In an article titled “Why College Graduates Still Can’t Get a Job,” acclaimed careers and higher education writer and speaker Donald Asher attempts to offer a possible solution for college graduates having difficulty finding a job in this tough economy.
Asher notes that most graduates he has come into contact with have had good internships, graduated from excellent schools and possess excellent skill sets. Yet, instead of a job most candidates find themselves with notable frustration at the inability to break into the work industry.
“One of the biggest errors job seekers make is to spend all their time looking for work online” says Mr. Asher who suggests job seekers see the job search much too similar to their own worlds. Admittedly stated our generation is used to doing everything online ranging from submitting homework assignments to professors to finding the best price for a spring break destination.
Mr. Asher notes that because the everyday activities and job searches most of us conduct are online we lack what he calls the necessary IRL, “in real life,” that includes human contact and interaction. Mr. Asher’s inclusions of statistics revealing 27 percent of those hired come from employee referrals proves the importance of IRL and leads him to leave his young ambitious with these parting words:
“So, college grads, modify your efforts, get out of that basement, and make some connections”.
Asher might have convinced us that we need to leave our computers and venture into the world, but how are recent graduates who often lack professional connections supposed to gain these very crucial referrals Mr. Asher says we need to land a job?
The possibility of gaining more human interaction seems impossible when we meet recruiters and employees who encourage us to visit the company website instead of inviting us in for a meeting.
When we get to these websites we quickly find no trace of the people we meet and statements that advise against calling or making on-site visits make us reluctant to make human contact.
But that is where persistence and creativity must come in.
Here are a few suggestions feel free to add your own:
- Look to apply for different types of jobs in different places. Don’t look for the perfect job, look for a job that will allow you to get additional skills
- Join professional organizations related to your field
- If possible work on your public speaking by joining Toastmasters
- Take a class at a community college
- Find a part-time job
- Get involved in community activities such as volunteering and church functions which allows you to meet people who are involved and network
- Write for the local newspaper or start a blog
- Stay current in the news and know what’s going on in the world
- Pay attention to community newsletters that might list seminars going on
- Reconnect with old friends of the family and community members
- Follow up with the career services department at your school
- Look to return to school and since you have time take post-graduate tests to get them out of the way while your brain is still fresh
- See if there is anything alumnae can help you with
- Attend job fairs
- Stay in contact with former employers
- Look to find mentors in your desired career and find websites with information on them
- Volunteer for a local state representative, elected official or upcoming campaign
Written as a response to Donald Asher’s article Why College Graduates Still Can’t Get a Job
Read the article and learn more about Mr. Asher using the following links: