College To Career Transition: How to Successfully Navigate The Job Market (Job Application)

Job Application

Firstly, let me thank all those who emailed me about the internship post. Like I previously said, it is necessary for every student to at least engage in one or more internships before graduating college.

Today, I will explore the relevance of your Job Application and how it can make or mar your chances of securing your dream job. Now, because of the volatility of the job market, it is necessary to start applying to several jobs during the summer prior to the start of one’s senior year. That gives you at least 12months in advance, before deciding either to further your education, take on an internship, or volunteer for causes or organizations. These you can do while you wait on an interview or job offer.

However, many students wait till right before graduation or even after graduation, to start to look for jobs. That puts you at a disadvantage and at the mercy of other applicants who applied months before you thought about it. Thus, it is necessary to plan ahead, work ahead and apply early enough.

As such, in order to successfully optimize your job search, it is mandatory that you have an extraordinary job application. Let’s put things into perspective to help you understand the challenges and hurdles you are facing as an applicant right out of College:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor, for Household Survey Data, ‘the number of unemployed persons is currently at about 13.7 million and the unemployment rate (8.9 percent) only changed little in February 2011.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men  is at 8.7 percent, adult women at 8.0 percent, teenagers 23.9 percent, whites at 8.0 percent, blacks 15.3 percent, Hispanics 11.6 percent, and Asians at 6.8 percent.

In essence, in order to successfully transition from College to Career, you must have the ‘killer’ job application, and here are the necessary pointers to be aware of:

Resume: There has been rising controversy about the use of video resumes versus the paper resume. For sure, the importance of having an effective resume cannot be overemphasized. In the recent past, it’s been known that most ‘experts’ advice that your resume be as concise as possible.

On the contrary, I say GO FOR THE KILL.

As a recruiter, I use video resumes to complement paper resumes. At other times, I value video resumes over paper ones because they show gut, initiative, and boldness from an applicant. These are all qualities that I might need for certain positions, and having a video resume saves me the hassle of not interviewing people who I otherwise might have called based on what’s just hiding behind text. (Read more here…)

Experience: Your experiences are the puzzle pieces which help determine how qualified you are for a certain position. They are the knowledge, practicality, know-how and skills you gain from previous jobs over a period of time.  Your experience helps a recruiter decide on how qualified you are for a certain position and the extent of your expertise on a certain field.

Hence, it is imperative that the Employment or Work Experience section of your application or resume be meticulously done. Each previous employment listing should include:

  • The name and location of former employer(s)
  • Your position/title
  • Duration of work period
  • Duties and achievements while at the job

Besides these, it is necessary that your Work Experience is … (Read more here)

Be Proactive:For you to achieve great success in the job market, you have to put in great work. Thus, here are things you should know and do in order to increase your chances of succeeding in the job market:

  • Scout out new and exciting positions. Do not restrict yourself to positions that you feel you are only qualified for. Look out for other openings that require skills and qualities you might have acquired from your past and apply to them as well (i.e. skills learned from a random class you took while in college, an internship, or self-taught skill). Many a time, people possess talents and skills that they do not know are invaluable assets to some organizations, and therefore do not include them on their resumes. Others only search for jobs they think are related to a college major or potential career without realizing that one could create another career from one’s talents and skills. So before you send out your next application or resume, think again about those pottery, mandarin, khmer, fishing, theater, blogging, social media etc skills you know you have, and use them when next you apply for a job.
  • Become an entrepreneur and offer services to businesses as a consultant: This is my favorite one because it could also serve as the beginning of the end for your job search. While searching for your ideal job, you can actually brand yourself as an entrepreneur. Find that one thing(s) that interest you and that you are very good at, and brand yourself as a specialist in that area. Print business cards and distribute them at events while networking as vigorously for a job. Ideally, this is the path I advise people to take because it might end up becoming a self-sufficient job, or growing into a small business if you market yourself right. I unfortunately don’t believe so much in fulltime jobs anymore. I think that most employees should have room to create and recreate something of worth that they could benefit from financially even while working at other jobs.  (Read more here)

Your Appeal: One way to successfully increase your chances of securing a job is to ensure that you appeal to your employer. Your appeal consists of your

  • Brand
  • Professionalism
  • Persona
  • Swag

Brand: Of all that comprise of your appeal, in my opinion, your brand is the most important. This is because it encompasses your social media identity, online presence, how you project your personality and how other people define you. Because many employers ‘Google’ or ‘Facebook’ most potential employees, it is necessary that you have a spotless or ‘elusive’ brand. I use elusive because what an employer does not know cannot harm you. So rename yourself, restrict access to all online personal pages, and ensure that you do not send or approve any friend requests from potential employers or referrers. and while the latter might be suspicious, suspicion is way better than proof of obscenity. Thus:

  1. Do not expose public pictures or inappropriate content on your social media sites. If you cannot control yourself identity efficiently, then please censor your profile. Restrict what people can and cannot see. However, ensure that your profile picture and information are appropriate for everyone.
  2. Google yourself once in a while to see what is out there about you. If possible contact authors of inappropriate content and request to be removed, untagged or censored. This will help you manage what other people see about you.
  3. Define yourself online by having relevant, engaging and if possible educational content. Writers and Bloggers who use their real names should ensure that their content is not inappropriate for potential employers to see. Otherwise, pre-warn your general audience that your content is for mature audiences only, prior to their indulgence

Professionalism: Do not have an inappropriate email address. That is a heavy No-No. As an employer, I do not want to email you at ‘ or’. NO! I will let the shredder do that for me.  Ideally, use your first and last names to create your email address, or first initial and last name@gmail, hotmail, msn, aol or (Read More Here)

If all the points above are correctly put together, you are one call away from your ideal job. So prepare well, work hard and never give up. The best is yet to come.

Share your comments and don’t forget to click on the links. They direct you to other relevant articles. Please indulge.


Chike Ukaegbu
This entry was posted in Black, Chike Ukaegbu, College Transition, Entrepreneurship, Minority Affairs, Opinion, Personal, ReLIFE Inc, Uncategorized, Youth Developement, Youth Empowerment and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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