Today’s topic, ‘How to best transition from school to the Professional work force’
Fernando Sandoval, VP Public Relations at Careful-Design in San Francisco, Ca wrote:
would like you the address the challenges for recently graduated moving from an
academic setting to their professional career. Understanding of course that
their pathway has already started as they pursued their education and hopefully
had an internship or two along the way. Also studies indicate it it taking
longer and longer to graduate and much more debt is incurred by them.”
I have been real busy the past 2 weeks and neglected my blogging…. ( this will never pay bill one, but it keeps me from losing it on the people I work with…. the ones I don’t understand anyway. 🙂 ) But Fernando, brings up a great point.
To address this question I want to first illustrate the current job market scene for you all.
Imagine a manager of a group ( that used to be 10 people but is now 3 people ), who is juggling phones, constantly being pinged to go to meetings, and at the same time trying to carry the weight for the lessened headcount in their group.
But today is a great day for this manager…. Let’s call the Manager “Old man Pickerill” So today is Old Man Pickerill’s day, senior management gave him a headcount to fill on his team. He and his team will be able to work in a less stressful environment. Now they have to hire the right person. He calls up a recruiter that is almost as good as me…….We will call the recruiter Rick Famangna. Well Rick does his best and gets 6 resumes over to Pickerill asap… But the firm’s HR dept also sends him resumes from other recruiters… Now there are 57 resumes on Old Man Pickerill’s desk. He has literally 5 seconds to scan every resume. before the next interruption….
Now let’s try to figure out the mindset of today’s college graduate.
I spent all this money, I finally have the degree, where are the jobs I was told would come when I picked this major out of High School? How come no one is approaching me to ‘Take their career opportunity’? I have a degree. This was / is a field that is supposed to be growing, right? I have a lot of loans and they are not going to pay themselves.
This is the environment of today’s job college grads and hiring managers.
Here is a email that was sent to Manager that was a friend of mine, from a college graduate that couldn’t find a position in their field for over a year…. The resume of the grad was attached in the email and is referenced in the email reply from the manager.
My name is So and So , I met you at a family party or two over at family friends house. They suggested I speak to you regarding my current job search and struggle to connect my resume to the Finance Industry.
I’ve attached my resume to this email for your review.
I understand the family friend reached out to you regarding lending me career advice. I have to say, I dropped the ball in reaching out to you sooner, because of self nervousness and doubt over my experience in the industry.
I know you are very busy but I would greatly appreciate even 20 minutes of your time.
So & So.
Right off the bat we see that So & So isn’t hungry about their career trajectory…. They used connections to network and then failed to capitalize on them as soon as possible… Why would someone extend themselves in this current job market for a person that can’t be bothered to reach out in a timely manner? – Food for thought.
Here was the reply the Manager sent to this College Grad after reading the forwarded resume. Keep in mind that the manager is solid, but like most managers in today’s job market, they are not going to sugar coat what they see…. To be super honest, most the time managers will not state negatives in candidates directly to them… So there is a lot of insight in this below section.
No problem So & So. I think you have a number of obstacles that you need to think through before you move forward with your career and some of this might be difficult for you to hear and accept.
First, you are a millennial and everyone hates millennials. On its surface its sounds funny because it has become a generally accepted cliché among people over 30 who feel your generation is entitled, lacks a legitimate work ethic, and is waiting for opportunities to just pop up.
That is what I took away from your resume. It reads like you did the bare minimum. College – check, Academic Activities – check, worked three varying jobs in less than a year, check… But why would I consider hiring you and for what position? Honestly, if you were hiring for a position and this resume came across your desk would you call them in?
Second, you are seriously messing up the easy stuff and this screams lazy, incompetent millennial. Here are a few examples:
1. Oversea (in or to a foreign country, especially one across the sea) vs. Oversee (supervise (a person or work), especially in an official capacity),
2. Sentence grammar, which includes a subject, verb and predicate and ends with punctuation,
3. Consistency – if you want to do the bullet point thing, don’t do it sometimes and not others,
4. Trying to embellish your resume with redundancies to fill space (do you really need to list Athletics Marketing Intern under Professional Experience AND Academic Activities?),
5. Trying to sound educated, but sounding dumb. (Fluent working proficiency in Spanish) If you think that is grammatically correct, the University owes you money back, and
6. Being lazy compounds the effect of doing dumb things. Have you not found a professional mentor? (e.g., professor, former boss and/or family member) Were you too lazy to have them review this document or did the thought never cross your mind?
As a hiring manager, I am offended you wasted my
time reading this document… I have ten other things I need to get done before I leave, have not made it home before 7:30 pm in the last two weeks because I’m understaffed and, when I finally get approval to hire someone, this is the
that is submitted. This is who is reading your resume in less than 30 seconds…
So, by now, you may be slightly offended. I hope I have your attention. Stop and take a second. Ok, now really stop and take a second because you need to hear this…
So & So, No one in the business world gives a ‘badwordshere’
about you and they do not owe you a single
thing. It is your responsibility to proactively prepare for each and every opportunity and there is no guarantee that the opportunity will come. You can only do your part.
With all of that said and, provided you are still looking for guidance, I will work with you incrementally as long as you put the work in and meet me half way. This will be a process so do not expect immediate results. But, if we do move forward, you better be worth every
ounce of goodwill my Friend used to get me to respond to this email…
I need you to do the following:
1. Find 3 positions/titles you think you want by the time you are 30 years old,
2. Research these positions and identify salary expectations, skills and certifications required, and
3. Summarize the prior working experience these positions require and maintain a list of common words (acronym or slang) relevant to the industry/position. (hint: websites like indeed have positions posted that list this type of information as requirements).
Get this to me by Friday night and I will look it over. If the effort is there, we can schedule a call to discuss this weekend – deal?
PS – Never swap updated documents without disclosing it. It comes across as sneaky and not like you are trying to improve…
WOW………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Forward this to a manager you know…. Or to a Parent with a teenage or college age child. The Manager was SPOT-ON !
All of my managers feel the same way with kids coming out of school. I can go into a list of traits or resume attributes that make it difficult to take new candidates seriously but let me general and blunt.
80% of College Graduate job applicants are Lazy and Self Entitled.
I know that rap lyrics tend to get through to this generation so I will quote De La Soul,
Welcome to reality, see times is hard
People try to snatch the credit, but can’t claim the card
Your parents think your special, maybe your friends think your special. Everyone else in the world will only tolerate you for what you can provide them. Please take this as gossip. If you aren’t hungry and hustling, you will not do well in the current job market.
Now, Ask yourself these questions.
- Did you go to a good school?
- Did you take on an internship while at School?
- Did you actually understand your the classes ( in detail ) that pertain to your desired career position?
- Can you go into detail describing what you learned and were able to take away from the above classes mentioned?
- What have you done above and beyond just taking courses that a hiring manager would be interested in?
- Does your resume speak directly to the job requirement?
- After reviewing the job requirement and your resume, can you honestly think of a reason you would hire yourself if you were the hiring manager?
If you are still having a hard time and you have answered ‘yes’ to a majority of the above questions, then it comes down to your resume not reflecting these traits. Which is a great problem because this can be fixed quick and in a hurry. Ask a mentor or someone you respect in the field to review your resume and give you very detailed tips.
Look at each job as an opportunity. Also ask yourself will this job Eventually take me where I want to go ( think in 3 year increments ), when reviewing the job requirement and during the initial phone interview. Don’t be so quick to think a job is below you ( this is a major trend with Millennials ). Understand that even when you get the job, you are constantly being evaluated for future opportunities. That being said, always put forth your maximum effort and quality of work. This should be a given without me coaching you to do it, but if that isn’t the case, then do it because you will take yourself out of the running for future career growth.
Lastly, build your network and build your professional self. No longer can you just put in the 9-5 at your firm and expect to be carried on to the next level of your career. Take time after work to figure out how to be better at what you do? Go to meet ups, write a stupid blog ( – ) ( – ) ? Or whatever will give you the one up on your competition.
Get on 2-3 recruiter’s email list in your field ( especially when you have a job ) because they will constantly keep you aware of where your particular job market is going… You don’t want to hear your skills and experience are outdated when you approach a recruiter or firm for a job when you need it…
Fernando, I hope this addressed some of your concerns. Thanks for the question.
Director of Executive
Management & Technology Divisions