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6 Common Pitfalls To Avoid While Looking For Your First Job

Source | FastCompany : By Daniel Bortz

College graduation season is around the corner, but you’ve got bigger things to worry about than ordering your cap and gown. The reality is you might not have a job lined up by the time you collect your diploma.

Sure, the job market is steadily improving. (And wages are up—finally!) However, finding a great first job is always challenging. Case in point: Roughly half of recent college graduates consider themselves either underemployed or in a job that doesn’t require a college degree, according to Accenture Strategy’s 2015 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study.

Monster spoke with career experts to find out why many recent college grads find themselves in a rut—and how you can make sure you aren’t one of them.

1. Your Resume Is One-Size-Fits-All

Submitting a generic resume won’t get you called in for an interview, says Courtney Templin, president of JB Training Solutions, a Chicago-based career development firm.

Granted, customizing your resume for every job that you apply for can be tedious and time-consuming (especially when you’re trying to enjoy your last few months of real-world freedom). Therefore, instead of applying to dozens of online job postings, find five or 10 that are great opportunities and take the time to tailor your resume, says Templin.

2. Your Cover Letter Reads Like Your Resume

It’s tough to craft a compelling cover letter, especially during your first job search. A common misstep, though, says Templin: “People make the mistake of regurgitating what’s on their resume.” Instead, write about experiences that illustrate your strengths so you present yourself as a solution to the company’s problem.

“Talk about the value you bring to the organization,” says millennial career coach Kim Carbia, who recommends condensing your cover letter to one page.

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