Hey, Class of 2018: How’s the job search going?

A new, exclusive Monster survey found that this year’s college graduates could use some help writing resumes, overcoming fears, and most importantly, finding a job.

Hey, Class of 2018: How’s the job search going?

New College Graduate Resume & Job Search Advice

“What are your plans after graduation?”

If you’re in the Class of 2018, you’ve surely been asked this question more times than your calculator can count—and you either love or loathe answering it. This year’s cohort of college graduates seem to be split on life after graduation: Some had it all figured out before winter break, while many others still “can’t even.”

Monster, in partnership with Research Now SSI, the global leader in digital market research data, recently surveyed 353 students graduating this year to better understand the job search struggles they’re currently facing.

While some grads appear to have the job search process nailed down, the survey revealed that 3 out of 4 still don’t have a job lined up post-graduation. Should that worry you? We say nah.

Monster Career Expert Vicki Salemi assures that it’s definitely not too late to start your job search—but you’ll want to start right away.

“Stay focused on your job search by putting it in your calendar the same way you’d schedule a yoga class or social event,” she says, “making it a priority that no matter what, during this block of time, you’ll devote all of your energy into looking for a job.”

So, what does the Class of 2018 need to do to lock down that coveted job offer? Our findings further pinpointed exactly what this year’s graduating class needs to work on—such as writing a kick-ass resume and overcoming job search fears.

Want some help with all of that? If you’re graduating, see what you need to do to get a job below—and how Monster can help you land your first job out of school.

Write a killer resume

Having a good resume is a very important part of the job search process. It’s your first point of contact with a potential employer, so you’ll need to make a good first impression if you want to move forward in the hiring process. But you probably already knew that—74% of our survey respondents said they believe resumes are important to employers. (Guess what: They are!)

For starters, you can check out this sample resume for new grads. And while you’re at it, you can start plugging in keywords, quantifying your achievements, and making sure there aren’t any of these all-too-common resumes errors.

Once your resume is written, you’ll definitely want to get another pair of eyes on your resume before you send it off. While having a friend or parent review your resume, which 48.1% of our survey respondents did, can help you eliminate embarrassing typos, having an expert review your resume will really give you the leg up you need in your job search

However, only 23.9% have had a professional look over their resume, and only a quarter of respondents are actually happy with their resumes.

What about you? Are you sure your resume has what it takes to move your application to the top of the pile? We’ll let you know! The Monster Resume Writing Service offers a free evaluation with detailed feedback on your resume's appearance and content within two business days—including a prediction of a recruiter’s first impression.

When your resume is looking the way you want (and you’ve gotten Monster’s stamp of approval), you’ll need to get it in front of recruiters. The best way to get some exposure? Upload you resume—up to five different versions—to Monster’s database, where thousands of recruiters and hiring managers come to search every day, looking for fresh talent, just like you.

Find a job

Your whole life, you’ve always known what your next step would be. From t-ball to little league to captain of your school’s team; from class clown to high-school musical to staging your own stand-up routine at college. But now that you’re graduating, it feels like you’re being dumped into the “real world” without a roadmap or a clear sense of direction. In fact, the biggest fears among this year’s graduating class (cited by 36.8% of respondents) are that you won’t be able to find what you’re looking for and that you don’t really know what job you want (31.7%).

Scary, right? It doesn’t need to be.

In fact, you can have a little bit of fun figuring this out by taking this free and easy personality test from Monster and Traitify to help you determine which career path is best for you. (All you do is look at pictures and say whether a statement sounds like you or doesn’t.) Who knows? Your perfect job might even fall outside of your college major!

With about 1 in 3 students just starting their job search now—and a little more than half having applied to 10 or fewer jobs—it’s no wonder that 75% of grads don’t have a job lined up by graduation. We’re not mathematicians, but it’s probable that the more jobs you apply to, the greater your chances of finding a job will be.

Salemi says to keep it simple.

“Don’t overthink things,” she says. “If you’re even somewhat interested in the job, submit that online app ASAP.”

So, if you count yourself amongst the grads without jobs, don’t panic: Monster compiles a weekly list of the top companies hiring now, as well as the latest entry-level jobs, making it easier for you to focus on where the jobs are and not waste time conducting useless searches.

But not so fast! Before you start, you’ll need to decide which jobs to apply for. We know this may sound like common sense, but when you search for jobs on Monster, like, say, for an entry-level sales job, you’ll return thousands of results, meaning you’ll spend countless hours combing through ads. To save time, know how to narrow your search to find the right jobs to apply for.

Once you know which jobs to focus on, you can set up job alerts to get emails when new jobs get posted. (Just look for the “Create Job Alert” button to the right of your search.) For more help on getting your job search off the ground, check out these six steps to finding the job of your dreams.  

Nail the interview

When it comes to job search fears, we found that 32.9% of our survey’s respondents are worried about bombing the interview.

It’s a natural feeling that Salemi has seen many times in her 15-plus years of experience interviewing candidates. So, take a deep breath and relax. No one—even executives—is immune to the butterflies, jitters, and anxieties that tend to set in before an interview. Fortunately, she says there are a few things you can do—(read: prepare, prepare, prepare)—to quell any fears you may have.

Conduct mock interviews with your friends,” Salemi advises. “And prepare your answers! There are several common interview questions you can practice answering like, “Why should we hire you?”, “Why do you want to work here?”, and “Where do you see yourself in five years?

The more you practice, Salemi says, the better you’ll get!

“Also, research companies you’re interviewing with and jot down questions to ask them,” she says. (And yes, Salemi says it’s totally OK to refer to your questions written down, preferably in a portfolio and not on your phone, during the interview). To gather intel, check out employee reviews and ratings through our partners at kununu.

For more interview help, take our crash course for college grads on nailing the interview.

Let us help with your job search

Now that you have a better understanding of how to conquer the post-grad job search, it's time to get out there and get some exposure. Need some help with that? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can get job alerts emailed right to your inbox, which cuts down on the amount of time you'd spend combing through ads. Additionally, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to different types of jobs that interest you—which you can use to speedily apply for jobs and make them searchable to recruiters. Finding your first job out of school can be hard, but trust that your dream job is out there. We know you have what it takes to find gainful employment—and we're ready for you to join the workforce now.