Accelerating Culture

Top 5 Mistakes Graduates Make When Looking for a Job

With the continuing decline of jobs and job availability, it has been increasingly difficult for new grads to get a job coming out of school. With the continual downfall of the economy, knowing where to look for a job is key. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can employ in order to finally land that job you’ve been vying for.


  1. Be willing to work anywhere. Many graduates don’t often  take the opportunity to work wherever work is available. People would rather remain unemployed than get a job at the local fast food chain. In my opinion it’s easier and a lot less stressful to find a job when you have money in your pocket and know that you can still afford your every day living expenses. It also looks better on your resume if there is no lull or gap in your career experience.
  2. Start going to career help centres. New grads often think that with their education, charisma and youthfulness they won’t need anything else in order to get the job of their dreams. However it’s not as easy as it looks – you still need things like a polished-up resume or some certificates to allow you to start working. Many cities have help centres that offer free aid with your resume, career counselling and professional development help. They often also offer free courses to get you accredited for a variety of different things. For an example, The City of Calgary offers such services for people between the ages of 15-24. The Youth Employment Centre often gives free First Aid, CSTS, WHMIS, and ProServe certificates. Not only will these centres help you brush up your career portfolio, but they also help to get you started down the right track.
  3. Consider working temporary/short term positions. Another assumption many graduates make when they start searching for a job is thinking they will be able to apply to a few positions and get in at the company of their choice. However, as I’m sure many have found, that is definitely not the case. Although there is seemingly no work available, temporary employees are still needed at many large companies, possibly even the company that you have set your sights towards. Be willing to take on short assignments because once you have your step in the door, all you have to do is make some strong connections and leave some positive impressions. It is always easier for employers to hire someone that they know can do a job well, based on previous experience.
  4. Work for a Temporary Agency. Tagging off of the last point, consider working for a temporary agency as well.  The agencies will interview you and then if you are successful, they will send you off for skill testing. The skill testing is often industry specific, however, this adds a secondary level of accreditation to the education you already have. If you can write on your resume that a known university or company accredited you for your abilities to type or use a program like Microsoft Office, it will look that much better when compared to your competitor.
  5. Continue your “education”. Yes you read that right, you gotta keep learning but not in that traditional sense. Start by reading personal development books, listen to educational podcasts, or take free classes from places like The Khan Academy, Drops or Allison.com. These things will give you the edge over other new grads, especially if you have “soft and hard” skills that they don’t have, such as being able to build strong networks, speak a second language, or having empathy while leading. All these things come through when you interact with others and it makes you that much more appealing when you are out there grinding the grind.

As always if you have some tips to share or questions about some of the points, please leave it in the comments below. Subscribe to Hypr Magazine to get the latest information on building your professional self up.

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