Financial Thoughts

Increasing the Chances of Getting a Job After College by Raja S. Hussain

Man looking for a strategy to find a job after college

One of the missions of our scholarship contest is to contribute to increasing the overall financial education in the USA. This impacts the financial health of all citizens.

This Fall we are happy to award a scholarship to students who submitted the most original essay and infographic on “Increasing the Chances of Getting a Job After College”, demonstrating a good understanding of the global and American labor market. And now we would like to share with you the essay and the infographic that we liked the most.


Increasing the Chances of Getting a Job After College

In today’s society students around the globe are becoming increasingly competitive each day with technological advancements we have seen and will continue to see in the future.

In response to the enormous increase in competitiveness, not only are educational institutions harder to get admitted into, but jobs post-graduation are becoming harder to get. In this essay, I will go over my strategy that will guarantee anyone an increased chance of getting a job after college, if not a 100% chance if followed correctly.

You might have heard the typical spiel from your parents, professors, or counselors in which they continuously talk about the same factors such as internships for business majors, research for STEM majors, or maintaining a high GPA. Although these factors do have extreme importance, I would like to dedicate this essay to elements that are not given as much attention, but could potentially be just as important if not more important than a high GPA or a prestigious internship.

My first strategy is by far the most relevant and vital strategy I have in store, being connections, in which I cannot overstate its importance. By connections, I am emphasizing the idea of creating positive relationships with classmates, professors, colleagues, with a lasting effect that will make them remember you well into their professional careers.

It all starts from stepping out of your comfort zone and getting involved in your institution, as for the students who tend to avoid interaction this may be somewhat difficult at first, but the payoff will be limitless. Not only will this help you get a job but you will also have a higher overall experience in college, as well as making friends that will last a lifetime. Opportunities are limitless when it comes to getting involved, as there is almost a club for every single interest, and if you have an idea for a club that has not been started already, start it yourself!

Other involvement opportunities include joining a club team if you are of competitive and athletic nature, or joining an intramural sport if you’re looking to have a good time while getting some exercise. Academic involvement can be see-through joining an academic fraternity, an honors society, or becoming part of the student government body.

My recommendation for students who have trouble getting involved would be to attend school involvement fairs or events that institutions offer in the first few weeks of every semester. I would encourage students to join anything that interests them and to also come with a friend or a group of friends if possible, that way you all can join together and attend meetings and events together.

The reason the connections are so important is that the majority of openings in companies are first offered internally, in which many are filled internally, with option number two being they are posted online to job boards for people to apply. It leads to a direct increase in competitiveness as new graduates are mixed in with those who already have experience, along with those with advanced degrees in the field.

By having a connection, it can be as simple as having a friend who works in a particular company with an internal job posting, in which they can recommend you! Making connections has become more comfortable and more accessible with advancements in technology, as we have professional social media such as LinkedIn, which has become a great way to follow up with connections and potentially find jobs.

As a college student soon coming into the job market, you should aim to keep in touch with every relationship you have, as you never know who might be in a specific position that could benefit you down the road!

My second strategy is focused around the idea that many students year after year are graduating from college and are being put out into the job market almost like an assembly line from a factory. Although these are intelligent and intellectual students, it is almost as if their identical on paper, with the same stories seen over and over on resumes such as a bachelor’s degree from a respected institution, a 3.0+ GPA, and 1-2 Internship in their book.

For students these stats are something to be proud of as they well indeed worked hard for them, however in today’s job market sometimes the same repetitive story just will not cut it. The goal should be to give a reason to why a higher manager should choose you through your resume, which can be accomplished by having something stand out.

Reaching this goal can be done in so many ways, as every single student is unique in their qualities, character, interests, and experiences; however, their resumes look almost identical due to what information is considered resume worthy in today’s society. Which leads to the question, how many times does an employer have to see the same spiel on a resume over and over from job applicants?

By having something on your resume that stands out, it gives employers something to remember you by, which is a step to success in itself. An example of this would be a student who also held a 3.0 + GPA and 1-2 Internships just like every other student but also studied his or her French minor in Morocco for a semester.

Another example would be a student who started their club or organization at school. Having something outstanding to mention can be as simple as having an interest in stocks and cryptocurrency, and starting an organization where others who share the same benefit can join, or where they can teach others how to analyze and invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies!

A simplified example of making yourself stand out can be seen through simply just the wording of your resume to make it grab a reader’s attention. I can recall an experience during an internship where a supervisor said as he was graduating the only job experience he had was working at a Pizzeria, aside from his degree in engineering. When applying for jobs on his resume, he stated his job title as a Pizza Engineer who turned out to give the higher manager a kick, which led him to get his first interview and then his first job post-graduation!

My third strategy for job success is a follow-up of the previous tip, in which I talked about giving the employer something to remember you by, with this strategy focused on what the employer can gain by choosing you over the other applicants. Every team has their assets along with their strengths and weaknesses, with there always being something they are looking to add to their cabinet.

Devoting enough time to picking up an extra skill that sometimes can’t be learned in the classroom, or not in your major’s curriculum can help achieve your goals. For example, if you are a business major looking to go into consulting, by deciding to pick up a foreign language on the side such as Spanish, this could be the direct reason as to what a manager could gain from you, someone on their team who is bilingual and can communicate with non-English speaking clients.

Another example of this is being a computer science major with your school’s program academics focusing on a particular language such as Java. By devoting the extra time you can pick up another programming language such as Python to diversify your portfolio making you stand out from other students from your institution, you also gain potential to become an essential asset to a company as you happen to know multiple programming languages in case they decide to try something new.

This strategy of giving a company something to gain from choosing you also does not have to be as difficult as learning a different language, but can be as simple as taking a couple of online courses or watching tutorial videos on Microsoft Excel.

This can enable you to list your Excel Proficiency on your resume, which is almost a universal skill in today’s work environment. Simple steps like this can prove to be the deciding factor for a job opening as employers are always looking for what you can bring to the table. It is essential to keep in mind that there is a reason a company is looking to hire individuals to work for them, and what they are mostly looking for is to acquire the most skills in exchange for the salary or wage they are providing.

If you were to go out shopping for a new computer, you would look for which computer could prove to be the most beneficial to you in regards to what it has to offer in exchange for the price you are willing to pay. Employers have a similar mindset in regards to hiring, so to have a higher chance of getting selected, you must broaden the range of what you can add to their portfolio!
The job market today can be compared to a stock market, where you want to diversify your portfolio to get the best profit.

Where one employer may focus on your academics, with another on your experience, and another on your involvement, by becoming an overall well-rounded applicant, you get the advantage over others who may not be. Where certain students may put all their eggs in one basket in a GPA to get a 4.0, the student with a lower GPA but with connections, involvement, and a detailed resume to what they can add will be the more competitive applicant to any employer regardless of the field.

Increased competitiveness in the prospective job market and educational institutions has gained considerable attention and significance as technology continues to advance, with more resources becoming available to students across the globe.

By following these strategies and taking advantage of available resources, students can increase their chances of getting a job post-graduation by a considerable margin. As for the most significant resources students have available to them in today’s environment, the internet has become the epitome for gaining knowledge as access to information is available within seconds through a keyboard and monitor, along with the availability of time. Concerning the resource of time, I would like to emphasize the importance of time management.

You do not only want to focus your time on education in order to increase your likelihood of getting a job, but put aside time for your own leisure, time to exercise, eat healthy, and sleep in order to maintain your physical and mental health which is by far more important than any degree or job!

Strategies to Increase Your Chancec of Landing a Job after College

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Raja Hussain Photo

Name: Raja Hussain

Institution: University of Maryland College Park

Major: Information Systems

Graduation Year: 2021

Hobbies: NBA enthusiast


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