2017 College Grads Find Hot Jobs Market, But …
Posted By Marisa Sanfilippo on July 19, 2017 at 8:45 am
To our readers: Today GoodCall® reviews what’s happening in the job market. First, Marisa Sanfilippo examines what the June jobs report means for college grads. Later today, Terri Williams will answer the question of how Generation Z views the top 25 employers.
June job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics produced a mixed bag of results, especially for newly minted college grads. The U.S. economy added 220,000 jobs, with unemployment holding steady at 4.4 percent. But despite competition for skilled workers, growth in wages did not keep pace.
While there are more jobs and labor shortages in some sectors, wages are not increasing to reflect the shortage. For college graduates and other job seekers, this means it may be easier to find a position, but it won’t necessarily pay as well as they may have hoped.
It also is important to note that while unemployment rates have been dropping and job numbers continue to increase, there are significant disparities in minority groups.
Unemployment for Caucasians averages about 4 percent and for Asians is about 3.5 percent. However, the unemployment rates for Hispanics is 5.4 percent and for African Americans is 7.8 percent.
Leverage skills over experience
Despite the disparities, the June report is good news for college grads seeking their first jobs and for people simply hoping to change careers. When there were far more job candidates than job openings, only those with the exact education and experience a business was looking for tended to be considered.
With a decreased labor pool, it is possible some businesses will be willing to take candidates with less work experience or with an educational background in a related field to prevent increasing their salary offering.
Employment experts say job candidates who want the best shot at landing a position that pays more or one that isn’t precisely aligned with their work and academic experience must rethink the way they package themselves. Career coach Crystal Olivarria, founder and CEO of Career Conversationalist, puts it simply: “New college graduates can leverage their skills over experience by doing a better job of describing the value they have to offer.”
How college grads can overcome inexperience
It isn’t enough to create a bullet list of academic or career accomplishments. Candidates must identify the exact skills needed to thrive in the desired position and then look for examples of those skills to highlight in a resume or during an interview.
Highlighting specific experience working in an internship can make a more significant impression than simply listing the internship as part of one’s academic or employment record. Time spent working in a lab, developing code for a new application, or writing press releases shows the candidate has real world experience applicable to the position for which they are applying.
Volunteer work also should be included if it has given the job seeker valuable hands-on experience. This is especially useful for students who have recently graduated or those who are switching careers later in life. Many people find an outlet for their interests in the volunteer sector and develop valuable work skills yet neglect to include this on a resume.
Dr. Crystal Lee, who owns La Concierge Psychologist and is a board member of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, specializes in helping teens and emerging adults successfully launch into adulthood. This include helping clients find the best career paths for their experience and personality.
She also advises job seekers to consider all their experience. “I tell my clients to treat volunteering or interning like a job so they go in with the mindset that they’re really working and getting a real-world experience.” This can then be leveraged into the skills section of a resume. That, in turn, can lead to college grads snagging some of those available jobs – maybe even at a better salary.