NEWS COPY - WITH VIDEO & INFOGRAPHIC
By Tyler Schmall
One in four college graduating seniors feel unprepared to enter the job market, according to new research.
A new study of 2,500 college graduating seniors found that job market-anxiety for today’s youth starts before they’ve even officially entered it with a quarter feeling already out of their depth.
Graduating from school and entering the job force for the first time is about as scary as it gets, especially for the 30 percent of seniors who don’t believe there actually are any jobs to begin with.
That's leading 28 percent to worry about having to take a temporary job for at least the immediate future.
Furthermore, the study shows that digital natives are under increased pressure to ensure that they present themselves well online – keeping social media sites on lockdown to avoid old photos coming back to haunt them as they undertake their first job search.
But despite all of this, their spirit is unbroken, as 82 percent still remain optimistic that something will come along. And for some, it already has.
The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of GoDaddy, found that 40 percent of seniors already lined up a job and are ready to start once they’ve graduated.
Of those that are holding offer letters in hand, nearly three in five (59 percent) believe that shaping up their online presence helped them snag a job ahead of graduation.
Recognizing the importance of not relying on social media platforms as their only online representation, 49 percent of those who have jobs lined up even created a professional website to house their resume and portfolio. That’s 24 percent higher than the number of those that haven’t yet received a job offer.
“Your digital presence is often the first impression a potential employer will have of you, making it essential that your online identity is not only fit for hiring managers to see, but that it sets you apart and highlights your relevant experience and interests,” says Jillian Johnson, creator of the GoDaddy Grads group. “A website is the best way to paint a vivid picture for employers of who you are and what you can offer, and it’s easier than ever.
Unlike a social media profile, a personal website is online real estate that you can fully own.”
Social media is also top of mind for college seniors. One challenging aspect of coming of age as a digital native is the possibility of an old, troubling Facebook post or photo resurfacing and hurting your employability.
College seniors are well aware of this threat, it turns out, because half have already changed their privacy settings on their profiles in order to prepare their online presence for the job market. 42 percent have even gone through their profiles and actually deleted old photos.
Students with a higher grade point average were even more likely to make their online identity shine before starting their job search – nearly 36 percent of students with a GPA above 3.5 had created an online portfolio, compared to 28 percent of students with a GPA below 3.5.
Splitting the results of the survey by the students’ majors painted a compelling picture about how area of study affects mentality about the job force more generally.
One of the more surprising revelations was that students majoring in engineering felt the least prepared for the job market, despite it typically being a lucrative and vast job market.
Science and math-related majors are the most worried they won’t like their chosen profession.
Literature, language, and social sciences majors are the most concerned about money after graduation, which makes sense considering they’re also the majors with the least amount of graduating seniors who have jobs already lined up.
Where one studies in the country can also impact attitudes towards post-graduation employment.
The survey examined several factors – if students had written a resume, created an online portfolio, held an internship, and students’ own sentiment around how prepared they felt – to determine an overall preparedness score.
Boston and Pittsburgh tied for the most prepared cities, while Dallas and Tampa were the least.
“The savviest job seekers today are the ones that consider every facet of the job-searching process, from seeking out networking opportunities and mentorship to owning their online identity;” said Jillian Johnson. “How we show up online can be as important as how we show up for an interview, and it’s vital to prepare for both.”
Top 10 regions with the highest preparedness score
Boston, MA 66.00%
Pittsburgh, PA 66.00%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 61.75%
Philadelphia, PA 61.25%
Raleigh-Durham, NC 61.00%
Washington, DC 61.00%
Charlotte, NC 58.00%
Portland, OR 58.00%
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL 57.50%
Cleveland-Akron, OH 57.25%