Graduates who recently accepted their diplomas - or even those looking at graduation in the next year - who don’t have jobs lined up are understandably panicking. They are entering the real world with student loan debt while looking for affordable housing in an inflated market when the costs of living and healthcare are astronomical.
These students and recent graduates may not recognize the benefits of career services once they leave campus. It s up to you to help prevent them from burning out. Share these tips with students to guide them toward a more practical and calm way of approaching their job search and securing their mental health post graduation.
Make a list of what you can control
As exciting and relieving as it is to see the end of your college career. It s also easy to feel overwhelmed when the structure that s guided your day-to-day suddenly halts post graduation. You no longer have an advisor lining up your schedule and spelling out the steps for success.
Add to that the uncertainty of the job search and the looming number of applications, resumes, and interviews, it can feel like you re a puppet bounding from one opportunity to the next, with no control at all. Rather than focusing on how many ways you have to bend to meet the expectations of recruiters and hiring managers, make a list of what you can control in the process.
- You can meal prep for the week to make sure you re eating healthy.
- You can set your alarm to get up and get ready for each day to keep up with positive habits.
- You can use intuitive, automated job search tools and resources to track your job search progress.
- You can build resume templates to make updates quick and easy.
Keep a pragmatic perspective on just how much control you have over your life. You ll feel more grounded and ready to take on new challenges every day.
Make a list of what you cannot control
For every pro there is a con, or in this case, a factor you can t control. It s essential to prepare yourself for accepting and processing the aspects of the job search process you just have to work through.
- You can t control how long it takes for a recruiter to respond to your application.
- You can t always control when and where you need to show up for an interview.
- You can t control how many interviews you need to attend.
- You can t control how long it takes for hiring teams to come to a decision.
These examples may seem obvious, but these elements of the job search process can keep you suspended in stress for weeks or even months. Coming to terms with the reality that there could be long waiting periods and inconvenient commutes or timing for interviews helps to keep you from slipping into unnecessary doubt or desperation.
You can also use this list to consider ways to stand out as a candidate. You can control how and when you follow up with recruiters and hiring managers. You can send thank you notes or check-in at appropriate intervals to assure them you re still interested in the role. You can make yourself available for interviews and show up early. You can control how you respond to the parts of the interview process you can t control.
Prioritize your list and create a strategy
Simply listing what you can control and what you need to accept you cannot change, at least at this juncture, works as a cleanse - but it’s not yet actionable. Your next step should be to create a list of priorities and strategies for approaching the job search post graduation.
How you organize your list depends on your objectives and how you work best. Do you want to complete quick easy tasks first or jump right into the most daunting project to get it out of the way?
It’s a good idea to ask for feedback on your list to be sure you didn’t miss anything or you didn’t overlook any obstacles.
Research resources to help advance your goals
Your alumni career center should have all the resources you need to create a strong action plan for your job search post graduation. Don t hesitate to lean into your career counselors for coaching and affirmation. Remember, it takes an average of 21-80 job applications to get invited to an interview according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.
You can also consider using intuitive apps that help you track your job search, interview schedule, sleep, exercise, and mental health. You don t have to do this alone. Research what resources work best for your action plan and preferences and above all, prioritize your well-being so you can effectively work toward landing your dream job.
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