Graduates are entering a job market that sorely needs the workers. In fact, roughly half of all employers have an opening they can't find a qualified applicant for, according to data provided by CareerBuilder.
That has made companies more open to hiring graduates with limited experience. About two-thirds (65%) of employers actually said they plan to hire recent college graduates in 2019, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. In addition, 59% of companies said they are "open to hiring candidates who may not be fully qualified for the position but have potential for growth."
That gives recent college graduates a chance to land some choice positions, but heavy demand does not mean there won't be competition for the best spots. CareerBuilder Chief People Officer Michelle Armer shared three tips for recent graduates looking to get hired in an email to The Motley Fool.
When you're a college student, your network is probably fairly limited, but there are things you can do to help it grow. In addition, it's important to be broad when it comes to thinking about who is actually in your network.
"Whether they are through school, previous jobs, and internships, or even family and friends, students can leverage existing relationships to learn about the fields they are interested in, find out about open opportunities, and receive advice," Armer wrote. "Connecting with people you are already familiar with is a great way to get your feet wet as you start looking for a full-time role."
It's also important to put yourself out there. Go to job fairs, alumni events, and any place you might meet people who can help you land a job.
2. Clean up your social media
Those pictures of you passed out drunk on vacation may seem funny, but they can keep you from getting hired. In fact, an older CareerBuilder study found that 70% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, and more than half of them (57%) have found a reason not to hire someone because of their social media feeds.
"It's important to keep things in check by making sure you don't have anything that could turn off a hiring manager, like tasteless content or complaints about a former job or boss," Armer wrote.
3. Have a great resume and cover letter
Your resume and cover letter introduce you to prospective employers. In some cases, a good cover letter can open a door that the limited resume of a recent graduate cannot, but it's imperative to make the most of your background on your resume.
"Crafting a resume that best highlights skills and other achievements is important for students who may not have much work experience," Armer wrote. "Providing strong descriptors, mentioning accomplishments with data that shows success, and including details about awards or membership to different organizations can paint a fuller picture of what a candidate may bring to the table."
Get to work
While it's tempting to take a summer off or even celebrate your accomplishment for a few weeks, that's not a great idea. Job markets change, and today's high demand could shift into a seasonal slump or hiring freezes. It's best to get out there and strike while demand is high. And it's important to remember that even in a great market with heavy needs for employers, the hiring process can sometimes be painfully slow.