Graduating in the United States is a big deal for most people. It’s a land filled with opportunity and the perfect time to start fresh with new goals and ambitions. However, not many graduates land a job the moment they graduate. On average, fresh graduates would take three to six months to land an entry-level job.
Most of these jobs usually don’t have high pay. Moreover, they aren’t as fulfilling as most jobs in your industry. However, if you don’t want this to happen to you, there are things you can do to become more competitive in the job market.
Pursue Higher Education
If you have the money and patience for it, pursuing higher education is a worthwhile endeavor. About 37% of American adults obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2021. But only 13% have an advanced degree such as a master’s or doctorate.
Pursuing higher education is an act of Continuing Professional Development or CPD. The importance of CPD is that it gives you knowledge that other people don’t have. Pursuing higher education can give you mastery over your profession. It will then provide you an edge over other job applicants.
It also puts you in a better position to negotiate for a higher salary. Aside from that, it helps you develop the skills and knowledge you need for your desired career. Always remember that almost everybody can get a bachelor’s degree. But only a few can earn a master’s or doctorate.
Get a Certification or License
Obtaining certification or license is another way to make yourself more competitive in the job market. This is especially true if you’re planning to pursue a career in a regulated industry such as healthcare, law, or finance.
In the United States, there are many certifications and licenses you can get. But the most popular ones are the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification, and the Series 7 license.
These certifications and licenses show that you have the skills and knowledge to do the job. They also give you an advantage over other applicants who don’t have them.
Moreover, they can help you get a higher salary. For example, CPAs earn about 20% more than those without a license. The same goes for licensed nurses, who make about 16% more than non-licensed ones.
Another way to become more competitive in the job market is to network. Networking is all about making connections with people. These people can be your family, friends, or acquaintances. They can also be professionals in your desired industry.
Networking aims to make yourself known to as many people as possible. That way, when a job vacancy arises, your name will be one of the first to be considered.
Aside from that, networking can also help you get your foot in the door. For example, many companies prefer to hire people recommended by someone they know.
Moreover, networking can help you develop meaningful relationships with people in your desired industry. These relationships can be beneficial to your career in the long run.
Develop Soft Skills
Soft skills are personal attributes that enable you to interact with other people. They include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
Most jobs require soft skills. That’s because employers want employees who can work well with others and get along.
If you want to be more competitive in the job market, focus on developing your soft skills. You can do this by taking courses, attending workshops, or reading books.
You can also join organizations and clubs. These activities will not only help you develop your soft skills but also your networking skills.
Be Willing to Relocate
One of the best ways to become more competitive in the job market is to be willing to relocate. Many graduates are unwilling to leave their hometowns for a job. But if you’re ready to relocate, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job.
It’s because many companies are looking for willing employees to relocate. They prefer these employees because they’re more flexible and adaptable.
Moreover, being willing to relocate shows that you’re adventurous and open to new experiences. That’s a quality that many employers are looking for.
If you want to be more competitive in the job market, follow the tips above. These tips will ensure you can land a great job when you graduate. However, it does require you to make a lot of sacrifices. But by the end of the day, these sacrifices can be worth it. Best of luck!