A college degree no longer guarantees you a job. As a result, college students are getting more creative in their job hunts.
Seventy-five percent of students recently surveyed said they are looking for new and interesting ways to present their experience as they search for jobs . Interning and creating online portfolios are two of the ways new job hunters are trying to make themselves stand out.
"Often a college graduate is overlooked for a position based on lack of experience, when many times a student’s experience makes them just as qualified as a candidate well into their career," said Adam Markowitz, founder and CEO of thePortfolium, the interactive online portfolio platform that conducted the research. "It’s clear that the class of 2013 is looking outside the box to find new ways to share their experience with hiring managers."
In an email Q&A, BusinessNewsDaily asked Markowitz to explain what kinds of new job search tactics he’s seeing these days.
BusinessNewsDaily: Other than interning and doing an online portfolio what are the other ways that students are presenting themselves in their job searches?
Adam Markowitz: An online portfolio like thePortfolium is the most comprehensive way to present themselves on the web. thePortfolium allows students to aggregate all of their social and web content into one location – creating an easy way for hiring managers to see their expertise.
In addition to this - more and more students are using video resumes and visual images even info graphics to highlight their experience. Some students follow companies on Twitter and begin a conversation with their social team to get a better sense of a company’s culture and any tips on submitting their resume.
One of the most common things we see is students are now cleaning up their online profiles. Students know hiring managers are checking social media when hiring. Many are changing their name on their personal Facebook pages and social media profiles to avoid coming up in a Google search.
BND: Can you send some specific examples of what people are willing to do or have done in their job searches to stand out?
A.M.: We have seen more employers asking students to "solve a specific problem" or "show off a certain skill" – and a portfolio allows them to show their abilities and experience in a visual and comprehensive way. Students on thePortfolium will feature prior projects they have done during an internship with photos and even video. Others will showcase their course projects with photos and attachments that feature the end result.
In addition, the video resume which can feature a student in a Q&A session, or a clip of their most relevant work is something that many of our users include in their portfolio. The video is a great way to share their abilities and for hiring managers to see how they present themselves.
BND: Why is it so important for students to stand out today in the job market?
A.M.: The job market is competitive and even more competitive for college grads who are applying for jobs where an applicant with five years of experience may be vying for the same spot. Traditional student resumes tend to look very similar. For college graduates to compete against a young professional with more work experience, they have got to show how their abilities are relevant.
An employer wants to be able to distinguish each candidate from the next, gauge their potential and then make the best decision based on all of the information they have. The more relevant the information is, and the more efficiently the information is presented, the more streamlined the process will be for both the employer and the student.
BND: What is the biggest benefit of a nontraditional resume?
A.M.: It's memorable, and more importantly in today's high-tech world it shows the hiring manager that the student is willing to leverage new technology and applications to create a full picture of their ability and experience. A non-traditional resume like the ones used with thePortfolium can come up easily in a Google search , often a traditional resume gets buried under heap of others within the depths of job website.