4 Expert Ways You Can Help College Graduates Get Hired

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As a career counselor who helps college-aged individuals navigate jobs and internships, you know the importance of gaining relevant experience before graduation. But did you know the class of 2016 and other recent college graduates are having difficulties putting those experiences to work in the real world?

A Bureau of Labor Force Statistics survey found that the unemployment rate for 20 to 24-year-olds, the age when many have recently graduated college and are entering the workforce, is nearly twice that of 25 to 35-year-olds.

To help students succeed post graduation, here are a few tips to help your new job seekers land employment:

Go back to school

Now, most clients would probably shriek at the idea of having to go back to school, but it will help them in the long run when it comes to finding a job (and it doesn’t require sitting in a classroom).

Online certifications are useful tools in increasing employer attention, as they show a passion for learning and a dedication to the craft. You can even earn that certification at home in your pajamas — sounds like a win-win.

Join professional organizations

From alumni events to conferences, there is a wide variety of organizations for young professionals to form connections with others in their field. These are valuable connections that could lead to jobs.

A 2014 Jobvite survey found 60 percent of recruiters said they found their best candidates through referrals. Encouraging clients to attend networking events and join different associations will not only help them acclimate to their field, it could help put them in a position to find a job.

Be present online

With social media becoming more relevant than ever, all of your clients should have some sort of social media presence when on the hunt for a job.

In fact, the Jobvite survey found 93 percent of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts, and 73 percent have already used social media to hire candidates.

While it might seem effortless to maintain a social media presence, the type of content created can make or break a job offer. Although 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile, 61 percent of those reconsiderations were negative.

So urge your clients to create a catchy LinkedIn bio, start a blog about their passions and develop a personal brand. Just don’t forget to leave Saturday night off of your social media.

Volunteer

For job seekers looking to stand out, every bit helps. Volunteering for an organization or cause you are passionate about can only help you — and show an employer what your passions are outside the workplace.

Volunteering requires planning, time, and effort — all good qualities of any employee. Now whether your client chooses to volunteer at the local animal shelter or as a tutor for young kids is up to them.

What are some other tips to help 20 to 24-year-olds secure employment?

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution that gives job seekers complete control over their job search. It's available for individual users, university and military career services centers, libraries, and corporations seeking to offer outplacement assistance to former employees. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.