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You Survived College - Now Where are the Employment Opportunities?

Updated on March 29, 2012
Equate job opportunities to temperamental butterflies. What can you do to lure them into your garden?
Equate job opportunities to temperamental butterflies. What can you do to lure them into your garden? | Source

Degrees, Butterflies, and the Job Market

You invest years of your life, go thousands of dollars in debt, and walk proudly across that stage to collect your college diploma. Then what? You load up what belongings you have to your name and move back in with your parents? That is not what you expected when you entered college, but it is reality for many recent college grads. Lucrative employment opportunities are not flying around like butterflies in the spring garden.

One thing you don't want to do is hold out too long for that perfect job opportunity. Graduates are getting creative to ensure they do not have holes in their resume, and that shows the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. Rather than sitting back and waiting for your field to open up and make room for you, get out there and make a hole for yourself.

This way you don't have employers sitting across the interview desk asking, "What have you been doing for the past ten years?" You don't want your answer to be "chilling in mom's basement playing video games."

Wait too long for the perfect opportunity and you will find yourself suitable for no opportunity!

What do you do while waiting for the butterflies to come fluttering into your garden?

1. The most lucrative jobs for college graduates will probably go to those who find creative ways to utilize their education in the face of unemployment. The goal is to gain some type of experience related to your field while conducting a thorough job search. This gives you something to put on your resume, even if there aren’t many employment opportunities in the job market right now. Here are some ideas to consider:

* Volunteer Work

* Internships

* Apprenticeships

* Self Employment

Employers understand that there aren't a lot of butterflies fluttering around the garden today. Once the job market does start to open up in more fields, these employers will be looking for job candidates that have shown a great work ethic even in difficult times.

What can you do to bring more job opportunities your way? The job market is bad, but it will reward those willing to be push forward regardless of the obstacles.
What can you do to bring more job opportunities your way? The job market is bad, but it will reward those willing to be push forward regardless of the obstacles. | Source

2. You can continue your advanced education while conducting an ongoing job search. You can chase a higher degree while looking for the best employment opportunities available in your field. Once the employment opportunities start opening up in your industry, you will have more education and training to impress a hiring manager.

3. It is not always bad idea to take lower paying jobs within your chosen field. This will at least get your foot in the door, especially if it is with a company you aspire to work for in the future. You can continue your job search for more lucrative employment opportunities or go back to school for a more advanced degree while gaining some experience related to your field.

4. Increase the number of butterflies in your garden by considering employment opportunities in any career field related somewhat to your education and experience. In today's job market, you cannot afford to hold tight to a strict career path pre-planned in your mind. You may end up going in a different direction than expected, but at least your flexibility will open up more employment opportunities in the immediate future.

5. Study the job market in your field and note any additional skills that may put your resume above the competition. Maybe obtaining certification in a certain skill will add to your resume so you are more attractive to employers.

6. You must have an easy-to-scan resume that sheds positive light on your assets. Since hiring managers now get so many resumes for every open position, they rarely give each resume the attention deserved. Most managers or recruiters will quickly scan over the page, expecting to pick up the most important highlights. If something catches their attention, they will slow down or stick the resume in a pile to be closely reviewed later. If you don't have a professional resume written in a manner that can be scanned easily, you will probably never be taken seriously.

7. Network for hidden employment opportunities online, but clean up your act while doing so. It is now standard practice for hiring managers and business owners to look job candidates up online. You must make sure your social networking accounts are professional and shed a positive light on your personality and character.

If the butterfly doesn't come to your garden willingly, reach out and convince it to come. Job opportunities do not fall in many people's laps anymore.
If the butterfly doesn't come to your garden willingly, reach out and convince it to come. Job opportunities do not fall in many people's laps anymore. | Source

Branch out from Facebook to sites like LinkedIn to open up additional employment opportunities. For example, many people have secured jobs by using LinkedIn to connect with people currently working at a company they want to work for in the future. They extend a professional hello online and network their way into the job.

This doesn’t happen all the time, but it is a possibility in today’s job market. If you are not currently networking with friends or followers on other social networking platforms, you are missing out on some beautiful butterfly sightings. You never know when a friend of a friend may have some pull within your desired career field.

8. You will attract more butterflies if you are willing to relocate. If you are willing to relocate to other geographical areas, you will have far more employment opportunities to consider. Expand the reach of your job search to expand your chances of getting your career off the ground faster.

9. Look for job fairs and local employment meet-ups, which often offer employment opportunities through face-to-face networking. Dress for success and bring our business cards. Do not be shy to introduce yourself to others, collect business cards from others, and start ringing phones come the next morning. Put out the sweet-scented flowers and reach out for those butterflies!

10. Familiarize yourself with industries currently offering the most employment opportunities, as well as fields predicted to grow in the future. Try to match your education and skills to as many of these industries as possible.

For example, some of the best job markets are reported to be in the healthcare industries through the year 2020. As the market improves, there should be more and more jobs opening up in all aspects of healthcare. If you can make your education and experience match jobs for college graduates within some aspect of the healthcare field, you could open up many new employment opportunities.

11. Read job ads and company websites with an eye for key words and phrases that show you what companies consider ideal in a job candidate. For example, consider you have just read an ad for a job in your field that uses the following terms:

Make your resume the most beautiful flower in the garden!
Make your resume the most beautiful flower in the garden! | Source
  • promote from within
  • fast learner
  • integrity
  • increase profitability

When putting a resume together for this job, you might include that you are a fast learner and mention the word "integrity" in relation to yourself. When you get called in for a job interview, you will note that you have the knowledge and skills to help the company "increase profitability" and that you are eager to start a long career with a company that "promotes from within."

You find out what dress they want you to wear, and then you put it on! This won't guarantee you a job right away, but it will increase your chances of success.

12. It is more important than ever to polish up on interview skills. This includes looking up the most difficult and surprising questions that may be asked, and planning responses. Do thorough research into the company prior to the interview, and tailor your answers to their needs. You should not be giving on-the-spot answers to most interview questions.

Learn How to Overcome Interview Obstacles that Defeat Many College Grads

As a final tip, make sure you are considering all potential employment opportunities. If you feel you are not quite qualified for a position but could learn what you lack quickly, it doesn’t hurt to send in your best resume and see what happens. There are some cases where a hiring manger will see the potential in a candidate and forward their resume to someone else with different employment opportunities. This doesn’t happen too often, but it is an option to bring the butterflies to your garden!


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    • profile image

      Vingapp 3 years ago

      As a college student this was very comforting when thinking about what to do when it's all over and when it all starts to begin.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Great and informative hub. You have answered my question very succinctly. Thank you.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Voted you up & useful. Every new graduate is faced with this dilemma and this hub is sure to guide many. Congrats too on a well deserved win!

    • TheInspiredLife profile image

      TheInspiredLife 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Ruby! I think I am already hooked :)

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 6 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Very good article on how to find a job after college. This will help many graduates. Perfect timing too, with spring break and all. Congratulations on your contest winning! Keep writing and welcome to hubbing. I hope you get hooked. It is contagious!