6 Strategies to Hire the Best New Graduates

6 Strategies to Hire the Best New Graduates

6 Strategies to Hire the Best New Graduates

College graduations are just a few months off, and new grads have to make life-altering decisions — what industry to join, which jobs to apply to, whether or not to move their search to a new city and everything in between.

Fortunately, a new survey from Michigan State University has some good news for employers and job seekers alike: Hiring is expected to jump 15 percent next year. It’s time to prepare for this jump by doing some research to figure out how to reach the newest batch of job seekers entering the market.

Here are six things hiring managers need to know when looking to hire talented new graduates.

1. Do some research.

There are a number of opportunities to gain real-world experience while in college. Find out how recent graduates gained their experience and take note.

Have new graduates produced anything in a previous broadcasting class? Do they contribute to any online magazines? Have they won any awards for software design? Did they contribute to a startup idea?

Look for online portfolios for past experience. Many social professional networks allow users to upload samples of their projects. Personal blogs are also a popular way to show off recent work. These media bases can help indicate the project quality job seekers are capable of producing.

2. Figure out their lingo….

What’s trending with recent graduates? What do they read about ? What types of jobs are considered most appealing? What do they care about? These are all important questions to consider when looking for candidates.

The majority of today’s job seekers are millennial and Gen Z graduates. They’ve grown alongside technology since they were born — technology that connects them to the people and places that matter. In order to reach fresh, young talent today, it’s important that companies can connect with them — and that they can relate to employers, too.

3. …and speak it.

Understanding what graduates care about most makes it easier for employers to help these job seekers connect the dots to their company. Figure out what topics are trending on social media, apply those topics to job posts, where fitting, and attract job seekers that way.

If employers want to hire talented graduates, they need to get inside the graduate mind. No doubt these new candidates want a job, but they want to find work that has meaning behind it. Show them how the company measures up.

Employers can do this by advertising company perks and benefits on job postings. Also, create a company blog about how giving back is important and what the company does to contribute. If the company cares about the community, there’s a good chance the company cares about its employees.

4. Get on their friends list.

Don’t just be a blip on the job seeker radar. The CareerBuilder 2015 Candidate Behavior Study found that candidates consult up to 18 resources throughout their job search. These resources include job boards, social networking sites, search engines and online referrals.

Convince them to care about the job by producing fun videos of company culture and reasons why they should want to work for the company. Also, write about and share topics they are interested in, such as student loans, work-life balance, giving back and resume and interview tips.

Today’s job seekers are using much more than the traditional resume to apply for job openings, which actually is saving the company time and resources. Snapchat is an easy way to tell a quick story about the company brand through images.

5. Cater to their mobile lifestyle.

Job seekers are more connected. What’s more, a spring 2015 survey from Careerbuilder found that 52 percent of the 2,000 employers who responded use social networking sites to research job candidates. This is because the job search has gone mobile. Recent graduates, in particular, are searching for employment literally everywhere they go.

Job seekers are only interested if they can apply with just a few clicks on their phone or tablet.

So, applicants are turning to job platforms such as Levo for inspiration on their professional journey. This platform is for new job seekers who are passionate about developing their talent, building connections with peers, mentors and applying for jobs.

Employers can bring that same interest into the hiring process through video interviews.

Video interviews give both the employer and the candidate flexibility when it comes to interviewing. Use them to get the most in-depth look at a candidate’s personality and creativity, while asking those staple interview questions. One-way video interviews allow the candidate to answer questions on their own time, solving any scheduling issues.

The job search never sleeps — especially for graduates just entering the workforce. They are determined to find their place.

6. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Company culture and creative employee benefits will attract talented college graduates because they care about the total package — not just the money. Things like more paid time off, schedule flexibility and being able to work from home are all benefits new graduates are interested in.

In fact, a survey from Strategic Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Employee Job Engagement Survey of 600 U.S. employees, conducted in November of 2014 found that 55 percent of employees reported that a work-life balance was very important to their overall job satisfaction.

Keep this in mind when creating an employee benefits package, and include them on the job posts, as well. Graduates like to know what is available from the start and whether the company can give them the work-life balance they are looking for.

Company culture is also a hot commodity when it comes to the job search. It’s important to design a culture around a fun, friendly and hard-working environment. New graduates want to work with people who are just as passionate and innovative as they are. Going to work everyday needs to be fulfilling and needs to give them a greater sense of purpose.

Unfortunately, a cubicle just isn’t going to cut it.  A traditional office can seem old and outdated to them. Breathe life into the office with creative spaces. After all, graduates grew used to working in places that inspired their creativity in college — oversized armchairs, coffee shops, lounge rooms, etc.

When looking to hire new graduates, find out what they want most out of their career and where they are looking. Then, be there.

In what other ways are employers reaching out to new college graduates?


The Next Generation Of MENA Entrepreneurs

The Next Generation Of MENA Entrepreneurs

The Next Generation Of MENA Entrepreneurs
You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Imagine yourself trying to find a job as a fresh graduate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Not only would you be looking for employment in one of the most tumultuous regions in the world, in challenging economic times, but you would also be competing with millions of other graduates who are looking for jobs. Aggravating this situation, demographic projections reveal that the region’s youth population will continue to surge.

To us at Bayt.com, these factors exhibit themselves in very real ways: the average job vacancy advertised on the website gets well over 500 applicants. This compares to barely tens of applicants that most leading job sites globally boast. While job sites all over the world compete to get applicants on their sites, Bayt.com invests a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to help employers make sense of the massive choice they are getting, and communicating to job seekers realistic expectations for being selected for a job.

In a recent report, Bayt.com and YouGov investigate the reality of the job market and employment opportunities available for fresh graduates in the MENA region. The report describes some of the obstacles fresh graduates face when looking for a job, and reveals the extent to which higher education is preparing them for the current workplace. Findings in the report demonstrate how particularly challenging it is for young job seekers across the region to secure a first job with their current skills, and why entrepreneurship could well be the solution to the youth unemployment problem in the MENA region.

Perceived motivations to hire fresh graduates
Source: Bayt.com

The reality of the job market for fresh graduates in the MENA

It’s not news to anyone that the job market across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a tough place. Talents are in high supply, while jobs, on the other hand, are very limited. According to the Bayt.com Fresh Graduates in the Middle East and North Africa Survey, July 2016, 60% of fresh graduates say it is challenging to find a first job, with half of them stating the greatest challenge standing between them and a successful career is the fact that candidates with previous work experience are preferred by employers in the region. In addition to employers preferring experienced candidates, respondents cited a lack of knowledge as to where to find relevant jobs (35%), and a lack of understanding regarding how to effectively search for jobs (32%), as the main challenges they face when trying to secure their first job.

While finding a job may be challenging, fresh graduates throughout the region are not giving in. Despite what many perceive as a “negative outlook,” the largest proportion (43%) claim they will keep looking until they find a job in their industry of choice. Nevertheless, results also point to a pragmatic youth, with one in every five (21%) fresh graduates surveyed across the region claiming they will start looking for a job in another industry, and a further 16% claiming they will look for any job no matter the industry. Unfortunately, the majority (61%) of fresh graduates surveyed across the MENA region feel they would have fared better in the job market if they had selected either a different major (32%), the same major but from a different school (11%), or both a different major and a different school (19%).

Industries perceived to hire the most fresh graduates
Source: Bayt.com

Are fresh graduates the new entrepreneurs?

Most surveyed across the MENA region have a fairly pessimistic view regarding job availability for fresh graduates, with three-quarters (73%) rating it as “low,” with fresh graduates in North Africa and Jordan exhibiting least positive feelings towards the availability of jobs, and those rating job availability as either “high” or “moderate” in these countries ranging from 8% only in Jordan to 15% in Morocco. Officially, one in four young people (aged 18-29) in the MENA region are unemployed. Unofficially, this number could be much higher, especially when considering the large prevalence of informal unemployment and underemployment in the region. With such diminished job prospects, an emphasis on youth entrepreneurship in the MENA is imperative. If young people cannot find jobs, they should be able to create their own, and ideally generate jobs for others.

Good news is, Bayt.com’s research has shown over and over again that people in the MENA are more interested in running their own business than being employed. Unlike previous generations, for many millennials, climbing the corcorporate ladders isn’t a goal they are struggling to attain. Actually, eight in 10 fresh graduates said they might be turning their backs on the traditional career path soon and instead become owners and runners of their own business.

Avenues pursued to find first job
Source: Bayt.com

Whether due to the economy or something else, it is clear that entrepreneurship in the MENA region has grown. In terms of future aspirations, 39% of fresh graduates are actively considering setting up their own business; 41% may consider it.

These findings mirror a Bayt.com survey in partnership with Stanford University, which showed that in every Arab country surveyed, about 40% of respondents expressed interest in being self-employed, with 50% of them saying that they started a business because they wanted greater independence.

The final word

Stimulating entrepreneurship is intrinsic to creating both sustained economic value and jobs, and it is clear that this goal has become of increasing importance in the Middle East and North Africa for creating stability and common prosperity, especially for the youth, with youth entrepreneurship being of particular importance. Members of this generation of fresh grads have proven to be innovative and great at analyzing and solving problems, reducing a certain amount of risk by increasing the probability that employers will be able to quickly recover their onboarding costs. While most of these young job seekers firmly believe that their lack of experience is what is jeopardizing their job search, results from our research into the MENA region’s employment sector disagree with that assumption. The truth is, employers are increasingly tapping into the graduate talent pool, and the proof is Bayt.com, where hundreds of entry-level jobs are advertised on the website every day.

Get smart

A look at the tools Bayt.com offers to develop your skills

Bayt.com offers multiple options and various streams that can both help graduates develop their skills as aspiring entrepreneurs or job market entrants, as well as help employers identify the skills of a candidate for a specific role.

Bayt.com Courses

Learning new skills and adding them to your CV is a great way to highlight your expertise to employers. Courses vary from soft skills to technical skills, and can prepare fresh grads for their first job.

Bayt.com Tests

Test and qualify your skills to employers with Bayt.com tests. Choose tests that are related to your industry, and show employers just how capable you are with the skill set you have.

Bayt.com Specialties

Network your way to success with Bayt.com Specialties. Stand out from the crowd by connecting with industry peers and employers, discussing important topics, asking and answering questions, and gaining know-how and expertise within your industryall for free.


Why Entrepreneurs Should Take a Gamble on Young People

Why Entrepreneurs Should Take a Gamble on Young People

By now, you’ve heard it everywhere: Today’s college graduates face a job crunch the likes of which young Americans have not faced since the Great Depression.

It’s a perfect storm of negative circumstances for 20-somethings: a sluggish economy, a record number of college graduates seeking white-collar work and a recent financial crisis that wiped out the retirement savings of older workers, preventing their jobs from turning over on schedule. By all accounts, the supply of professional jobs comes nowhere close to meeting the demand of young job seekers.

What most people aren’t talking about, however, is the other side of the supply and demand curve. When jobs are in short supply, it’s a great time to be a supplier. And with so many qualified, ambitious young people out of work, small businesses have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recruit from a large pool of top talent.

It’s a matter of simple trickle-down capitalism. The most desirable entry-level jobs — the positions at Fortune 500 companies that have traditionally attracted the top graduates of elite universities — are tougher to come as a result of lower retirement rates, industry losses and slow growth, leaving the best and brightest graduates to set their sights on second-tier opportunities.

The effects of the job crunch cascade down the line of graduates, making thousands of young people available to employers that they may not have considered otherwise. In 2000, success meant Wall Street or a dotcom firm. Today, it’s just having a job.

This should be music to the ears of entrepreneurs. Bright young college graduates are willing to take a chance on small businesses and startups. Now, it’s your turn to take a chance on them, even though the risks of hiring in an economy where capital remains tight can be substantial.

The decision to hire a 22-year-old without a lot of work experience isn’t one that’s likely to lead to short-term profits. Employers can find it a more time-intensive effort to bring a new graduate up to speed as opposed to onboarding someone who knows their way around the workplace. But when this activity is viewed as an investment, finding the right young person in this job market can be a decision that pays dividends for years.

Young people bring energy, ambition, fresh ideas and familiarity with modern technology to workplaces. They also represent blank slates of sorts for small business owners, as they haven’t been socialized to follow the practices of another company and aren’t set into routines or working styles that more seasoned hires may have a difficult time of shedding. Hiring an employee directly out of school gives employers the opportunity to shape a person’s professional growth and development — an experience that can be rewarding on both a personal and monetary level.

Members of this generation of young people, undoubtedly shaped by the job crunch, have also proved to be exceedingly loyal to their employers, reducing a certain amount of risk by increasing the probability that employers will be able to recoup their onboarding costs.

Tom Nearny, CEO of United States Liability Insurance Group of Wayne, Penn., hires new graduates every year. He recently told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his retention rate in recent years has been near 100 percent. Of the experience of working with young people, he said, “It helps me learn how they see things, how they hear things, how they understand our culture. It helps fuels things. I’ve just been amazed at how much talent there is.”

Politicians have repeated ad nauseum that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engines that drive job creation. And with the 1.8 million members of the class of 2014 hitting the streets this month, this is entrepreneurs’ opportunity to be a part of that engine. The road to recovery begins when entrepreneurs take risks, and the buyer’s market for youth employment has never been hotter.


Five Things You Could Be Doing Wrong On LinkedIn

Five Things You Could Be Doing Wrong On LinkedIn

Five Things You Could Be Doing Wrong On LinkedIn
You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Entrepreneurs use LinkedIn for various reasons– some use it for brand building, some use it to connect with VCs and angel investors, while some just have a LinkedIn account because their friend told them to create one. But regardless of the reasons one may be on LinkedIn, there are a few things that people end up doing that aren’t considered to be the best practices on LinkedIn. It’s important to avoid these on your LinkedIn profiles, because, as an entrepreneur, personal branding is something that goes a long way in branding your company as well, and making sure people see you the right way and want to do business with you. Here are five things that you could be doing wrong on LinkedIn:

1. Accepting every connection that comes your way

Back in 2009, when people were just getting used to LinkedIn and understanding what it can do, it was all about garnering connections and expanding the network- people thus resorted to accepting every connection that came their way. But this model has changed- in 2016, it’s all about making the right connections, and focusing more on quality over quantity. Be selective about whom you connect with. Given a choice, I’d rather connect with a senior management professional, than a fresh graduate who’s on a connection spree. Don’t get me wrong –I do connect with fresh graduates and help them with anything and everything that I can– as long as I see them making an effort in what they are doing. For example, if a fresh graduate with a good LinkedIn profile connected with me, I’d be more than happy to start a relation with them.

2. Using a Facebook-esque profile picture as your LinkedIn profile picture

LinkedIn is a professional networking website– so, let’s keep it that way. Unless you’re someone like Tom Cruise, having a picture of yourself wearing a shiny pair of sunglasses on your profile isn’t the best idea. Keep your pictures professional; use images that showcase you as the professional someone would want to do business with. This is all the more important if you’re an entrepreneur that’s using LinkedIn to grow your business and looking for investment opportunities from VCs. Think about it: would you prefer doing business with the guy in a well-tailored suit, or a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a drink in his hand?

3. Using LinkedIn for non-professional purposes

A lot of male LinkedIn users have been accused of using the platform as a tool to talk to women and ask them out. For obvious reasons, these people have been publically shamed, and it definitely affects the person’s professional image. Keep LinkedIn professional, and use it only for business and making relevant connections.

4. Put out job openings on your LinkedIn updates

Your team is what makes your company; we get that. But when you go on LinkedIn and push out an update looking for talent, you’ll receive a lot of comments with people applying for the position you have just declared open- this is an ineffective way of doing things, because, one, you can’t keep track of who is who and what each person has done, and second, you get endless notifications that just consume your time. A better way of doing this would be to post the opening on your company’s LinkedIn page. Anyone thus looking to join your company will immediately see this position under the careers section of its LinkedIn page, and can apply accordingly.

5. Using “I’d like to add you to my professional network” as your introduction

This is by far the worst and the most common mistake that people make on LinkedIn– not adding an introductory note when connecting with someone for the first time. LinkedIn by default has a generic message going out– I personally receive a few LinkedIn requests to connect every day, and I don’t go and see the profile of every individual that I’m connecting to. As a result, it’s best if you mention a couple of lines when you connect with me: introduce yourself and a few lines that would help me reach out to you when I need you and vice-versa. That’s the essence of being “actually connected,” versus being “just a LinkedIn connection.” If you can keep your introduction crisp, it’ll also help the other person know your expertise, and get in touch with you with any requirements that they may have later on. How many times have you heard people say, “There’s this guy on my LinkedIn; he knows about this– let me connect you to him.” Help these people remember you better.

LinkedIn is a very powerful platform– by making sure you don’t make the above mistakes, you’ll have a better LinkedIn profile, be more approachable and eventually help shape the future of you as an entrepreneur as well as the company that you’re running. In today’s world, your online branding plays a very important role in a lot of things that you do– and having a great LinkedIn profile would definably aid in that.


Hire the Right Recent Graduates for Your Startup With These 4 Tips

Hire the Right Recent Graduates for Your Startup With These 4 Tips

Hire the Right Recent Graduates for Your Startup With These 4 Tips

Image credit: drpavloff | Flickr

One of the most important tasks you will face as a business founder is the recruitment of your first team members. Many founders struggle with this task — I did when I started my company. Industry veterans might command a salary that you can’t afford, or candidates whose impressive skill sets you can afford may not align with your core values.

Your search for the ideal hire may be further complicated by the rapid influx of recent college graduates into the job market. In the weeks following their May and June graduation ceremonies, you may find dozens — if not hundreds — of graduates applying for open positions at your company. Given their relative lack of employment experience, how can you identify the college graduates who are best suited to the swift pace and constantly evolving nature of startup life?

Impressive candidates can come from all sorts of experience levels and ages, so you should try not to limit your search to just one group. If you do, however, choose to pursue recent graduates, here are four pieces of advice that can help identify the right ones to join your team.

1. Narrow your search.

You can narrow your pool of candidates to students with internship experience at startups. These individuals have already self-selected themselves for startup environments.

If you’re located in an area without a concentration of startups, you can also consider looking to schools that offer entrepreneurship programs. Try to form connections with these schools’ career centers and professors. Taking the time to establish connections can help you develop a pipeline of promising recruits.

2. Remain in sync with hiring cycles.

If you plan to target college graduates, a great first step is to familiarize yourself with the academic calendars of the colleges and universities at which you are recruiting.

Many companies begin to secure talent as early as January or February. While you may find a stellar applicant in May, don’t feel compelled to wait until late spring to begin your search. Instead, consider building awareness of your business as soon as the spring semester starts next year.

3. Focus on fit.

It’s all too easy to be swayed by a candidate’s impressive skill set, but no amount of programming expertise or marketing know-how outweighs the importance of company fit. In an ideal world, the person you hire should complement the personalities of your existing team members. Take the time to determine whether the candidate believes in your company’s mission and vision.

4. Vet your candidates.

Once you begin to recruit promising candidates, vet them heavily to determine whether they’re strong long-term fits for your business. You might ask why they want to join a startup, or you might ask how they plan to contribute to your company’s growth. Candidates who have done research prior to their interviews are more likely to be genuinely interested in your startup’s mission.

You can also inquire about projects that candidates completed during college to gain a sense of their work ethic and ability to coexist on a team. Consider posing a challenge during the interview, such as asking marketing applicants to describe how they’ve used data to inform and guide a marketing strategy. Their answers will show you how well they think on their feet — and the extent to which they can add value.

Running a high-growth company puts you in the unique position of offering job candidates one of the things they seek most: career potential. This happens to be something that recent college graduates in particular seek. Any candidate you hire can, in turn, offer enthusiasm, skills and a unique outlook on the business world.


Starting Up Right Out of College

Starting Up Right Out of College


Starting Up Right Out of CollegeIt’s a brave new working world for recent college grads. Find out if entrepreneurship is a good option for you as we weigh the pros and cons.

You’re a graduate. You have a framed document that says you’re qualified to work in your field. You could apply for jobs at established companies and small businesses. You’re different, though. You crave the excitement and control of entrepreneurship. You want to start a business.

We live in a world with an uncertain economy that’s driving people toward self-employment — particularly young grads who can’t find work. However, starting a business straight out of college comes with pros and cons. Here, we explore those and open up a conversation for graduating students thinking about business ownership.

Pro No. 1: You have the time (and energy!) to fully devote to a startup.
Most college students, when they graduate, have more time than their seasoned counterparts to devote to a newly formed business. This allows graduates to start and become immersed in a business without feeling adverse effects elsewhere in their lives (like with their spouse and kids, or at an existing job).

The long work days and lack of sleep also won’t have the same effect on someone who’s used to spending nights cramming for tests and writing long papers. The discipline you gained in school will carry through to your business.

Also, the stakes often aren’t as high. Graduating students typically aren’t trying to pay off a mortgage or support a family, which means that the business revenue can stay in the business to help its growth.

Con No. 1: You may have a difficult time securing financing and business credit.
One of the most important aspects of starting up is securing financing in some form or another. Sometimes that comes via personal investment, other times through angel investors, and often it’s accomplished through a business line of credit. As a new graduate, you may have a harder time securing that financing if it involves an investor or lender.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, had his best friend contribute $1,000 to help launch Facebook. According to “The Facebook Effect,” by David Kirkpatrick, Eduardo Saverin later contributed $20,000 more before Zuckerberg was able to secure a $500,000 investment from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Know what resources are available to temper the energy you put into your business idea.

Of course, you can start a business with little to no overhead. Online, service-based businesses tend to require little more than a website and Internet connection to run.

Pro No. 2: You aren’t yet jaded by many, many years spent inside a corporation.
For many potential entrepreneurs, years spent working for a corporation can lead to feeling jaded about business in general. This is usually because of all the red tape, which can make employees feel overly regulated or governed instead of open, able and creative.

New graduates often don’t carry the same baggage about business and instead feel excited, hopeful and anticipatory about their business ventures. They have the mindset of “anything is possible” and can take leaps of faith without worrying as much about hitting bottom.

Remember to carry that initial spark into the years that follow the launch of your business. That zest for success, and the fearlessness that accompanies launching ideas and putting big things out into the world, is something that can be tough to maintain for a long period of time.

Con No. 2: Starting a business means taking on roles you may not want.
When people think about owning their own business for the first time, they might picture working from home (or the beach), schmoozing with other business owners, and cash flowing in to help pay the bills. Unfortunately, that’s usually not realistic — at least, not for a long while.

Becoming a business owner means you’re not only the leader of the company, but you’re also the sales team, the marketing department, the billing and collections department, and the receptionist. Essentially, you become every aspect of the business until the business can start hiring.

Before you start up, ask yourself if stepping into each of those roles is appealing and if the benefits of owning the business outweigh having to do those tasks for an undetermined amount of time.

Pro No. 3: Starting a company will provide you with amazing life and business experience.
Even if your business doesn’t survive, launching a company is an amazing experience that will bolster your resume. You can’t understand the blood, sweat and tears that go into building a company until you’ve actually built one — and you can’t understand the value of a customer until you see how difficult it can be to acquire one.

Business ownership will also teach you more about yourself, and other people, than any psychology course ever could. It forces you to truly examine how people think and what the motivations are behind the actions they take. Regardless of where you go in your life and career, that is powerful information to learn.

Con No. 3: 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first five years.
Starting a business doesn’t equal instant success. It’s going to take some time before the business starts earning revenue and you can bring home a paycheck. Even if the business starts off strong, there are no guarantees of its future success. When you consider the statistic that nine out of 10 businesses fail in the first five years, you can see why it isn’t exactly a “safety net.”

Even though that statistic might be sobering, you also need to be fearless if you decide to start a business. Avoiding the fear of failure, which can be paralyzing, will help you keep your eye on success so that thoughts of failing don’t slow you down.

Resources for young entrepreneurs
If you do decide to start a business after college, here are several amazing resources for young entrepreneurs:

  • Young Entrepreneur Council
  • Under30CEO
  • Retire@21
  • YoungEntrepreneur.com

Want to Start a Business Fresh Out of College? Try Freelancing First.

Want to Start a Business Fresh Out of College? Try Freelancing First.

As the next wave of college graduates enter the workforce, many are itching to pursue an entrepreneurial lifestyle that involves starting a blockbuster business and raising millions in VC money no sooner than they put away their caps and gowns.

While this is certainly the flashiest way of entering working life after college, it isn’t always the most realistic. Entrepreneurial graduates often don’t know exactly what type of business they want to start the moment they leave school and have little idea about navigating the real-world intricacies of starting a company — from creating a business plan that will resonate with potential investors to winning new customers and hiring staff.

For all you recent college grads interested in being an entrepreneur, there is another option aside from immediately diving into forming a company: become a freelancer.

Here are a few tips on how to get started:

Think of freelancing as the foot-in-the-door to becoming an entrepreneur. Freelancers are the fastest growing segment of the US workforce. It’s estimated that by the year 2020, 40 percent of the American workforce will be a freelance or contract worker, according to financial-software company Intuit.  But what does this mean to you as a recent college graduate interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial lifestyle? A lot.

Freelancing can be thought of as the highest form of individual entrepreneurism, and the foot in the door to starting your own business. Much like business-owners, freelancers make a living by successfully marketing their skills or services to prospective customers. Pursuing a career as a freelancer also offers many of the same “lifestyle benefits” that people normally associate with entrepreneurs — from the ability to control the type of work you do and time spent working to the potential for higher earnings and improved mental and physical health.

Leverage technology to find your first gigs. Just like an entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a recent college grad starting out as a freelancer is landing your first paying gigs. Even if you spent your latter years of college grooming your network and making good business connections, you can’t expect your first freelancing jobs to come to you. You have to go out and get them!

Technology is undoubtedly leading the freelancer revolution. Freelancing is not a new phenomenon, but what is new is the ability for technology to connect freelancers with gigs. Today there are numerous online freelancer marketplaces available for virtually any job – from online only work (like writing or website development) to offline work (like IT field services).

Search for gigs you love. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to make sure you like what you do before starting a business in the field. If you’re a recent grad freelancing as a web designer, and you find out that you don’t enjoy doing it, you don’t have to go through the pain of laying off employees and closing a business. You just have to find a new type of job.

Transition from freelancer to business founder. If you love the freelancing you’re doing and are ready to take the next step towards starting a company, freelancing can help you build the necessary portfolio and reputation to make this possible. If you do great work for a variety of companies as a freelancer, they will inevitably become repeat customers. Once you have sufficient business coming in, it will make sense to take the next step and form a company, hire employees and start your career as a business owner.


10 Tips to Help Graduates Succeed in Their First Job

10 Tips to Help Graduates Succeed in Their First Job

10 Tips to Help Graduates Succeed in Their First Job

Image credit: InnerSpirit | Flickr

May 29, 2015


For thousands of recent graduates across the country, graduation holds a two-sided definition: It is both the end of something and the beginning of something. For many it is the transition they have been waiting for — time to step forward from a lifetime of learning and into a career.

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work alongside some amazing people. Whether it was my time at Microsoft or the people I work with now at Porch, I have noticed some marque traits that really great contributors and leaders possess.

To help recent college grads transition from the classroom to the office, here are 10 tips for success.

1. Be open-minded

Try and work with as many different types of people and in as many different situations as possible. Volunteer for interesting projects, introduce yourself to someone new every day and embrace the uncomfortable nature of not knowing everything.

2. Be measured

Make sure you and your manager share the same point of view on success. Your daily priorities should align to with the broader business goals.

Do a weekly check-in to ensure what you do is material to the success of the overall business.

3. Be collaborative

In college you needed to be self-focused. Now it is about the business. The old saying “there is no ‘I’ in team” is 100 percent true. If you cannot collaborate, you will have a hard time being successful, and you are not going to get a lot of fulfillment out of your day. Don’t be a lone wolf.

4. Be patient

Things are going to go wrong. Use these moments in time as opportunities to accelerate the development of your own self-awareness and growth. You can’t run away when something doesn’t go your way. Stay involved and be an embodiment of the change you want to see.

5. Be flexible

Even if you don’t love your first job, do it well and find ways to empower others to do their jobs well. Proving that you can useful and resourceful will make your leaders, co-workers and even other companies want you on their team.

An entry-level job is an opportunity. If you can be good for the business, the business will be good to you. If you can persist and do a job you don’t like well, imagine what you can do when you find your passion.

6. Be resilient

In college, when you fail it’s a sign that you didn’t learn and may not graduate. It is very black and white. In your career you will fail, and when you do, you learn hugely valuable lessons that you can take with you the rest of your working life. Handle your mistakes with grace and turn them into action rather than inaction. Don’t hang your head. Bounce back and take what you have learned and move forward.

7. Be proactive

Some people want things to happen, some people wish things would happen and some people make things happen. Get involved in the business and find ways to be proactive. Utilize your strengths to drive impact, identify areas of weakness where your involvement in certain projects will help you refine your skillset.

8. Be humble

Any great entrepreneur, artist or athlete will tell you that they did not get ascend their career alone. You will need many mentors throughout your career so be open-minded. You will find interesting people you can learn from all over the place.

9. Be curious

Learning never ends. Stay on top of what is happening around you. Follow trends that will help your business, read books that interest you. If you maintain a passion for learning you never feel irrelevant.

10. Be gracious

As you find success, make sure you highlight the “how” over the “what”. It isn’t just about scoring touchdowns and putting points on the board. How you got there is likely the result of work others have done to help you out. Bring people along for the ride and never dismiss the contributions other have made.


Employers Looking for Actual Work Experience From Fresh Graduates

Employers Looking for Actual Work Experience From Fresh Graduates

Manila, 24 March 2015 – More than ever, employers this year are looking into actual work experience either from an internship, part-time job, or even civic work when faced with the proposition of hiring a fresh graduate.

JobStreet.com conducted a survey participated by more than 400 companies in February, which reveals that during the hiring process, employers want fresh graduate applicants to highlight internship and part-time job experiences. Eighty percent of respondent companies replied internship as something they would like recent graduates to have while half of them answered part-time employment experience.

Only a year ago, the three items employers want fresh graduates to emphasize on their resume and at the interview were internship, grades, and extracurricular activities. While grades maintained its second position this year, the number of employers that think it is important dropped from 58 to 52 percent. It is also interesting to note that the number of companies wanting students to highlight community work experience increased from 14 to 19 percent.

This development may also explain a noticeable decline in the importance employers place on the fresh graduate applicants’ alma mater. In 2014, 61 percent of respondent companies claimed that the school where the fresh graduate got his or her degree is “important”. This year, the number dropped by 10 percentage points to 51 percent. While the number of companies that consider this factor “very important” also increased by 4 percentage points, the bigger increase went to companies claiming that the “school factor” is “unimportant”.

While the “Top 4″ universities – University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University, still placed prominently as the institutions companies prioritize when hiring, the distribution among the four universities and fifth-ranked Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) is now more even.

Aside from the institution where the applicant graduated, actual work experience, and grades, employers are also very particular about the behavioral and functional skills of fresh graduates. Willingness to learn, initiative, and honesty and integrity continue to be the most important qualities employers consider in fresh graduates. On the other hand, the most prized hard skills in fresh graduates are communication skills and trainability.

Over 80 percent of employers claim to have hired fresh graduates in the past year, with most of them landing jobs in Accounting and Finance, Operations and Information Technology (IT).

Companies that have not hired fresh graduates in the last twelve months attribute this to having only job openings for candidates with work experience or who are highly specialized. On the other hand, companies that hired fresh graduates express concerns that their fresh graduate hires do not stay long with them, have poor communication skills, and have unrealistic salary expectations.


9 Things You Need To Stop Doing After College

9 Things You Need To Stop Doing After College

9 Things You Need To Stop Doing After College

by Lisa Froelings

Your life after college is going to be a lot different from before and making the transition can be difficult for those of us that have grown used to certain habits. There are a few things that you need to get used to doing after college and a few things that you need to get used to not doing.

1. Stop procrastinating.

In college, it was no big deal to stay up until two am and get that paper done or spend Sunday night cramming for that exam on Monday morning. But I’m afraid in the real world the procrastination just doesn’t fly. Your boss is going to know if you spent two hours on a report that should have taken ten hours. And after college you have to juggle many more responsibilities. If you’re procrastinating, those are going to feel like a stampede.

2. Stop hanging out with people who are going nowhere.

Your life after college is 95% based on the people that you surround yourself with. If you’re spending all weekend drinking around a keg of stale beer at your buddy’s house then you might want to change your game plan up a little bit. It’s not tough to meet people after college who are looking to do big things, they might not be in your tiny hometown, but there are dreamers out there. You’ve just got to find them.

3. Stop making excuses…like for anything.

Making excuses is a dangerous habit to fall in to because when you start rationalizing your mistakes in one aspect of your life, then you’re going to start doing it throughout your day. The best way to cut down on the routine is to just kill it all together. Don’t make sorry excuses to your spouse, family or your boss. Hell, don’t make excuses to your dog either.

4. Stop going rogue.

It’s time to put that calendar app on your iPhone to use. After college you’re going to have to juggle a lot of stuff so you better get organized. Soon, you’ve got to worry about health insurance, taxes (and how to write them off), and something called a 401k.

5. Stop eating like a fast-food junkie.

I spent my entire life in great shape, I had the six-pack of a Spartan and then suddenly I graduated and the abs turned to flab. I was still working out constantly but I realized I had to cut down on the meatball subs and Starbucks Lattes. Your metabolism slows to a crawl after college so eat all the fries you can now.

6. Stop drinking like a fish.

Okay, it’s Cinco de Mayo, after you turn twenty-two that’s really not a good enough reason to buy a sombrero and get blasted on Jose Cuervo at the shifty dive bar two neighborhoods over. Who do you think you are, Johnny Manziel? The hangovers after college feel like somebody is beating you with a tire iron, and suddenly drinking can be a dangerous habit. The National Institute of Health stated in a report that nearly half of all college students binge drink. After graduation I’m afraid you’re going to have to abandon the Natural Light marathons.

7. Stop being discontent.

In school I was always telling myself “things are going to be so great” and “I’m going to meet a beautiful woman and surf every day and write the next great American novel”. I wasn’t exactly happy in the situation I was in. After college you still have to be hungry, looking for new jobs but you also need to realize that you don’t live in North Korea and your life is just fine the way it’s going right now. Everything you need to happen, will happen.

8. Stop buying more and more stuff.

I’m not a big gadgets guy but I love clothes and shoes. It’s nearly impossible for me to walk past the Thomas Pink store without stopping in for a shirt. After you graduate you’re going to have to ease up on your spending. Your iPhone 5 works just fine and it’s okay if you only have two surfboards. Track your spending like a mafia boss and be thrifty.

9. Stop acting like a fool on social media.

Your social media accounts are huge after you graduate. All that time that you thought you were just screwing around on Instagram and Facebook could come back to haunt you if there are pictures of you doing kegstands. I can’t tell you how many friends I have who’ve gotten in hot water over their online life. And half of the time I apply for a job they want to know what my Twitter handle is.

Essentially, you can sum it up by figuring that after college you’re going to have to get your act together. There’s still fun to be had but you have to do a lot more juggling of responsibilities and you need to get better at it.