Recent graduates, it's OK to get career help: Invest in the Brand Of You | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

01 July, 2015

Recent graduates, it's OK to get career help: Invest in the Brand Of You


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Thanks to Fifth Third Bank for sponsoring this post, and hosting the incredible Brand Of You contest!

I was one of those people who almost didn't get a college degree. For a while after high school I was perfectly content to work retail and receptionist jobs, reading and learning on my own time to enrich my mind. That is, until I decided to enroll in a couple of community college classes—after that I realized that I might actually be able to learn something from the experience. Go figure. It also didn't hurt that friends of mine who had just graduated college were basically earning twice as much money as I was for doing jobs that actually sounded cool. Stacking shampoo bottles for eight hours a day suddenly didn't seem as worthwhile to me, so I enrolled full-time, determined to get a degree.

My college ID photo. I was smiling on my first day, but I didn't realize how difficult things would be once I graduated.

And get a degree I did! Two, actually: I ended up thriving so much at college that I went on and got a master's degree too. Finding a job once I had that degree in hand wasn't quite as easy as some of my friends made it out to be though—at least that was the case for me. After grad school I found myself with a stronger understanding of what I wanted to do as a career, but very little understanding of how to actually accomplish my goals. And I definitely wasn't alone—studies show that:
  • More than half of recent graduates don't have full-time jobs. That was certainly true for me—I worked part-time for several months after I graduated while I looked for other opportunities.
  • On average, at least 200 people apply for every job opening*, of which 2% actually get their foot in the door*. That's another stat I can definitely relate to—I remember sending my résumé out to over fifty companies in the first month after I finished school, and hearing back from one. Yes, just one.  And no, I didn't get the job—it's not like the odds were exactly in my favor.
  • Just to complicate things even further for recent grads, they might not even be able to find all of the opportunities available to them—50% of all vacancies aren't even posted online.** That also rings very true to me—the part-time job I worked while looking I got thanks to a friend and word-of-mouth. It can be very tough if you don't know the right people or where to look.

*Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts

I really wish I'd had some sort of help available to me back then. I was pretty clueless to be honest, and it took me a long time to find my footing, which made the whole situation of figuring out what I wanted to do while juggling student debt even more stressful.  I can't travel back in time and change things for myself, but if you're a recent grad who also feels a bit lost, there are things you can do now—like job coaching. That's where Fifth Third Bank's Brand Of You contest comes in.

Until July 20th, Fifth Third Bank is giving away one-on-one virtual job coaching packages from expert coaches at NextJob (worth $1,000 each). NextJob is a national employment company that helps job seekers hone their résumés, tweak their social media profiles, and help prepare them for interviews so they have a better chance of landing a job faster. When you're one of 200 people all vying for the same position, little details like how well-organized your résumé is really do make a difference! Even better, NextJob can help seekers discover some of those elusive jobs that never pop up online. Oh, how I wish I'd known about them back then.

Each week, Fifth Third Bank will be selecting winners from the Brand Of You contest to be matched with a professional NextJob coach. All you need to do to enter is tweet why you deserve free one-on-one job coaching from NextJob with hasgtags #BrandofYou and #53enter. You can enter as often as once per day, and up to 80 winners will be selected per week until July 20th, 2015. And even if you don't win, everyone who enters gets access to NextJob’s proprietary online training toolkit.

In addition to the contest, Fifth Third will also be hosting a Twitter Event where NextJob coaches will provide real time feedback. Check out the event date below and this page for more details:
  • 7/8- TwitterResumes

For more information and official rules, visit:

What do you think is the hardest part about looking for a job? Which aspect of job seeking do you think NextJob could help you with the most?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fifth Third Bank, however any opinions and experiences expressed above are honest and all my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.

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