Recent College Graduates Can Expect Competitive Job Market

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- College students across the state graduated over the weekend and for many of them they will be entering the job market for the first time. Those graduates can expect the job hunt to be competitive.

“For most of us it will take a couple of rounds," said Micheal Jontz, Midwest Professional Staffing.

Jontz is a job recruiter in Des Moines, and he said that on average an applicant will send out 10 applications to every one interview they will receive.

Jontz said a common mistake a first time job seeker will make is setting expectations that are too high.

“I would say, setting such high expectations that would, unfortunately, rule you out of position that might be a perfect fit for you," Jontz said. "Often times after graduating from college we get in our minds that we need to be at a ‘X’ amount in salary. So many other things play into that, you have to think about benefits that the company offers, paid time off and those are just things you don’t go over in a course you’ve had in college. Those are very important, not just salary.”

Chrystal Stanley works with students at Drake University when they are looking for that first job.

“Perseverance is very important when looking for that first job," said Stanley. "A lot of students expect that if they apply for one job they are going to get that job immediately. All of us in the workforce know that is not going to happen usually."

Stanley said that students who have success in the finding that job are the ones who seek outside help, like networking contacts or their college career resource centers.

"So, reach out for help, they don't have to be the expert," said Stanley.

She goes on to say that most colleges have resources for those who graduated last weekend or last decade.

When applying for that first job Stanley stressed to make your unique skill set known to the employer.

“A tip that I give students is to really be able to give strong examples of a time they were dedicated. A time they worked really hard," said Stanley."So, in interviews if someone asks you about an experience that you've had, what you want to do is not only say that you work hard but give an example of a time you led a team, when it took a lot of really hard work. Or when you took on a project that was really beyond the realm of what you knew and you did a lot of research so you could the best of your ability.”

Jontz added the it's not just about the employer interviewing you it is you interviewing them.