NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Recent college graduates looking for work already face tough competition, even with a stellar resume and interview skills. The unemployment rate for young grads stands at 8.5%, and underemployment is 16.8%, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Unfortunately, only 11% of business leaders agree strongly that recent college grads are equipped with the skills and competencies necessary for workplace success, per a survey by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation.
So, what are the biggest errors grads make as they look to land their dream job? Experts weigh in on five:
1. They don’t find a mentor and don't network
Many recent graduates are intimidated by networking, says Val Matta, vice president of business development at CareerShift.
“Even though they know, intellectually, this is the way most jobs are landed, they need to be taught the ins and outs of this skill,” Matta says. “Networking is a give-and-take skill. Once practiced, it can become a way of life.”
During a job search, networking can mean asking for a meeting, interview, introduction or career advice. Even though this may feel awkward at first, recent grads need to get over their fear of asking for help, says Dave Sanford, executive vice president of the client relations division at WinterWyman.
“Most college kids are already familiar with social networking, because of sites like Twitter and Facebook. While these technologies are a great way for kids to stay connected to friends, they can also be useful in the job search,” Sanford says.