David is a recent college graduate. He’s just graduated with honors from a well-known university with a dedicated Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications. He’s done a couple of internships with reputable companies and was the president of the marketing organization within the school.
He’s excited to have the opportunity to expand his horizons, envisioning companies lining up outside the door to interview and offer him exorbitant salaries based on his carefully fine-tuned qualifications.
David even took an interview class that allowed him to craft his interviewing skills, both on the phone and in person.
He takes the time to carefully polish his resume, highlight achievements and his GPA and writes an engaging and unique cover letter for every job he applies for.
With all of this done, David sits back and waits. Surely his email and phone will be all but blowing up soon enough! The world is his oyster.
But then, nothing happens. His phone doesn’t ring. The only emails he receives are automated notifications letting him know that he’s been passed on in favor of another candidate. This happens over and over again, and soon David’s bravado and confidence begin to dissipate.
The issue that many college graduates are experiencing is twofold. On the one hand, the job market continues to be competitive. With more startups cropping up each year than ever before, opportunities are plentiful but the sheer number of applications received allows the hiring managers to be highly selective.
The other issue here is that companies, particularly those looking to fill a results-driven position such as sales or marketing, are beginning to value results and performance over just education alone.
So here is what David could have done differently or better in his job seeking process, and what other college graduates and/or job seekers can do as they continue to find the perfect position to advance their careers.
Rather than solely playing up education, play up as many results-oriented highlights as possible. Get creative — some college graduates may not have a ton of experience, but there may be some examples to highlight.
For example, David was the president of the marketing club at his university. If he had thought back through any competitions or key events he was involved with, he may have found some results to highlight. This could be a business plan that won awards or a social media strategy that was implemented by the school.
Many companies now are results driven, and they want to feel confident that the person they are hiring has the competence to achieve those high performing results they seek. And unfortunately, simply having an education is not always enough proof that the person will be able to deliver.
So job seekers, take a look at the resume you’re submitting for job applications. Does it highlight what kind of results that have been achieved under your supervision? Does it show how much performance businesses can expect from their new hire?
It can be difficult to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants vying for a job, but with a bit of searching sometimes even the freshest college graduate can find some results to enhance their resumes and applications with.