Mar 22, 2020 in Coaching

College Grads Can't Find Jobs: Here's WHY

The real reason college graduates are not finding and landing jobs after graduation.

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College graduates have spent around four years pursuing a profession from the comforts of a classroom/dorm room with the hopes that once they graduate, a job offer in their chosen field will follow. As they leave school, they are now well equipped with a degree in their hands, full of optimism and the drive to find a job that fits their qualifications. You can sense the enthusiasm they have for the career they want to build. But when the vigorous job hunt begins, many lose that enthusiasm and feel lost, confused and frustrated.

The truth is it can be difficult to stay motivated when morale is low. Then comes the common belief among recent graduates that “good jobs for college graduates just don’t exist!” In my line of work, I have heard this one too many times. But college grads don’t have to feel hopeless. Trust me, jobs for you do exist! So if you find yourself asking, "Why can't I find a job?" know that you're not alone, and certainly not out of options. 

I am of the firm belief that people should always focus on factors they CAN CONTROL and should take into consideration (but not dwell on) factors they cannot control. That is why when I hear a recent college graduate (or any job seeker) say, “the job market sucks,” or “there are no jobs out there for me,” I advise them to look at themselves first and think about the factors in their job search that they can control.


On that note, here are some of the common mistakes that college graduates make when applying that hinder them from landing employment after graduation:

  • Applying for the wrong jobs

Some recent college graduates apply for jobs that are seeking candidates with 3-5 years of work experience as opposed to 0-2 which is more of an entry-level position. If you are applying for jobs that are asking for 3-5 or even 10 years of work experience, you are wasting your time and your energy. Always remember to stick to applying for jobs that are looking for entry-level candidates or for candidates with zero to two years of work experience that also suit your skills. Those are the jobs that you should be applying for.

  • Using one resume to apply for multiple positions

I will not point fingers here because I fell victim to this when I graduated from college as well. I had one resume and I 'sprayed and prayed.' I sent it out as many times as I could, hoping that it would land into the hands of an employer and that somebody would hire me. That is the wrong approach. Trust me, you are wasting your time. If a job is worth applying for, it is worth customizing your resume specifically for that job. So if you have one resume and you are sending it out to multiple employers, that could be part of the reason why you are struggling to find a job after graduation.

  • Not following the instructions in the job description

If an employer is asking you to apply online but also to send your resume and cover letter via email, do just that. It may be tedious, but if a job is worth applying for, it is also worth going through all the instructions in the job description to properly apply for that job. So many candidates get eliminated within the first round simply because they do not follow the instructions in the job description. Don’t let that be you. Keep in mind that following instructions can be your prospective employer’s first simple yet impactful test to narrow down the job candidates.

  • Not looking for opportunities to learn and grow

Some recent college graduates may think that they are entitled to an amazing job with great pay after graduation for all the time and effort that they have invested in getting that degree. I wish that was the case, but in the job market, you have to be willing to start somewhere, put in the time and effort and energy, and work your way up. Don’t be afraid to look for opportunities to learn and to grow, to prove yourself, to show your skills, and to learn from experts in your industry or field. The more professional work experience you have, the better it will be for your career moving forward. So, don’t be afraid to start somewhere, and to find good opportunities to learn and to grow within your space.

Take a moment to re-evaluate your recent job search and see if you are making any of these mistakes.  If your strategy to find a job isn’t working, take a different approach or consult an expert. Remember to focus more on the factors that you can control and worry less on the ones you can’t control. Jobs for recent college graduates DO exist, but they favor the bold, the strategic, and the relentless. There IS HOPE for recent college graduates!

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