Employers continue to hire more new college grads, but the Class of 2014 is still unprepared for today’s world of employment. If you’re a recent graduate, do these 5 things before writing your resume.

confused grad

Congratulations, Class of 2014! Your timing is great– employers are hiring more new college grads this year than last. This is excellent news as you embark on your first career.
But before you get TOO excited, it’s time for a reality check-up. The majority of employers believe you aren’t prepared for your first job. How successful you are at that first job will have a huge impact in how quickly your career progresses. So before you begin writing your resume or searching for jobs online, you have some homework to do.

  1. Know what you want. In today’s world, resumes and job search strategies must be targeted and specific in order to be effective. You can’t begin this process without having a job target. If you’re unsure of what you want, check out the resources at National Career Development Association (NCDA).
  2. Get some experience. Internships, volunteering, and leadership positions with clubs will add tremendous value to your resume.
  3. Clean up your Social Media. Social media recruitment is on the rise, so make sure you use it appropriately. Privacy-protect your Facebook and other personal accounts, and invest time in creating a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed.
  4. Use your school’s resources. Your college or university has a career services office for students and alumni. In addition to helping with resume writing and interviewing, career counselors can provide you with opportunities others may not be aware of.
  5. Be realistic. Competition for jobs is fierce! It’s unlikely that you’ll get your dream job immediately after you graduate. It’s more likely that you’ll get a position that gives you the skills and experience to get closer to that dream job. So keep an open mind. This is the time to learn more about what you want and need professionally.

These tips will support your professional reputation and propel you toward long-term career success!