Mid-level executive of a Fortune 500 here.My son completed his BS in Business Administration at the end of April. He just turned 22 so in addition to being young he doesn't have much work experience. He has submitted numerous online applications daily for the past 6 weeks. This has only netted him 3 interviews. Two of which he decided were not right for him. Research indicated they were not good places to work and pay was based upon commission. The 3rd place he was very interested in, but they decided to go with a different candidate.
What he is running into is everyone wants you to already have experience. Most of his experience is from summer jobs (fast food, laser engraving place, taxes/data entry). None of these jobs really relates to his degree. The tax/data entry place probably comes the closest, but still not really what he wants to do. He is more than willing to start at the bottom if there are opportunities to move up into, but he's not having much luck even being called for jobs that only require a high school education. Most of them still want 3 to 5 years experience.
He's quite discouraged and a bit depressed right now. I keep telling him that someone will call and to not give up. But I wish I had something more concrete to offer him.
Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, about what he might be doing wrong or may need to do differently?
MY son would like to work in the banking industry and was told that perhaps he could start as a teller and then move up. He has applied for many teller positions and has not received a single call for an interview. When I was in the bank this past week I noticed a young teller, I asked him how he went about securing his position. He said he applied online.
Found out he was 19 with only a high school education and they hired him. My son is 22 with previous cashier/customer service experience and a college degree and he can't even get an interview?
The rule of thumb for college kids when breaking into the business world is this: if you don't have a job offer waiting for you by the time you graduate-- you're too late.
The reason for this is because business is a soft major where school prestige, school ranking, internships, and networking weigh heavily on post-graduation placement so all the job searching legwork has to be completed strategically and prior to entering the real world. As a student, you have the opportunity (and advantage) of being an intern, but as a college graduate you're just another unemployed candidate in the eyes of the companies. Business isn't a hard major like engineering or programming where job placement is determined by technical expertise although those also require a certain level of networking and interning.
With that said, I would consider the following:
- Leveraging his college career office for leads, openings, and networks. College career offices have opportunities fed to the from alumni who prefer other alums which gives an advantage.
- Industries outside of banking such as health care, technology, or retail to expand the pool of opportunities he's applying to. He can accumulate the experience he needs then lateral back into banking.
- Positions in less desirable areas (rural, low population areas) have difficulty with attracting and retaining talent because no one wants to live there. If he's willing to bite the bullet, he can be competitive in markets where they have barely any applications for open positions.
- Learning SQL and Excel. There are online classes that teach these high in demand skills and they'll jump out to companies on a resume. Business lives and dies on big data and data analytics, being able to draw insights from large data sets will position him well for any industry.
- (Last resort given the cost, time, and effort) Attending graduate school (a 1-year program) and making sure he prepares better this time around.
If you want me to review his resume (with his personal information removed) and give my feedback, feel free to reach out via private message.