Careers

The 5 biggest fears of the class of 2018—and how to face them head on

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College graduates have a lot to worry about. The class of 2018 is graduating with the highest levels of student debt ever and landing even an entry-level position can be difficult to do.

Job site Monster polled 353 soon-to-be college graduates to see what's keeping them up at night, and as it turns out, the job search process is causing some serious stress.

"These fears are normal," Monster Career expert Vicki Salemi tells CNBC Make It, and if you are having these fears, you're likely not alone."

In fact, many of the most common fears that these soon-to-be-college-graduates have are common among all workers. Check out the five biggest fears of the class of 2018 and how to face them — even if you're not fresh out of school.

1. My resume isn't good enough

Over 36 percent of respondents said this was one of their biggest post-college fears. Fortunately, Salemi says there are several steps students can take to make their resume the best it can be.

First, make sure your resume is free of technical errors. "Show it to a friend and ask him or her to eyeball it," says Salemi. "Most importantly, have them check for typos, because sometimes spell check won't catch everything and your resume must be flawless — free of typos and grammatically correct."

A second resume-related fear that new graduates often struggle with is what to include when you have not had your first job yet. "If you don't have previous work experience, think about other opportunities and experiences you may have had that demonstrate skills like reliability, responsibility, time management and demonstrate a strong work ethic," explains Salemi. "Things like studying abroad, babysitting, volunteering, working for your parents, doing research for a professor and even mowing the lawn for neighbors demonstrate some of the soft skills that could be beneficial."

No matter what your experience, use strong action words and make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect. If you do these things, writing a resume is nothing to fear.

2. I'll bomb the interviews

Almost a third of all of those surveyed said that failing an interview was one of the things they feared the most. For students without significant professional experience, it can feel like you are going in blind. Fortunately, this is not the case and when it comes to facing this fear, preparation and practice are key.

First, research everything you can about the company and the role. This includes reaching out to people you know who have experience with the company, learning the mission statement and fully understanding the business model. "Be sure to review their social media feeds, and prepare your questions for them in advance," adds Salemi.

Once you have done your preparation, practice interviewing as much as possible. "Your career office on campus probably encourages you to make an appointment and many even offer free mock interviewing," says Salemi.

And don't feel guilty about asking your friends to give you practice interviews as well. Itt can feel awkward or silly but more likely than not, they will also be in the middle of their job search process themselves and this exercise can be equally beneficial to them as well.

3. I have no idea what job I want

Indecision can make the job application process scary no matter where you are in your professional life, but for over 31 percent of new grads, this was the more frightening part. Salemi recommends thinking broadly.

"Look at the classes you enjoyed in college and think about what interests you most. Match your interests and passions with potential jobs descriptions," she says. "You'll get to learn more when you're on the actual job interview, but you won't get the interviews unless you apply."

Once you have found an industry or profession you think you could excel in, be sure to use your network to find out if it is the right choice for you.

"Connect with alumni from your university to learn about their jobs and companies," says Salemi. "It's always nice to hear firsthand about what a typical day looks like on the job."

4. I don't have the right network

When you are about to graduate from college, it may seem like you don't have any professional connections.

The first step to facing this fear is expanding your network as much as possible. "Think beyond just your friends – what do your college roommate's parents do? Do they have any connections? Does one of your professors have a contact he/she can put you in touch with?" asks Salemi.

Next, be sure to put yourself into situations where you can meet people who can help you. "Volunteer to work at a reunion or event in the next few weeks, so you can meet new people," she suggests.

No matter how big your network is, the key to landing a job is properly leveraging what you already have. Be sure to stay in touch with people you admire and reach out to people with careers you would like to emulate — there's nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for advice.

5. I know what I want, but what if I can't find it

A healthy 36 percent of those surveyed said that knowing what you want but being unable to make it a reality was among their biggest fears. The solution to facing this fear is simple: Be flexible.

"Outline your top three dream jobs and then look at which companies offer those roles," says Salemi. "If you must start at a different role at that company and work your way up or move within, that's a good start."

If you can't find the job of your dreams in your area, consider roles in other cities and set up job alerts so that you are able to hop on an opportunity as soon as it arises. Don't be afraid of not having your dream job just yet — as long as you're working towards your goals, things won't feel so scary.

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