Dear College Grads: This is What Your School Didn’t Teach You About Job Searching

College offers an unparalleled opportunity to dig deep into a subject area that fascinates you, learn how it connects to other areas of knowledge, and build the personal and professional connections that will sustain you well into your working years.

Unfortunately, colleges often fall short in preparing students or graduates for the realities of the job search.

While college career centers try to help connect students with available jobs, they’re staffed by college students and counselors, not by professional recruiters. They’re often behind the curve on the latest changes to the job search process. As a result, they often leave students to their own devices when it comes to finding a job.

Here are several common obstacles your school may not have mentioned and how to navigate them successfully:

1. All jobs are not created equal.

Sure, job descriptions may look remarkably similar on paper. Compensation offered might look about the same, too.

However, no two jobs are the same. Each company’s internal culture – its values, attitudes, and way of doing things – is unique. You may find work is easy and interesting at one company, and a miserable struggle at another, even when the work itself is fundamentally identical. The culture makes the difference.

Staffing firms specialize in understanding not only the job, but the culture. They also strive to understand what helps you do your best work, so they can match you with a culture where you’ll love what you do.

2. All compensation packages are not created equal, either.

Ever look at a job posting and think “This salary is $5,000 higher than that one; this must be the better job?” Think again.

Salary is only one piece of the puzzle. When considering any job offer, you’ll need to look at the entire compensation package: pay, benefits, and “nontraditional” perks like telecommuting or flextime. Consider cost of living as well to make sure you’re really getting value from your pay. A recruiter can help you compare offers and make these crucial value determinations.

3. Employers have unspoken rules.

Many college grads are aware the job hunt feels like a game of “hide the ball.” You’re trying to get noticed by employers who all seem to have their own rules about when, where, how, what and whom they want to see.

To demystify the game, work with a staffing partner. Recruiters specialize in knowing the ways in which each employer does their hiring. If the employer prefers resumes in a certain format, or wants people who can cross-train easily, your recruiter will know – and help you ensure nothing distracts the employer from your skills.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, we help recent college grads and midcareer professionals connect with some of the best employers in St. Paul. If you’re looking for a great new job in the Twin Cities, contact a Minnesota recruiting specialist today.

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