The Reality of Job Hunting as a College Senior - How to Stand Out
College graduation season is almost upon us. Seniors are asking themselves, what next? For most seniors, it’s time to start searching for a job, but, the process isn’t as simple as you think.
Coming from someone who has already submitted 80+ job applications and been rejected or ghosted from all of them, job searching is one of the most frustrating processes a person can go through. The flexibility of online applications forces you to compete with hundreds of others around the nation for a single role. However, a professional recently gave me helpful advice that is already opening opportunities for me. At the end of the day, it’s really hard for college students to get noticed on paper compared to people who have already been in the industry full-time for several years. That’s why, instead of entering through the 'front door', graduates need to find the 'side door. '
The Side Door
Now, you might be asking, “What is the side door?” The side door is a niche aspect of an organization that you are interested in and have the skills for. This means doing your research!
For example, if you want to work for a professional sports team, focus on their community outreach programs or brand sponsorships. There are hundreds of people wanting to work in a team’s marketing or public relations departments. However, expressing your niche interest to a recruiter sets you apart from others. It demonstrates that you have done your research and have a clear vision of how you can impact the organization.
The front door is very crowded, but entering through the side door helps you have a specific aspect of the organization to talk about, increases your credibility and shows your passion for the organization. Everyone is capable of finding a side door but few take advantage of it. So, do your research, choose your niche, and enter the door.