Expert Interview with Lauren Friese on How Recent Grads Should Launch Their Job Search

By Cheryl Morgan

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We asked Lauren Friese, founder of TalentEgg.ca, about the biggest challenges facing recent graduates in today's job market.

"It's an incredibly nuanced problem - and all stakeholders carry some of the blame," she says.

To help students and grads in Canada navigate a tricky job market, TalentEgg offers a variety of resources targeted to millennials. Here, Lauren offers her insight on how young job seekers should prepare to launch their careers.
 

Tell us about TalentEgg. What services do you offer?

TalentEgg is Canada's leading job board and online career resource for students and recent graduates. It's a giant, comprehensive and free resource for students and recent graduates, with thousands of intern, student and entry-level job listings; thousands of articles, videos, and guides; and lots of other useful elements. For employers, it's a platform for promoting and developing your employment brand to millennials and for recruiting top students and grad talent.
 

What sets you apart from other job sites?

We're 100 percent focused on students and recent graduates, and facilitating a successful transition from school to work. For people at the beginning of their careers, jobs are not enough; that's why we're a career resource and not just a job board. There are tons of meaningful, high-quality job listings on TalentEgg, but that's just the beginning.
 

What are the biggest concerns or frustrations of the students and recent college grads using your site?

The catch-22 of "you can't get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without a job." Last year, we launched TalentEgg Challenges to help combat that problem. In a nutshell, Challenges provides students and grads with an opportunity to take part in career-related, case study-style Challenges. They can win prizes through their participation, but more importantly, they get feedback and useful skills and experience that can be added to a resume.
 

What sorts of things should students do ahead of graduation to prepare for their job search?

It sounds cheesy, but students should really take the time to get to know themselves. Understand what it is they like to do and don't like to do. What they're good at, what they're bad it. Use that information as a frame of reference for choosing various career paths and industries. The biggest problems and frustrations among recent graduates often come from not being able to identify what it is they even want to do. Getting to know yourself is the first step to figuring it out.

Aside from that, and complementary to it as well, my advice is to take advantage of opportunities to gain experience, whether formal or informal. While you're in school, you have these neat little pockets of time (four month summer breaks!) that are perfect for trying out new industries and jobs.
 

What are the smartest things recent grads can do when launching their job search?

Take advantage of all the resources available to you. Talk to your family and friends, leverage the free resources on your campus that are usually available to recent graduates, and of course, use TalentEgg. We have TONS of free information, templates, guides, ebooks, etc. available for you.
 

How do you think job seekers should be using social media?

I think social media represents an opportunity and a threat. There's no one-size-fits-all answer because it really depends on what kind of career you're after, but the threat part always applies if you've used social media to share parts of your personality that are "NSFW." The opportunities (again, depending on what kind of career you're after) lie in creating a positive, work-aligned personal brand through social media platforms, the chance to develop a voice in the industry you're interested in, etc.
 

What are some of your favourite tools or resources for young job seekers today?

Again, we've worked really hard over the years and continue to work hard every single day to make TalentEgg.ca the most comprehensive resource for students and grads in Canada.

Aside from that, students should be taking advantage of free tools like wix.com or even about.me to create a positive personal brand online.
 

What advice can you offer someone who's frustrated by a seemingly never-ending job search?

Two things:

1. If you are a college or university graduate, statistically you will be all right - your job search will end soon.

2. The school-to-work transition is and has been hard for everyone, no matter what the macro environment was at the time they graduated. In other words, you're not alone.

Connect with TalentEgg on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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