Tony Beshara, Ph.D., is the creator of The Job Search Solution and the owner and president of Babich and Associates, a recruitment and placement agency. His research shows that a staggering 80 percent of the last four college graduating classes were unemployed on graduation day, and that the average length of a job search for college graduates is well over seven months and is at an all-time high in America.
This can be hard on both graduates and their parents who want to see their kids succeed.
Tony has over 40 years of experience and has placed 100,000 Americans in jobs. He shares his insight with five tips and strategies for parents to use to help their college graduates who are struggling to find employment.
Many college students don't know to start looking for employment well before graduation date. Open the conversation with them before spring rolls around. Tony says, "Make sure your child realizes that it will be their responsibility to find a job after they graduate — and that they need to start preparing their resume during their freshman year." This early planning will have them career focused and prepared from the get-go. If graduation has come and gone, start the conversation now. Getting into the mind-set that this is their job search is key.
Once the conversation door is open, keep it that way. This is a topic you'll likely have to revisit repeatedly. Tony says, "Monitor what steps your child is taking to find a job. Remember: For now they are on your payroll and must still answer to you."
Help your college grad build a resume filled with experience. If she did not work through school, then after graduation she'll need to start somewhere. Showing she can land a job, keep it and succeed at it will show future employers what she's made of. Tony says, "Make it clear to your child that no job is beneath them. The reality is that even with an expensive college degree, the market is tough and finding work is more challenging than ever. So they should be prepared to wait tables at night or master barista skills at Starbucks while spending several hours each day looking for a job."
Interviewing is a skill, and your college grad will need to practice it. You can help by researching common interview questions and creating mock interviews for her. Tony says, "Play a role in helping your child practice interviewing. Practice is essential and cannot be overdone, so build time into both of your schedules for rehearsing the interview. Use a number of both typical and off-the-wall questions in order to help her be more relaxed, articulate about herself and ready for anything."
There's a system to job searching — know your interests and skills, scour job sites that fit them and create a running list of companies that are hiring along with the positions being sought, the contact information you've found, the dates you reached out to the companies and the dates you followed up on your resume. This system isn't second nature until you've been there. Help your child start this process and advise to rinse and repeat until she lands a job offer. Tony says, "Help your child devise a 'system' for finding a job. The goal is to get as many interviews as possible, perform well during each interview, be prepared for rejection and repeat the process for as long as it takes."
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