4 Things College DOESN’T Teach Us About The Job Search

Interviewer looks confused at college students resume.

With the millions of qualified, experienced individuals in the job market, sometimes a college degree just isn't enough to land you the dream job. Yes, college may give us tools and courses to help push through some applicant pools, but there are several lessons we've learned solely from career coaches that'll guarantee success in the job search.

We now feel like we have a leg up on other applicants through these four key tips. Read along to discover for yourself the important lessons of the job search from our career coaches. It's like a head start on the path to your dream job—who doesn't want that?

How To Network Properly

College students networks at her summer internship


How many of you have set up a LinkedIn profile because your college professors told you how important it is? I have! But, do we really know how to leverage our connections and network to our advantage?

Starting conversations with connections can be the hardest part. An easy point of contact can be to set up informational interviews with your connections. These conversations are held between you and an employee of a company you are interested in. These can be extremely beneficial in learning more about the company, hearing their experiences, and building a meaningful connection with a member of the company.

A key point to remember when reaching out to connections and networking is to never ask something of someone in your initial point of contact. This can come off in a not-so pleasant way to the person you are contacting. Make sure to build rapport with your connections before asking for any favors.

Also, make sure you don't forget the power of in-person connections. Sometimes social media networking platforms, like LinkedIn, can make us forget to expand our networks and make career moves face-to-face. Yes, COVID-19 does make this a bit harder now, but remember to always put your best foot forward in groups of strangers. You never know what connection you may find.

The Importance Of Experience, Not Just A High GPA

Young woman applies for an internship


While in college, most students are taught that GPA is the make it or break it factor within the hiring process, but this couldn't be farther from the truth.

Although GPA is an important variable, hiring managers can't get much from a few numbers once considering all the factors associated with grades. From differing school dynamics, GPA inflation, and extracurricular activities, no student's 3.6 can be the same as another student's.

When you take this information into consideration, you begin to realize the importance of experience and how it is a better indicator for a candidate than GPA. Experience shows a level of ambition and the desire to succeed that will adequately assess an applicant's ability to meet certain goals needed by that company.

Often what college students are taught in school isn't what is needed at work, so it is important to stand out by indicating practical real-life skills, when adding work experience in your resume. Once you begin adding relevant work experience to your resume, you will be set apart from other applicants and will be able to start the job equipped with knowledge and training for that role.

To gain this work experience, while in college it is important to actively seek out internships, jobs, or even mini projects related to your field. Internships are not only limited to upperclassmen, so if you see a role that fits you, go for it!

How To Fine-Tune Your Resume For The Job

Job seeker reads her resume


It can be incredibly tempting to have a one-size fits all resume for every application, but failing to customize your resume for each job can hurt your chances. You can absolutely have a template resume that you make changes to with each position. But, before you're able to do this, you need to have a rockin' outline.

Make sure your outline has the proper formatting and from there you'll easily be able to fine-tune with each new application.

Yes, we know that tailoring your resume to each position is more time consuming than always using the same copy, but we promise it'll benefit you in the long run. When you spend the extra few minutes streamlining and updating your resume to fit a certain position, employers will be able to see more clearly how you are fit for the job.

Before working with a career coach, I had no clue how important it is to customize your resume. I thought it was fine to continue updating my resume and sending that same updated version to every employer. I was totally unaware of the importance of tailoring to get through an ATS or Applicant Tracking System, which a lot of companies use to filter out applicants. Customization of your resume with keywords and experience for the specific position can help ensure that your resume makes it through the ATS.

Finding A Career Coach, Not Just A Mentor

Career Coach helps plan future goals with college studentPhoto by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

When college students seek guidance in their chosen career fields, college counselors usually steer them in the direction of a mentor. Although mentors can offer some clear direction about where they are today in their careers, it's hard for them to truly grant niche advice catered to the mentee.

I personally have over two mentors, each offering me different levels of expertise and advice, but for most college students it's hard to even find one. If you are looking for someone to truly dedicate their time to offering you step-by-step advice and one-on-one career training, consider hiring a career coach.

A career coach is pretty different compared to a mentor. Yes, they both provide you with experience, insights, and ideas, but they overall serve very different purposes. A career coach usually offers individuals guidance in order to steer career change or launch clients into the job market.

Imagine a guidance counselor solely accountable for your professional career growth. That's a career coach.

A career coach could be a pivotal addition to college students looking to spear launch their careers. Yes, you have to pay monthly fees for this advanced career guidance, but think about the bigger picture. Once you hire someone to show you the ropes of navigating the job market and the how to's of standing out in a pool of applications, a career coach will be worth the investment.

With tools like Work it Daily that offer career coaches, useful career support groups, and hundreds of blog posts with useful advice, it's a no-brainer that a career coach will help launch your career.

As you navigate the 2020 job market as a college student or recent grad, it is essential for you to look for resources that will benefit your career success early on. Although colleges have their students best interest in mind, they are still running a profitable business and may leave out essential details that will not benefit them. From networking tools to the benefits of hiring a career coach, take a look at tools like, Work it Daily that will steer you in the right direction of your next career endeavor.

Do you want to join our career growth club?

Work It Daily has a team of trained career support specialists that will work one-on-one with you to come up with a specialized plan to help you. All of our memberships offer private one-on-one coaching along with unlimited networking potential, and a library of exclusive career courses. Additionally, you'll also receive unlimited resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reviews by our trained specialists as part of your membership.

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