How have you been keeping busy since graduation? If you haven’t landed a job yet, here’s what you should be doing to appear more attractive to employers.
If you have a May 2014 graduation date atop your resume, you may still be on the . When you first graduated, this was a proud accomplishment of four years of hard work. Just a few months later, the sheen has worn off and there’s no time for congratulatory salutations. Now the dreaded question is, “What have you been doing since you graduated?”
This is something that must — and can! — be turned around quickly. The longer you’re unemployed, the harder it will be to explain to employers why you’ve been jobless for so long.
Don’t despair if you haven’t landed a job just yet. You have plenty of options to kickstart your career while you’re . In fact, this period is a once-in-a-lifetime window of opportunity to prove yourself as a hard working go-getter who’d be a catch for any employer.
So how do you make this happen? Here are three ways the May 2014 graduate can prove their worth despite their current lack of experience.
A productive and meaningful way to pass the time is to take continuing education courses. MOOCs and local community colleges are great places to turn to for this type of learning.
Maybe you didn’t have the time to take a class you wanted to in college. Why not do it now? Or, maybe you’re just now discovering you lack a certain skill that would be helpful for your career. and are great resources to learn technical skills like coding. are a great place to learn public speaking skills.
How about becoming , or certified? Finishing college doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning. Employers will definitely recognize your thirst for knowledge and commitment to personal and professional improvement.
Work more than 1 job
If you show up to your job on time and don’t leave until your work is done, that could be classified as “hard working.” But shouldn’t you be doing those things anyway?
If you want to demonstrate how hardworking you are, work more than . I’m not suggesting you work 80 hours each week. But you could probably put in more than 40.
Working more than one job shows employers you’re truly hardworking. This also shows your ability to manage a busy schedule and adapt to different working environments as well as demonstrates an I-can-handle-anything attitude for new projects.
Demonstrate an “achiever pattern”
Every recruiter has their eyes out for candidates who have a strong achiever pattern. ( to tweet this thought.) They try to uncover this trait in interviews by asking about your academic, professional and personal endeavors. An achiever pattern is marked by your motivation to take on extra responsibilities, create opportunity where there originally was none and add value to a business or person.
Does your family business need help with social media marketing? Could your local summer camp benefit from some new programming? Could the non-profit where you volunteer use an extra hand in event and fundraising planning? Initiating and leading projects like these show your desire to bring improvements to organizations and drive results.
Even if you haven’t landed a job just yet, this interim period is the perfect time to create opportunities for yourself to show to potential employers that you’re a catch. Challenge yourself and prove to everyone — including yourself — what you have to offer.
And lastly, congratulations unemployed May 2014 graduate! Several doors are open in front of you, and it’s up to you to walk through them and towards your career.
Amber Hanson-Rumbaugh is a Corporate Recruiter at RKG, a Merkle Company, a leading digital marketing and search agency headquartered in Charlottesville, VA. In this role she is responsible for sourcing, interviewing and hiring candidates and also manages employment branding via social media, on-campus events and internship development. Connect with Amber on and follow her on . (View expressed are mine and do not reflect the views of RKG, a Merkle Company.)