Employment is the main goal of many college and university graduates. In an ideal world, fresh graduates land jobs that suit them best right after college. In reality, young jobseekers struggle to land entry-level opportunities due to many factors.
Reasons Why Fresh Graduates Fail to Land a Job
1. Increasing competition
The competition for entry-level positions is no longer restricted to fresh graduates as professionals with experiences are lining up for entry-level opportunities too.
Between fresh graduates and experienced workers, most recruiters prefer the latter because they are more prepared and have the standard work ethics companies look for.
2. Sending in unpolished CV
Most fresh graduates use resumes instead of CVs. Young jobseekers aren’t even aware of what a CV is.
A resume is a business document that contains a summary of the applicant’s educational background, experiences, skills, and qualifications. It is tailored to target specific job opportunities and is 1 to 2 pages long.
Curriculum vitae (CV) is a detailed version of a resume. It lists all the applicant’s skills, experiences, professional affiliations, and such.
This business document isn’t tailored to a specific job opportunity and is normally 2 to 3 pages long.
Recruiters are often busy that they often skip reviewing resumes and CVs that aren’t filled with necessary information. If you present an unpolished CV or resume during an interview, then you’ll likely fail to ace the interview.
Polishing CVs are necessary to get your foot in the door and compete with other applicants.
Here is a list of necessary details that must be included in a CV:
- Contact details (name, professional email, contact number, home address)
- Career objective
- Educational background
- Skills and knowledge
- Work experience
The other sections that can be included are:
3. Having ineffective communication skills
Many fresh grads lack communication skills and it becomes evident during job interviews. This is one reason why recruiters reject inexperienced applicants. Communicating effectively is a skill that takes time to develop.
Here are the best tips to improve your communication skills:
- Keep it simple and concise. The important key to communicating is a simple, straightforward language. Avoid using jargons and adding unnecessary phrases to deliver a clear message.
- Engage with the other person. A conversation solicits feedback and opinion from the other person. Keep in mind that engaging with other people is another key aspect of having effective communication skills.
- Develop listening skills. Listening is an important aspect when conversing with people. Listening allows a person to understand the other person better. Having great listening skills will contribute to an effective communication.
- Respond accordingly. This tip is related to having good listening skills. Active listening helps people converse and respond better to the topic of the conversation.
- Maintain eye contact. This tip applies to all kinds of speaking engagements—one-or-one, group, or conference. Keeping eye contact helps build credibility and demonstrates care to the listeners.
4. Lacking confidence
Many young applicants lack confidence. There are various theories as to why but the number 1 reason is their lack of experience. Note that every fresh graduate has working experience in the form of on-the-job training.
Some have more work experience than others because of extracurricular activities, volunteer projects, and part-time jobs. Overcome lack of confidence by accepting you as you are. Then take steps to better yourself in areas where you are lacking.
5. Being overconfident
While many fresh grads suffer from lack of confidence, there are graduates that suffer from overconfidence.
Overconfidence is considered worse than having a lack of confidence. Acting smug because other applicants don’t have any redeeming qualities and skills attached to their name is akin.
Here’s a list of the qualities an overconfident person has:
- Taking pride in something that doesn’t bring a lot of value to anyone
- Exaggeration in narrating experiences
6. Wearing inappropriate interview attire
Arriving for a job interview wearing inappropriate interview attire creates a bad impression. Here’s an array of attires that are considered inappropriate for a job interview:
- Sleeveless tops
- Backless and strapless tops
- Revealing tops
- Shorts and miniskirts
- Running shoes
- Stilettos and overly high heels
- Slippers or flip-flops
Here’s the perfect example of the proper attire to wear during an interview:
- For men: plain collared shirts or with simple prints, presentable pants, and flat shoes.
- For women: collared blouse or polo shirt, slacks, or pencil skirts not shorter from 2 inches above the knees, and closed footwear with a maximum of 2-inch heel.
7. Being late
Interviewers are very busy people. Arriving late and unruly for a job interview creates an unprofessional image.
Ensuring you’ve dressed appropriately, well-groomed, and are on time will show the interviewers that you are already developing good working habits.
To avoid being late for a job interview, time your travel strategically and leave time for adjustments in case of traffic or bad weather.
8. Having poor job interview skills
Many fresh applicants struggle to answer questions during a job interview. This is a common scenario that recruiters experience on a daily basis.
They fail to communicate better and present themselves better when already in the hot seat. Having great job interview skills means you have to have a combination of great communication skills, interpersonal skills, and a sense of professionalism.
Anyone can develop these skills through time and practice. The most common way to develop these is through rehearsing again and again.
Another important factor that impacts an applicant’s interview is research. Researching about the company in advance isn’t enough.
It’s important to learn the job interview process and research about the common questions interviewers ask applicants during a job interview.
It’s important to research about the process of the job interview and the kind of questions interviewers usually ask. This way, young seekers like yourself can prepare in advance and can start developing composure in order to hide your nervousness.
9. Lacking experience
Young job seekers fail to include every experience they have during their scholastic years. Note that experience is an experience.
Part-time jobs, volunteering projects, and extracurricular activities are considered experiences that help young applicants develop multiple interpersonal skills which are valuable as hard skills.
Other experiences graduates are advised to include their OJT and thesis.
These experiences surely brought great and valuable insight regarding different company cultures, important work ethics, needed interpersonal skills, and valuable knowledge in completing simple administrative and clerical tasks.
10. Having poor MS Office skills
This is a must-have skill most hiring managers look for in an applicant. MS Office is used across all industries and applies to many job positions.
Lacking MS Office skills will bring the applicants to the end of the pile of qualified applicants. Mastering the basic uses of each MS Office tool will give fresh graduates an advantage as most professionals still lack this skill.
Here are the best MS Office tools to master:
11. Failing to send follow-ups
Time and time again, young job seekers prove that they are unaware of the unwritten rules in the working world. Sending follow-up emails is one of them.
The necessity to send follow-ups are vital in every candidate’s application. Failing to send follow-up messages regarding their current standing for the job position or the availability of job offer can cost you time and other valuable opportunities.
Take courage and craft a simple email. Then hit send. It’s as easy as that.