A mother called me regarding help for her son who graduated from college in June. She asked if I was a recruiter and could find a job for her son. I explained what I do as a resume writer and career coach. Then I cautioned her that few recruiters place new college graduates. Those who do usually recruit on campus before graduation. The mother then told me that she and her son wanted to find a recruiter because that would be the easiest way for him to find work.
I’m sure this mother loves her son, but she’s doing two things that are not helping him. First, she’s pushing him to follow a passive job search. That path doesn’t work for most people. It’s especially hard for new grads. Worse still, she’s the one making the calls and trying to find a job for him. That’s his responsibility. What she is doing may be an act of love, but it is one that will hurt her son’s career. He needs to do the heavy lifting and take charge of his future.
I was helping a recent graduate today, and she made the mistake many of her peers make by saying, "I have no experience." It is important to treat professional skills and knowledge learned in school as something an employer needs. Avoid referring to classes or teacher, which only underscores that you were a student. Instead, in both your resume and during interviews, present skills and knowledge as qualities that you can apply on the job. If you're stuck on what you have taken from your degree, get together with some friends and talk about how you can apply what you did in school to what you will do on the job. Another good source of information is job postings. Collect 5-10 job posts for the kind of job you will be seeking. Highlight what the employer is looking for and match it to what you have learned. Don't look back. Look forward. Practice showing an employer how you are ready to go to work. That's your first job.