Searching Austin jobs with a new college degree in hand? Congratulations! We have good and not-so-good news for you. After a dramatic decline last year, entry-level jobs are back. How do you snag one? You don’t need to pretend to be more experienced than you are, but you do need to communicate your skills, work style, and potential with expert precision.
A recent Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) survey found that most employers continue to value college-degreed job seekers over other candidates. That scenario plays out with Austin jobs, too. But they question whether a degree alone attributes to workforce preparedness. So, while having a degree listed on your resume can help you get your foot in the door, be prepared to prove you weren’t just sleeping through class—and life—the past four years or so. The survey found that new college grads are being evaluated for:
- Your mindsets. Personal aptitude and personality can be vital to career prospects and fitting company culture. Do you know your strengths and weaknesses regarding tests like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, and others? Find out. AACU reports that drive/work ethic, initiative, self-confidence, persistence, self-awareness, resilience, leadership, and empathy are traits more than half of employers seek in their job candidates.
- Your ability to communicate their skills. Having skills does you little good if you can’t communicate what they are during the application and interview process. Many colleges are taking steps to help students be better at articulating their skills—employers now say 87% of recent grads are good at it now as opposed to only 67% in 2018. So, to compete, your work is cut out for you. Look at short-term credentials, certificates, badges, a portfolio that illustrate the skills you have.
- Your applied learning experiences. Internships and apprenticeships, community-based or service-learning projects, work-study programs, global learning experiences, and research projects all score high with employers.
It’s worth noting that entering the professional workforce in the pandemic era has its own challenges. Last year’s graduates may still be competing for the jobs you want, and some industries continue to experience volatility affecting their ability to hire. We love this guide from Indeed with tips and resources for graduates entering the workforce during COVID-19. Remote hiring and networking is still the norm, for example, so be prepared to shine virtually (these tips from Austin employers can help). And one of our favorite tips from the article: Consider short-term or unexpected work for now.
“Depending on your financial situation, it may be necessary to consider short-term work or work outside your area of expertise…These jobs may not be the type of work you may have anticipated, but having an extra income can help you navigate this uncertainty after graduation with more confidence,” Indeed advises.
We couldn’t agree more. To state our case, read our blog post How to Find Temp Jobs You Might Just Love for why strategically temping is better than taking a hit on your resume. It’s also a great way to learn about and build connections in industries you may have never known about otherwise.
“We work with a company that sells catheters. Few people dream of breaking into the catheter business, of course, so selling the position to a potential job candidate is always a little difficult,” Stephanie Grubbs, Practice Director for The HT Group’s Staffing Division, says. “How do we overcome this? It’s easy. This company is AMAZING. Their work environment, culture and overall fun in the office is contagious. Everyone is treated as an employee, including temporary contractors. They’re positive and eager to help newcomers feel at home. I tell each candidate, ‘I guarantee if I can get you an interview, you will be calling me telling me how much you want this job.’”
Austin jobs are booming in certain areas, but so is competition. Rising to the top may take some creative maneuvering and practice in hitting the right notes listed above. For more guidance and to learn about temporary employment, contact us.
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