A recent survey by consulting giant Accenture exposes a Grand Canyon-size gap between expectations and realities for 2014 college graduates. The most glaring discrepancy: 69 percent of this year’s college grads expect to land a job within six months of graduation, but only 42 percent of 2012 and 2013 grads actually did so.
Yep, it’s tough out there for the estimated 1.6 million students who’ll be earning bachelor’s degrees this year from U.S. colleges and universities, as well as grads armed with master’s and doctoral degrees. However, the 2014 job market isn’t as tough as it’s been in recent years. Hiring of college grads in the U.S. is projected to rise 7.8 percent this year compared with 2013, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Whether you look at this year’s job market for college grads as great or gloomy, it’s important to keep in mind that a diploma doesn’t automatically translate into employment. College grads must do the work to get the work. Here are four job-hunting tips for college grads that skip the usual résumé/cover letter/“dress for success” advice.