Monday, May 2, 2011

What College Graduates Wish They Had Done Differently

Jacquelyn Smith

From Campus to Career

As the class of 2011 prepares to enter the workforce, they should know what their predecessors regret most. It turns out that seven out of 10 college graduates, ages 22 to 26, wish they had done more to prepare for the real world.

A recent survey conducted by staffing firm Adecco reached out to over 500 graduates of 4-year degree programs to find out how they are fairing in the current job market. The survey revealed that just over half are working full-time, and 71% feel they should have done things differently while preparing to enter the real world.

“Some many recent graduates still don’t have jobs, therefore so many think they could have done more to prepare,” says Kathy Kane, senior vice president of Talent Management at Adecco Group North America.
The survey asked them, “Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time to before you graduated, what would you have done differently?” Respondents were given 12 options and were asked to choose all that applied to them.

Almost 30% said they would have networked more prior to graduation, a quarter said they would have applied to more jobs, and another quarter would have started their job search earlier.
“This is the most networked generation in history, but they didn’t know how to network with those who are making hiring decisions,” Kane says. “They should be connected to decision-makers and companies via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and even through alumni groups.”

Kane says it’s no surprise that so many recent graduates wish they had applied to more jobs or started searching sooner. “If you didn’t get a job, of course you wish you applied to more,” she says. “You should start the process at the beginning of your junior year of college, and once you start applying, keep going until you get responses.”

If you’re applying for positions online through job boards and company sites, Kane suggests applying for dozens of positions because the competition is fierce and your chances are slim. But if you’re doing on-campus interviews with recruiters, the possibility of landing a job is much higher and you can limit your applications to a smaller number.

Read the rest of the Forbes artice

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