Mind the Gap! Bridging the Gap Between Grads and Employers
College students and recent grads, you do not have it easy. The job market is competitive and some potential employers can give off that “you’re lucky to be considered for a job right out of school” attitude. Chances are everyone is asking what makes you different or what sets you apart from your competitors. The reality is, you’ve only just begun to accrue experiences beyond your education and that may leave you feeling unsure about what it is you can really showcase. I’m here to tell you, do not despair.
Recent grads and potential employers need each other. The workforce relies on having people who are willing to work hard with a fresh set of skills to apply to their fields. But here’s where people can get into trouble. Employers want to know that you are capable of making decisions; not just any decisions – good ones! If you can demonstrate key ways in which your quick-thinking or decisiveness led to a positive outcome, this is an ace up your sleeve.
According to a recent survey, there continues to be a disconnect between what employers need and the readiness of many college seniors. The Association of American Colleges & Universities revealed that most students believed they possessed the skills needed in today’s job market but approximately 75% of employers did not agree.
How is this good news? It’s good news because you know what to play up. You know that it’s a potential concern so you can address it head on with examples of innovative thinking. It is always to your advantage to understand the general perception so that you can disprove what doesn’t serve you and emphasize what does.
Here’s a good way to think about your experiences whether you plan to put them on a resume, talk about them during an interview, or reference them in a cover letter.
Think about the last dilemma you faced and how you got out of it. What qualities did you have to draw from in order to resolve the situation (doesn’t necessarily need to be work-related)?
How would co-workers or classmates describe your style if you had to collaborate on a project?
When was the last time you took a risk? How did you decide it was a worthwhile risk and what steps did you take to ensure it was the right choice?
What steps can you take today if you’re a little low on accomplishments to demonstrate your creativity and job readiness?
Need a little help? You do not have to go it alone.
About Tava Tava Auslan is a career counselor, resume writer and dancer. After earning her BA in Psychology from SUNY Purchase and an MSEd in Counseling from Fordham University, she began her career with Donna at The New School Career Services Center in 2002. There she worked with students and graduates pursuing a variety of careers. She later went on to serve as the Assistant Director of Disability Services. This background has shaped her foundation for working with college students, recent grads and individuals with disabilities. A skilled counselor, she is compassionate, insightful and delivers the right amount of “push” to motivate her clients. She is known for her ability to help people assess their challenges, determine where they are stuck and offer tangible solutions to get them back on track. An astute writer, Tava translates this into crafting resumes that tell a compelling story for job seekers of all ages and stages.