5 Job Search Tips for Today’s College Grads

Tjai-Nielsen3By: Dr. Tjai Nielsen, director of executive education and associate professor of management


Millennials are entering into a multigenerational workforce that is constantly rediscovering the unique strengths of young workers.

The good news is that young HPU alumni are overcoming some generational misperceptions about Generation Y and successfully launching their dream careers.

Today’s college graduates, including those who recently graduated from HPU in December and those who will finish their studies in May, are up against enormous competition. To succeed, they need to be prepared to tackle the workforce in every way. Here are five key steps for today’s college graduates, their parents, and anyone who desires to re-launch their career:


1. Visualize the big picture.

Take a few minutes to consider your most significant life goals and dreams. It is critical for millennials to be committed to landing their dream job and this starts with what they ideally envision for their lives.

Parents: Parents can actually get in the way of their millennials when it comes to their dreams. Parents frequently provide more pragmatic advice and unintentionally discourage their kids from dreaming big. Remember to encourage instead.

Rev Up Your Resume Sept. 10


2. Create a “perfect” resume.

This seems straightforward, but some studies indicate that more than 50 percent of millennials currently have resumes that don’t adequately communicate their value to employers. Graduates need to consider how their strengths and experiences will add value to what employers need and want. Services on college campuses, such as the Office of Career and Professional Development at HPU, can help students realize how their experiences – from volunteerism, to class projects, to internships and beyond – translate into value for an employer.

Parents: It is important for parents to help by simply being great copy editors. Parents should pretend they are hiring and then carefully review their child’s resume with that level of scrutiny.


3. Effectively communicate your value proposition.

It is essential for millennials to develop a clear value proposition in their resumes, but what is even more important is that they have the ability to communicate that value proposition in an interview. The critical importance of interpersonal communication is sometimes lost on millennials because they have grown up with smartphones and social media. All college graduates should emerge from their journey having undergone several mock interviews.

Parents: Parents should also practice interviewing their millennial job hunters while capturing the interview on camera. Seeing yourself in an interview is an invaluable tool for practicing and perfecting your approach.


top-5-social-accounts4. Be mindful of your social media presence.

Most millennials are constantly on social media and must be aware of their “social footprint.” They should understand how people see them through social media since employers check regularly, and keep their posts positive and productive to build a great brand for themselves. Lastly, they should actively use their networks to identify opportunities and use different networks appropriately.

Parents: Parents should search their child’s name on the Web to understand if they have a social media brand and if so, what it is. Even though parents may not be as active on social media, they are often good at doing Web-based research and can help with understanding how an employer might see their child via social media.


5. Ask for help.

It is very rare that we accomplish our goals alone. Millennials should think of someone or several people who support them with encouragement, coaching and advice. Social support is one of the most critical ingredients necessary for achieving goals.

Parents: Parents should positively encourage their child through their job search process. A strong support network can be invaluable. For example, parents can connect their millennials with people in their own networks in order to learn more about various careers and job-hunting tips.


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