succeed in a great job he loves.

And, to you, success does NOT include Junior taking up residency in your basement.

Fear of the Unknown

Graduates: Here’s what I know about you: You’re scared of what’s next, especially if you haven’t spent time preparing for your career while you were still in school. I’m not talking about going to class, I’m talking about attending seminars to learn how to write a resume, how to interview, how to network. Perhaps you decided to sleep in when your university was having its annual job fair.

So maybe Junior has to spend some time in the basement. Here’s how to minimize Junior’s freeloading:

## Parents:

  1. Ask to see evidence of the job search Junior is conducting. Junior needs a plan of action, a strategy. He also needs some concrete daily and weekly goals. Be his accountability partner.
  1. Help him in any way you can; if you’re a great interviewer—practice with him. If you have a strong network—introduce him to some folks. Perhaps you can help him develop a job search strategy.
  1. Encourage him. Junior’s confidence needs to remain high during his job search, and you can play a key role with this.

  2. DON’T conduct Junior’s job search for him. We call these people “helicopter parents.” Don’t be one.

## Graduates:

  1. You may have access to your university’s career services office after you graduate, so check into this.
  1. Ask for help from professors, your parents’ friends…make your job search known to those around you.
  1. Treat your job search like a job. Schedule your time effectively. What activities can you do in the evening? Save your daytime hours for person-to-person interaction, such as attending networking events and calling leads.
  1. Set specific goals, and reward yourself. Many people wait until they find a job to reward themselves; I encourage you to give yourself small rewards for achieving your daily and weekly goals.

## A Final Word for Parents

One way to help Junior is to retain the services of a professional resume writer and job search coach, such as me. It can be a worthwhile investment, considering how much this education has already cost you and how much you want your big screen t.v. back.

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