You Have To Prove You Deserve The Job

Tough love—and tips—for getting hired now.

The world is flooded with college graduates this month eager to start that shiny new job. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking for a job:

1. The world does not owe you a job. If you still have not found a job, stop complaining out loud. Show me the positive side of your personality.

2. A future employer does not care if you have $100,000 in student loans. That is your problem, not mine. Show me your good financial sense.

3. Do not send me a form cover letter with the same phrases as every other applicant for the job. Show me your amazing creativity and do something different that gets my attention.

4. Were you so busy in college that you could not intern anytime in the last four (or five) years? Show me what you were involved with and how you gave back to your school and your community—and what you learned that benefits my company.

5. So, you want to take the summer off before a lifetime of work? Good for you, do it, go on that great adventure, but do not contact me until you get back. Then, show me what you learned that would benefit my company’s bottom line.

6. You will not start as a manager, VP, or CEO. As a friend of mine recently said, "You do not come out of seminary as the Pope." Show me you are willing to do the work it takes to start at the bottom and work your way up.

These points are not just for college graduates; they apply to anyone looking for a job. If you want a job, show a future employer what you will do to make his or her company great. That is how you stand out from the crowd.

Disagree with any of this? I think I know why you do not have a job.

[Image: Flickr user Canned Muffins]

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  • Glynda Gallagher Allison

    One more item I wish to add, as a prospective employer - Turn off your cell phone. If I hire you, the only phone you'll answer is the office phone, unless you're out on assignment. From the time to you start your work day your attention belongs on the job - not on facebook, twitter, tumblr, personal email, etc. Save that for your time, not on my dime. You'll have a lunch break to catch up on Instragram.

  • DazinRaisin

    I don't disagree with these points, but I was expecting more novel and enlightening advice for graduates on Fastco. I can get negative and predictable a lot of places online. 'Especially in this economy. 

  • Martha Brown

    I dont think its negative at all. I think it's just realistic. It goes against the 'world is your oyster, graduates' philosophy which is spoon feed to kids all throughout school. These are all lessons I had to learn after college as well. Well done, Fast Company/

  • David Bradley

    I totally agree. I was fully unemployed for 18 months after my first job and 3 weeks after having my first baby. I found a mentor and actually designed my own part-time job for a start-up non-profit before I landed where I'm at now. It was the worst and best time of my life so far. The only thing I would disagree with is about the cover letter. Every single CEO, Executive, HR manager, (and I spoke to a lot of them because that is the field that the NPO was in) said they don't care about your cover letter and only read them about 1% of the time. They normally go straight to the resume and don't look back.