College grad: The real reasons you aren’t getting hired

The real reasons why recent college graduates aren’t getting hired may surprise you.

college graduate unemployment

The 1st reason: Graduates don’t know what they want to do. Recent graduates often tell me (as their career coach), "I can do anything!" This lack of focus on specific job titles makes landing a job – when employers are looking for specialists – extremely difficult. The solution: Research job descriptions on sites like Indeed to learn precisely which jobs match your skills and interests.

The 2nd reason: Grads often use a generic, one-page resume for every opening. Why is this a mistake? Employers strongly prefer a resume that matches their job description as closely as possible. Plus, two page resumes are widely accepted. The solution: Match your resume to the job! And don’t unnecessarily squish your resume onto one page. It is far better to include your impressive accomplishments and job duties even if they run to page 2!

The 3rd reason: While graduates in some majors enjoy low unemployment, like those in engineering or business, graduates in other fields may have double the unemployment rate of the national average. 

For example, recent anthropology and archaeology majors endure 10.5% unemployment and art majors face 12% unemployment. 

The solution: Pursue jobs beyond your major. Why? Because as you can see in this chart from the U.S. Census, 72.7% of people work in jobs NOT related to their major. You may find many more opportunities by expanding your search!


The 4th reason: Graduates may have focused on doing well in school and didn’t even think about looking for a job until after they graduated. This may have been too late for grads competing for entry level positions against other new grads who applied earlier. The solution: Apply now! Many recent grads who didn’t land a job this summer left for grad school so there may be less competition now.

The 5th reason: Many grads juggle a variety of interests and take multiple, low-paying jobs to try things out, which makes it harder for them to be considered for career positions. The solution: Make up your mind about what you really want to do and then take action to get there otherwise, you could languish in low pay for the rest of your career.

The 6th reason: Grads suffer from an overabundance of free, conflicting, and often just plain wrong online career advice. This Google search screenshot shows 12 example resumes. Care to guess what percentage of the resumes have problems that could affect employers’ applicant tracking systems used by 75% of companies)?



100%! One hundred percent could fail at least 20% of employers’ ATS systems because of wrong formatting, including lines, columns, colors, boxes, and shading. 



When you type “resume examples” in the Google search bar, you get more than 85 million results ... if 100% of the advice on page 1 is flawed, what kind of advice is on the other pages? Clearly more advice isn’t what’s needed. What’s needed is clarity.  

Clarity is exactly what is provided in the WiserU CareerSystem. It’s a progressive, web-based system of video tutorials, printable action guides and user friendly templates that trains you precisely how to land a well-paying, degree worthy job that they’ll love. 

The system is based on extensive research about how applicant tracking systems score resumes and how employers select candidates. To learn more or to get started, visit WiserUCareerSystem.com.

The 10 progressive modules of the WiserU Career System




Why do you think college grads aren’t getting hired ... or do you think they ARE getting hired? Share your thoughts! – Kathy 

Sources: Percentage of resume examples having flawed formatting: Based on research conducted by SLATE and reiterated by Forbes. Employment statistics by major: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (IPUMS). Percentage of recruiters use ATS Systems: Capterra 

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