As most college graduates know, finding a job can be nothing short of brutal. You get your diploma and all of a sudden you become a real adult who needs a real adult job. Months go by, you might find yourself living with the parents again, but still, despite your best attempts, you just can’t seem to land a job. As the numbers in your bank account get smaller, you might question the point of your education and yourself, but especially why finding a good job seems so damn hard. While it’s easy to blame the economy, sometimes it’s just you. Cover your bases with these 10 reasons why you might still be jobless.
1. You just don’t want it bad enough
You are fresh out of college and you know you need to be working, but when you really think about it, you dread the thought of having a real job; you approach it like a slug actually. Well we don’t blame you- in college you lived on your own terms, pretty much made your own schedule, and now you are expected to show up on time and work at a desk all day doing things you probably hate. The harsh reality though is that you aren’t in college anymore and in order to get a job you have to get over yourself and actually try finding a job like your life depends on it.
2. You have terrible networking skills
Say you aren’t the most social of young job seekers, or people for that matter. Your reluctance to talk to real people will dramatically decrease your opportunities in finding a job. As you reply to general job ads at home on your computer, other job seekers are straight up calling places asking for jobs, checking out job fairs, and hitting up every connection they have for open positions. Take a deep breath, show that you are different, and don’t be afraid to talk to real people to find a job, otherwise your emailed resumés will continue to be one of a thousand others that are sorted into the trash.
3. Your life is too easy
Sometimes we are very fortunate to have really supportive parents- they give us a place to stay after college and they never say no to the donations of the green kind. But while they only want the best for us, we end up getting too cozy with all that cushion and lose sight of what we really need to be doing. Remember to stay disciplined and that your job is to get a job. It’s best to get back in the job game before your parents have to remind you by cutting you off.
4. You are bad at interviews
You’ve managed to land interviews but you find yourself counting the hours for a callback that isn’t coming. The problem is that you never know what you did wrong unless you manage to call your interviewer and ask for feedback. Remember that an interview takes preparation; do the research on the company you applied at and dazzle them with your knowledge of the company and the position. Prepare your answers to interview questions before hand and don’t go on about your personal problems or why you hated your last boss. Keep your answers clear, concise and confident; with a little charm and humor you may just dominate that interview.
5. You need to get your papers in order
Applying to a job takes a great cover letter and a resumé. When heading into an interview, bring extra copies of your resumé, professional references, and any other documents that employer might request. Don’t forget to ask your interviewer for a business card so you can write them a thank you email or letter after the interview. Get these documents ready when you need them and you are set, plain and simple.
6. You are greedy
Okay, sometimes it’s not greed. Some companies seem like they might as well pay you with pocket lint or old Halloween candy; the reality is that even as much as $20 dollars an hour isn’t enough to survive on your own in some places. You try to get more by setting your wage requirements higher, but to an employer you look like every other entitled kid from the Y generation. Unfortunately there is no way around this system. If you are lucky enough to land a high paying job after college, congrats! If you can land any job, take it, because even a little money is better than no money and you can at least keep earning until you find a better opportunity. Hey, you can always become an entrepreneur.
7. You need to clean yourself up
In a traditional sense, looking the part of a future employee at an interview means looking clean and professional in a suit (or business skirt and blouse for the ladies). Hide those tattoos, trim or shave those beards, and maybe leave the more exotic piercings you have out. Reeking of cigarettes may also be a great way to turn off an employer- do yourself a favor and hold off on smoking until after the interview. Look the part of a successful future employee and you might just find yourself with a job.
8. You have a bad attitude
Finding a job is stressful to say the least. Getting turned down or never getting called back feels like the world is constantly dumping on you. This can make a person angry or depressed which will never help you land a job. However hard the journey has been to get to that interview, leave your personal issues at the door. While employers are looking for bright, happy, and confident candidates, they also won’t take you if you come off as a cocky and arrogant know it all. I mean, it just makes the rest of us look bad.
9. You aren’t being truthful
The last thing you want to appear to a potential employer is shady. Maybe you didn’t get the highest GPA in school or you didn’t actually work somewhere you said you did, but you really want that job so you change up some things on your resumé. Big mistake- all employers have to do is check your college transcripts or call your past employers and you are done. Don’t put yourself in this position by lying to a potential employer. It’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?
10. You aren’t qualified
Here’s one that sometimes isn’t so obvious. Having a fresh bachelors degree doesn’t always make you qualified for those higher paying jobs, but it can make you over-qualified for entry level jobs. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Fresh out of college with no work experience but you can’t land an entry level job because employers don’t see you as a safe bet; they assume you will eventually find a job more suited to your education and ditch them the first chance you get. They would rather hire someone that they know will be a safer bet to stick around long term. Finding the right type of job is key here, so aiming too low will hurt you just as much as aiming too high, but always prove that you are worth the investment. To all those who find themselves in this rat race, keep at it and good luck!