1. Your friends who “have it together.”
You know, the ones sharing their job security status to the heavens. Don’t compare your insides to someone elses outsides. It takes time to find the path that’s right. Most people 5 years out of school who are doing a job they love will tell you that they “fell” into it and that it isn’t at all what they thought they’d be doing on graduation day.
2. Online Job Postings.
Applying for jobs blindly online is like sending your resume to a paper shredder. 80 percent of jobs are never publicly posted. Here’s another fact: Every job I’ve had after graduation I’ve landed because of a personal connection. Every. Single. One. Stop searching online and start networking. It’s all about the people, people.
3. Business being evil and blah blah blah.
My senior year, I was only looking for jobs in the non-profit sector because I thought that was the only place I could find meaning. In the year that followed, I worked (well, interned) for two non-profit organizations with missions I cared deeply about. After that, I worked for two for-profit companies with missions I cared deeply about. You don’t have to be a non-profit to do good. There are tons of for-profit companies out there changing the world. Don’t fix your mindset before you explore all the possibilities.
4. Grad school.
You went to college to find yourself. Don’t do the same with grad school. If you’re all about pursuing your life-long passion for dentistry, by all means, go for it. But don’t use grad school as a last resort if have no idea what you want to do. Be brave. Work at an ice cream shop. Do something outside of academia before you rush back in.
5. Your stupid major.
I majored in English and Theater – the two majors my commencement speaker used for his “You’re screwed” jokes. Haters gonna hate. I love that I majored in two entirely impractical things that I was passionate about. Don’t be ashamed of what you studied. Being passionate about something makes you interesting. Use it to your advantage.
6. Your Facebook privacy settings.
If someone trying to hire you can find your old pics, they’ll look at them. And judge you. Instead of hiding everything, fill your social profile with content that proves you’re awesome. Think of it as a chance to prove that you’re not crazy and someone they’d like to work with / have a beer with after working with. People hire people.
7. Your parents’ basement.
I moved home after graduation, binge-watched three seasons of Gossip Girl, applied for opportunities in a few different cities, made an impulsive decision, and moved out after exactly 1 month. Give yourself time to get grounded (and enjoy free rent), but don’t get comfortable. Have a deadline to get out.
8. 1-2 years of experience.
You want to know something about job descriptions? They’re a pain to write. More often than you’d think, companies just copy and paste job descriptions they find online, make a few key word changes, and let her rip. Don’t let the dreaded 1-2 years of experience requirement stop you from trying. Relevant experience is still experience, so start thinking about how you can spin what you’ve already done. Also, hustle outweighs experience every time.
One of the biggest mistakes a soon-to-be or recent grad can do is putting their education at the top of their resume. It basically screams “I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE.” Employers don’t care about where you went to school or your GPA. Don’t expect either of those to get you a job. Instead, harness all those amazing projects you worked on in college, make them into a great story, and use them to rock your interviews.
Michaela Gianotti is Koru's content manager. She attended Whitman College, where she spent the better part of four years convincing her family that English majors can get jobs too. She has since found awesome work (SEE!) at 826 Seattle, msnNOW, and Koru.