10 Job Search Mistakes New College Grads Make


Searching for a job right out of college can be a very frustrating experience, especially when it seems that you are having absolutely no luck at all, no matter what you do. Maybe you are making job search mistakes, and you aren’t even aware of it. You could very well be sabotaging yourself before you even apply for any jobs. Read on to learn more about some of the job search mistakes that new college grads make, and that you should try to avoid making yourself.

  • Narrowing Your Focus – There are two major mistakes that grads make when it comes to what they are focused on. Some have so many criteria that it makes it difficult to even find companies to apply to. Others don’t have any focus at all, and are applying willy-nilly. What you need to do is find a happy medium.
  • Position Expectations – Some grads think that because they have graduated from college that they don’t have to start at the bottom. Most people do have to work their way up, so don’t expect to be hired for anything other than entry-level positions. You need to prove to an employer that you deserve better positions, and this is going to take time and effort.
  • Salary Expectations – You aren’t going to have an awesome salary right off the bat. Your salary is like your position. It will likely be low at first, and as you show your worth, your salary is going to increase. Expect an entry-level salary for any job you apply for, and when you get hired, you can be happy that you have a job and a salary when other students are still searching.
  • Communications – It is so important to make sure that your written communications (email, resume, etc.) are perfect. It can’t have any typos. If resume writing isn’t your forte, you may want to take advantage of a resume writing services expert to help.
  • Only Applying Online – A lot of people make the mistake of only using the Internet to find work. While it does help, you still have to get out there and pound the pavement in order to find the right job.
  • Not Using the Guidance Office – Not nearly enough students take advantage of the job finding services offered by their school guidance offices. They can help you with everything from creating resumes and cover letters to preparing you for interviews to having lists of jobs that are available to students and recent graduates.
  • Your Resume – It is important to create customized resumes for various companies. Not all resumes will suit all types of jobs you are applying for. You should consider using resume templates to make this easier.
  • Professionalism – Always be professional in all aspects of your life. Clean up your social media profiles, voicemail, etc. What you think looks cute may not appear cute to a potential employer. They do check out Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they don’t really want to see your party pics.
  • The Interview – These days, many college grads expect companies to be more laid back, and they go into interviews with a laid back attitude and casually dressed. Do not do this. Always dress appropriately, and carry yourself in a professional manner. If you get the job, there will be plenty of time later to find out how laid back the company is and what they expect.
  • Not Networking Enough – Don’t discount anyone when it comes to your job search. You never know who is going to know someone who knows someone who can get you a job. Network with everyone you meet, and don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help and advice.


Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.


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