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The Post-College Job Hunt: Navigating the Difficulties and Emerging Victorious

KnoCScore Articles
Read Time: 21 minutes



How to increase your employability as a college graduate? or more importantly, how do you get a degree-requiring job immediately after graduation? Graduating from college is an exciting milestone, marking the end of an academic journey and the beginning of a new chapter in life. For many, this new chapter involves entering the workforce and securing a job that aligns with their career goals. However, the transition from college to the professional world can be daunting and fraught with challenges. This article helps with getting a job immediately after graduation and includes important advice for getting higher paying jobs. It explores the difficulties faced by recent graduates in the job market and offers practical advice to help young professionals overcome these hurdles and emerge victorious. We emphasize the critical importance of finding a job that requires a degree before the age of 28.


The Competitive Job Market

One of the most significant challenges for recent graduates is the highly competitive job market. With more students obtaining degrees than ever before, the number of candidates vying for entry-level positions has increased dramatically. This saturation can make it difficult for individuals to stand out among their peers, especially in fields with a high supply of graduates and a relatively low demand for new employees.

Strategies to Stand Out

  1. Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter: Customize your resume and cover letter for each job application. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that align with the job description. A generic application is less likely to catch the attention of hiring managers. Speaking to one hiring manager, it’s clear when an applicant hasn’t read the job posting. Hiring managers may receive 20 – 30 resume’s that are competitive for the position. When an applicant’s submission is clearly not targeted for the opening, it doesn’t make it past the first cut.
  2. Take advantage of your Knowledge Credibility Score: The Knowledge Credibility Score is an unquestionable validation of your knowledge, skills, experience, and includes clues into the making of your character such as athletics, or awards and badges from the military for valor and honor. The Knowledge Credibility Score or KnoCScore may be new, but it gives a clear advantage to those who begin building it early.
  1. Build a Strong Online Presence: Create a professional LinkedIn profile and keep it updated with your experiences, skills, and achievements. Engage with industry-specific content and connect with professionals in your field to increase your visibility. It’s more important to get recognition from potential hiring managers prior to applying for an opening. A few well written articles help to show depth of knowledge, skills, and potential. Posts help to show opinion, but generally do not provide enough room to provide evidence of professionalism. Avoid cut and paste from AI. AI is usually lacking in depth and easy to spot. Creating quality knowledge is a positive signal to employers, makes a strong impression, and helps show that an individual is capable for a senior position.
  2. Gain Relevant Experience: Internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer work can provide valuable experience and help you develop skills that are attractive to employers. Even if these positions are unpaid, the experience gained can be instrumental in securing a full-time role. This point cannot be understated. If you can find an employer who will help you build your knoCScore, this will help you accelerate your career.


The Experience Paradox

A large frustration among recent graduates is the "experience paradox." Entry-level jobs require prior experience that new graduates lack. The Abundant University by Micheal D. Smith argues that the traditional education from universities is failing their graduates. Indeed, an article from Harvard Business Review states:

... Americans who graduated from a two-year/community or four-year college in the past five years found that nearly one in five (19%) reported that their college education experience did not provide them with the skills needed to perform their first post-degree job. Additionally, more than half (53%) of these college graduates have not applied to an entry-level job in their field because they felt unqualified, and nearly half (42%) felt unqualified because they did not have all the skills listed in the job description.”

This paradox creates a vicious cycle with a harsh reality: Graduates cannot gain necessary experience to be considered for a job, and they cannot get experience without the job. In the past, students would work as interns and in many cases did so for free. However, universities understandably took the position that their students should be paid for an internship. Employers would abuse the free or cheap labor by hiring interns and giving them work unrelated to their degree. Post pandemic, students not only lack the experience to apply for jobs, but they also lack a mature perspective of a business

managers reality. Employers with tight budgets cannot hire non-productive employees. Paid interns lacking the experience to work in a position become not only a cost, but a time-consuming burden. Employers must train them to do their job. Once trained, if they become productive, they leave. It is a negative return on investment. Some employers in a recent survey further said that they would not hire anyone younger than 30 to 32 years old. This paradox is magnified with the popular millennial attitude of seeking wealth through easy means. It is a misunderstanding of “the cost of opportunities lost.” The result after graduation for the majority is the status quo. 4 – 6 years of student debt, and jobs with earnings no better than for a high school graduate.

Overcoming the Experience Paradox

  1. Leverage Internships: Internships are invaluable to gaining experience while still in school. Many internships can lead to full-time positions upon graduation, and they provide a practical understanding of the industry. Use platforms like Handshake to find a good internship. Students should ensure that they apply for internships that are related to their field of education. College credit for the position may be possible, but do not allow this to be the determining factor. An internship that provides responsibility, experience, and mentorship is worth far more than a few credits. Maintain a good relationship, within reason, with the employer. Make connections with the rest of the team. Ask good questions and learn


from it. Look for projects that will show you are qualified in the work world. We recommend finding and sticking with one or two employers during your college years. Continue to work more than just over a summer. Further, this may require working for free, at least in the beginning. The right internship may be more impactful to the future of your career as the school you graduate from.

  1. Understand what companies are looking for when they hire new graduates: Conduct research on junior positions by using LinkedIn and include internships as well. Create a list of the skills needed. Look at job postings, more than one, and take note of the skills they list. A key technique that has been used in the past is to interview a manager and submit a paper for a course or even an online publication. Look at the realities of the position, what they are looking for in new employees, as well as the challenges new employees face. This will not only help you learn, it may help in the future. Employers are impressed with people who display intelligence and interest in what they do.
  2. Networking: Networking is crucial not only for overcoming the experience paradox, but also for navigating the future of the business world. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and reach out to alumni from your college. Personal connections open doors to opportunities not only for jobs that may not be advertised, but by providing you a leg up with a reference for a position.

Statistics, Statistics, Statistics! The Importance of Finding a Degree-Required Job Before 28

Statistics for finding a job after college show that finding a job that requires a degree before the age of 28 is critical for long-term career

success. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 41% of recent college graduates (under 28) were underemployed, working in jobs that typically do not require a degree. Furthermore, those who are underemployed early in their careers are more likely to remain underemployed in the long term. The same study shows that 32% of graduates stay underemployed throughout their career highlighting the urgency in starting off on the right foot. Even more sobering is the report from the Strada Institue for the Future of Work and Burning Glass Institue cited by Inside Hired Ed. 73% of college graduates that started off in a non-degree required job remain underemployed more than a decade later. The same report cites that over half of graduates are underemployed a year after they graduate. The subject is popular on Reddit. Google “Finding a job after college reddit” and you will see the desperation and disappointment of many graduates who have accumulated debt only to work as a barista or bartender. With rising college costs, most graduates have accumulated more than $38,000 in student loans. Working in a position that does not require a degree typically does not earn as much. This may seem that getting a degree is not worth the risk, however it should also be noted that graduates find it easier to get a job than non-graduates.

The Long-Term Pay Difference

The difference in pay between those who find degree-required jobs and those who are underemployed is significant. According to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the median salary for recent graduates in degree-required jobs is about


$43,000, while those who are underemployed earn around $25,000. Over a lifetime, this pay gap can amount to a difference of well over $1 million in earnings.

Soft Skills

While technical skills and academic knowledge are essential, employers also place a high value on soft skills such as, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Additionally, being familiar with offline software such as Microsoft 360, Adobe Creative Suite, and many other industry specific platforms. In a competitive job market, these skills are often what differentiate one candidate from another.

Developing Soft Skills

  1. Get a relevant internship: Internships not only show experience in your field, they also develop soft skills that are essential to all professional jobs. The ability to work in teams, find priorities, meet timelines, and use related software are developed in internships for professional positions.
  2. Participate in Extracurricular Activities: Involvement in clubs, sports teams, and student organizations can help you develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.
  1. Seek Feedback and Make Corrections: Constructive feedback from professors, mentors, and peers can provide insights into areas where you can improve your soft skills. An individual that has seen many examples of students can make a stark difference in correcting misunderstandings you may have. It may seem unworthy of comment but reacting to ‘valuable’ feedback to make corrections is fundamental to improving.
  2. Practice Public Speaking: Being awkward and lacking confidence in front of a crowd is typical. Ensure you take a communications class from a good professor. To improve, try joining influential organizations at your college or in a political party to enhance your public speaking and presentation abilities. Record your speech and post it on YouTube. Ask for experts in the field to respond. Effective communication is a crucial skill in almost every profession.

Navigating the Job Search Process

The job search process may be overwhelming, particularly for those who are new to it. Understanding how to navigate job platforms, company websites, and recruitment agencies is essential for a successful job hunt.


Effective Job Search Techniques

  1. Search on Job Platforms: Websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are excellent resources for finding job listings. Set up job alerts to receive notifications about new opportunities in your field.
  2. Company Websites: Many companies post job openings on their websites in addition to listing them on job boards. Regularly check the career pages of companies you are interested in.
  3. Recruitment Agencies: Recruitment agencies can connect you with employers looking for candidates with your skills. They can also give valuable advice on improving your resume and interview techniques. Some recruiting agencies will rewrite your resume using language specific to an industry and thus increase your ability to find employment.
  4. Unadvertised Jobs: Many jobs are never posted to job search websites nor to recruiters and will remain open for a long period of time. It can be a daunting task to an entrepreneur to make an official advertisement about a position. Many jobs are found simply by asking managers if there are any positions they need to fill in a certain area. Start by asking friends if they know of any positions open where they work and ask if they would make a recommendation to their boss. Another strategy is to look at companies you are interested in on LinkedIn and find who may be a hiring manager. Try to connect with them and ask if there are any openings that you would be a good fit for.

Preparing for Interviews

Securing an interview is a significant step in the job search process, but it is only the beginning. Preparing for interviews is crucial to making a positive impression and increasing your chances of receiving a job offer. It is important to note that this can be stressful, and you should not become dismayed if you do not hear back or if you are turned down.

Interview Preparation Tips

  1. Be Remembered: The best advice for interviews is to make yourself memorable to the person or team interviewing you. They may be interviewing 10 to 15 candidates for a competitive position. They most likely will only remember two or three things about you by the end of their process. You might even ask them what are the three key things they are looking for in a candidate. You want to stand out to your audience. An excellent win strategy is to use a KnoCScore. While it is new, it will be easier to make a good impression. It will also be a memorable moment that shows determination and skill with technology.
  2. Research the Company: Take some time before the interview to understand the company's mission, values, and culture. Familiarize yourself with their products, services, and recent news. This knowledge will help you tailor your answers and prove your genuine interest in the company. If the company has a sign up page, it would be recommended to be familiar with their product.

  1. Practice Common Interview Questions: Prepare answers to common interview questions such as "Tell me about yourself," "Why do you want to work here?" and "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Practicing these responses can help you articulate your thoughts more clearly during the interview.
  2. Prepare Questions for the Interviewer: Asking insightful questions about the company and the role shows that you are engaged and serious about the opportunity. Avoid asking questions that can be easily answered by looking at the company's website. In the world of asking stupid questions, asking about information that is on a website would signal a potential problem. Asking for clarification may show interest. Discussing the uniqueness of their approach or application may also gain traction.

Dealing with Rejection

  • Rejection is an inevitable part of the job search process, and it can be discouraging. However, handling rejection constructively is essential for supporting your motivation and continuing your job search.
  • Reject the Rejection

    1. Seek Feedback: If you are rejected after an interview, politely ask for feedback on your candidacy. Constructive criticism can help you find areas for improvement and increase your chances of success in future interviews.
    1. Stay Positive: Maintain a positive outlook and remember that rejection is not a reflection of your worth or abilities. Rather it is the path to success. No one remembers the interviews that they were turned down in. They remember the interviews that they were successful in. Sometimes a failed interview is also in your best interests. The majority of candidates that stay positive succeed in their job hunt.
    2. Keep Applying: Persistence is key in the job search process. Continue applying for jobs and exploring new opportunities, even if you face multiple rejections.
    3. Follow Through: If there is a position that you believe you would be a good fit for, or that you want to pursue, keep pinging the job manager or the CEO. Showing determination, improvement, and persistence has succeeded for many well-known individuals including Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and Albert Einstein. In many cases entrepreneurs see themselves as persistent and will favor an individual for the same trait even though they may not be the best fit for the job.


    The Role of Networking

    Networking is a powerful tool in the job search process. Building and keeping professional relationships can lead to job opportunities, mentorship, and valuable industry insights. Although you may be young to industry, displaying your eagerness to learn and meet with other like minds can make an impression that will help you win a position led by the captains of your industry.

    Effective Networking Strategies

    1. Attend Industry Events: Conferences, workshops, and seminars provide opportunities to meet highly esteemed professionals in your field and learn about the latest industry trends. Often, these events are attended by leaders of organizations who also look to network and recruit.
    2. Join Professional Organizations: Membership in professional organizations can offer access to job boards, networking events, and career development resources.
    3. Take advantage of Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn allow you to connect with professionals, join industry groups, and take part in discussions. Engaging with content relevant to your field can increase your visibility and help you build a professional network.

    Leveraging College Resources

    Colleges and universities often provide resources to help students and alumni with their job search.

    College Resources to Explore

    1. Career Services: Most colleges have career services offices that offer resume reviews, mock interviews, and job search workshops. Take advantage of these services to improve your job search skills.
    2. Alumni Networks: Alumni networks can be a valuable source of job leads and professional connections. Reach out to alumni working in your desired field for advice and potential job opportunities.
    3. Job Fairs: Attend job fairs hosted by your college to meet recruiters and learn about job openings. Prepare for these events by researching the companies that will be attending and practicing your elevator pitch.
    4. Academic Professionals: Many professors, advisors, and deans maintain connections with organizations, “Rolodex”, with the intent of opportunities for their top students. Drawing upon these resources may open doors to unadvertised positions in industry.


    Continuous Learning and Development

    The job market is constantly evolving, and staying competitive requires continuous learning and development. This is a trend that is not going away. Keeping your skills up to date and staying a head of the latest industry shifts will make you a more attractive candidate.

    Strategies for Continuous Learning

    1. Online Courses and Certifications: Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses and certifications in a wide range of subjects. These can help you acquire new skills and show your commitment to professional growth. Seek courses taught by technology leaders who are well recognized by industry. Usually, these professors may be found at top ranking universities. Earning a certificate from Stanford MIT or Harvard will carry a lot of weight with hiring managers and can make up for a diploma from a lesser-known school.
    2. Reading Industry Publications: Stay informed about the latest developments in your field by reading industry publications, blogs, and news sites. This knowledge can help you stay current and offer valuable insights during interviews.
    3. Attending Learning Workshops and Conferences: Take part in workshops and conferences to learn from industry experts and network with other professionals. These events can provide valuable knowledge and help you stay connected to your field.
    1. Earning a master's or PhD: If the job market is tight in your field, then deepening your knowledge will make you more competitive. The New York Federal Reserve Bank says that the rate of underemployment decreases considerably for those who have a master's or PhD. The knowledge will give you deeper insights into your area of knowledge. Consider the opportunities that may come from your school, mentor, and professor base.

    The KnoCScore: Boosting Your Job Prospects

    Building up a Knowledge Credibility Score (KnoCScore) can significantly improve a college graduate's chances of securing a degree-required job. The KnoCScore is a patents-pending tool designed to assess an individual's knowledge credibility and work ethic within a specific domain. Similar to a credit or FICO score, a higher KnoCScore indicates greater competency and credibility, making graduates more attractive to potential employers.

    How the KnoCScore Works

    KnoCScore is a new company with 3 patent applications that provide in-depth coverage of the novel concept. It is not a “feel good” badging system with cheap flashy badges and no real associated cost to reputation nor cheap access to derive income. It is based on solid proven principles that have been in existence for hundreds of years.


    If you are a high-school student considering college, this is your best opportunity to start earning knowledge credibility. Start by ensuring organizations are compatible with KNOC Inc. Not all organizations have agreed with the unquestionable third-party ‘Gold-Standard’ that rates all individuals equally based on multiple fact-based variables. However, given the substantial number of underemployed graduates, signing up for KnoCScore will signal, along with your knowledge credibility competitiveness, your pro-activeness and work ethic. As you attend higher learning institutions and as you work, your KnoCScore will build over time much in the same way a FICO or Credit Score would build. The difference is that unlike a FICO score, it is easier to bubble up to the top. This is particularly true in the early days.

    If you are a graduate or are already employed, signing-up for KnoCScore will give you opportunities to accelerate your scoring based on what you have already accomplished. Then, by keeping up with KNOC INC, you will get advanced access that will help you stay ahead in your career field.

    As an intern, you also have opportunities to increase your KnoCScore. When available, seek employers who have signed up with KnoCScore.

    Opening doors to opportunity

    The KnoCScore levels the playing field. Traditionally, as described by Micheal D. Smith in “The Abundant University”, top paying employers would only open positions to the select universities like Harvard Yale and Stanford. This is apparently based on the candidate pools they select from and has a gate keeping effect to opportunities. Thus, opening

    the downstream wealth and careers of those who are selected by those institutions. Although these universities may send invitations to thousands of potential student attendees, their intent is to increase their brand placement and standing. It may sound devious; however, it is more about the market than anything else and justifies their prohibitive cost of attendance. Undoubtedly, who you learn from can make a difference in your knowledge, this has more to do with people. Learning from hands on industry experience along with an understanding of theory has always created better understanding. Often it is the individual, not the institution, that makes a difference in the real world. KnoCScore ambiguates unimportant variables such as institutions by looking at the deeper reasons for talented individuals. KnoCScore is about capability. It is a win-win-win: It opens opportunities to formerly filtered out candidates; It deepens potential talent pools for high-quality people who are more interested in working in industry; and it embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion based on an individual’s performance, not based on another individual’s opinion or political interests.



    The transition from college to the professional world is filled with challenges, but with the right strategies and mindset, recent graduates can successfully navigate the job market and secure fulfilling careers. By standing out in a competitive job market with a high KnoCScore, overcoming the experience paradox, developing soft skills, effectively navigating the job search process, preparing for interviews, handling rejection, leveraging networking opportunities, utilizing college resources, and committing to continuous learning, young professionals can increase their chances of finding a job that aligns with their goals and aspirations.

    Remember, the job search process is a journey, and every step, whether successful or not, brings you closer to your ultimate career destination. Stay persistent, stay positive, and continue to build on your strengths and experiences. The right opportunity is out there, and with determination and effort, you will find it.


    Published: 2024-07-08

    Author: Lowell (Wolf) Stadelman

    Change history

    1. Edited: 2024-07-15 - Added further helpful details about what employers are looking for from new graduates.