It used to be that when you left school – and I mean high school – there was a job waiting for you, be it in a factory, a high street business or even an entry position in a business. A university degree was a luxury.
Those days are all gone now. If you want to get anywhere further than the corner shop you’ve pretty much got to have a college degree. Often even that’s not enough if you’re ambitious. Then you’ve got to worry about your GPA, your extra-curricular activities and what courses you took. Even that might not be enough, with people looking at ever more and ever more unexpected things. Here are some things you might not have known you need to look out for.
You’ve got to be careful with what you post online! When hiring people, even new interns, many companies take a quick look through what you’ve posted online. From this they figure out your political persuasion, your propensity to party and your goofiness. In short, they figure out if you’re hireable. One unfortunate tag, one ill-considered public post can cost you your dream job. And yet most people don’t even think about what profile picture they put up when they are applying for jobs! Don’t waste all those years you spent at university with an ill-considered profile shot!
When only a small percentage of people were going out and seeing the world, gap years might have looked good on your CV. Nowadays, though with the formerly cultural learning experience having been turned into a yearlong spring break, a gap year will not help. You’ll forget how to learn, how to sit still for longer than 10 minutes and what it feels like to be sober at noon. What’s more, those days spent on the beach matter, as others who chose to be more career focused shoot ahead and up the career ladder. And do you really want to come back to answer to the person who was goofing off behind you in class?
This might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but you don’t know everything. In fact, you’re terrible at predicting what’s going to happen. And yet, many young people think (and more importantly act like) they have all the answers. This is fantastic if you’re at a rally, or Thanksgiving dinner, or a university lecture. It is going to impress people less, however, when you’re at a job interview. Arrogance and overconfidence are not going to impress your potential employer, as it suggest you are closed off and not willing to learn new things and accept new ideas. So when approaching employers show them how smart you are by leaving your ego at the door.
Even after you’ve spent three years or more in college and even after you’ve put in all that effort to make your CV look good, it can take a manner of minutes and one bad decision to ruin it all and make yourself un-hirable. Always be careful of the little things and remember to do your Is and cross your Ts.
It’s not all bad news, however. Because even if you get a dozen ‘no’s it doesn’t really matter, just as long as you get one ‘yes’. So yes, it’s scary, yes there’s a lot to keep track of, but you’ve got time and the numbers are on your side. So don’t let yourself get discouraged. Just like everything it’s a learning experience and you will get better.