We have been getting a ton of applications from people who just graduated college and are looking for a job. When they apply they are super cocky and tell you everything you are doing wrong and how if you hire them they can fix everything… and they think they are worth an enourmous amount of money.

They tell you technically they can do anything and have won all these awards and letters of recommendations to prove it.

Course they have ZERO real world experience.

So just to save some of you some time I wrote a little something:

Dear Highly Technically Skilled College Graduate,

You probably have been worshiped all your life because you are super technically skilled and so young.

You are about to get a rude awakening.

One thing I have learned is that any idiot can do:

  • Server Administration
  • Write code
  • Graphics
  • SEO
  • Affiliate Marketing

But there are very few people on earth that have this skills and that:

  • Have a work ethic
  • Can finish what they start
  • Not flake out
  • Be trusted
  • Follow instructions

For years I was about as technically well rounded as they come but got no where in my own business or working for the man.

Technical ability only gets you so far.

Its kind of sad because I know some of the most technically skilled people on this planet and all they ever do is what is required to get by. Anyway I digress…

Obviously if you just graduated college you have a work ethic and can finish what you start.

But now the real work starts 😉

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

81 thoughts on “Dear Highly Technically Skilled College Graduate”
  1. Well i agree 100% with your saying that any idiot can do SEO these days, if you will see threads on any damn forum these days all are providing 1st page of google ..lol

    I keep thinking that suddenly around 1 million companies are poped up on Internet promising SEO of TOP pages – I am totally failed to understand what hell is happening these days on internet ??

    Work ethic is very much important at any given point of time if one needs to reach certain helights in life.

    1. I didn’t go to college and have limited skills. Can I have a job : )

      1. Even if Shoemeister asked me for a job…Not like he ever would…I would reject his offer..Even if the price was too good to be true..

  2. You are right. The thing that will separate these applicants are things that they didn’t learn in textbooks and case studies in college, but things such as their own ethics and values, determination, and the ability to work with others, not just as a leader but as a group member as well.

  3. I’d add a few more for the rare skills list:

    – Initiative – work ethic is a start, but initiative is the trait where you are one step ahead of the boss

    – Play well with others. Email manners and ability to collaborate well within a team.

    – Intelligent design. Anyone can code a solution that meets functionality. Can you code it so that it is maintainable, scalable, performant, and free of obvious bugs.

    1. I would say adaptivity is one major thing you’re missing here. Especially with anything online, things change so quickly that you have to be able to change on the fly and be comfortable and effective doing so.

  4. I still don’t understand, what’s your education got to do with your work experience?

    If I was to hire someone..I would just ignore the degree and go and see the persons past experience and see if he can benefit my firm and hire him.

    I honestly don’t give a damn about education as long as the guy is worth hiring and knows his stuff.

    Just my opinion, I know many of you thinks other way.

    Zafar Ahmed

  5. Yea really you piece of shit College grads…You guys are asking Shoemeister for a job?

    Come on, if you were skilled enough and dedicated enough…Do the damn “job” yourself…You don’t need Shoemeister to be over your shoulder or even on speed dial…shit, he doesn’t even have to be in your email contacts.

    There are many aspects of this game.

    Time is very important but who the hell am I preaching too.

    Good post brother…Later!

  6. Agree 100% with 90% of what you are writing 🙂

    I am the Marketing Manager of a small Tech Start up and would take initiative, follow through and gusto over a degree any day of the week!

    Wish I didn’t love my Job so much and could jump on this opportunity, whoever gets chosen is very lucky indeed!

    I do however slightly disagree with ‘any idiot can do SEO’ since I see SEO as much more than just straight Keywords, Meta, Links and other technical factors.

    When you weight in Social Networking, Reviews, Networking, User response, Quality of hits, leads, Long-time campaigns and all the personal and interpersonal factors of reaching the right visitors at the right time – it becomes much more complicated.

    I guess it depends on your view of what is SEO though so I get your point.

    My 2 cents.

  7. This article is so true and I could not agree more. You can have all the talent in the world but it’s the things that are hard to layout on paper that really shoes what you’re made of.

  8. Now if they paid for college with money earned from affiliate marketing…

  9. I feel your pain Shoe! I work with a guy that brings up his bachelor degree any chance he get. “I have a degree, I can find another job.” I went to a trade and have no debt, he went to a university and is head high in debt; I make more money than him, now what were you saying about your degree?

  10. I think I have a good work ethic. You just need that one company that will give you the break that you need. I had to do IT contracting for a year and then after multiple interviews I was able to get a job where I interned at. They liked me because they new what they were gettting and I could hit the ground running.

    I went to state college to get my 2 and 4 year but new college kids are spending a lot of money on that degree which is sad.

    Also there is no I in Team so it is a team effort.

  11. This is one of the reason why I am subscribed to Shoemoney. This post is very down to earth and so true. Even though I am a college student, I don’t act like this.

    I know I get praised every day because of my skills and there are other students who think they are better because of their accomplishment in classes. But all I say, degree is just a peice of paper, which is worth nothing. My experience is worth alot more.

    Good post Jeremy

  12. […] Dear Highly Technically Skilled College Graduate […]

  13. I agree.

    One of the advantages of going to school is that you have everyone telling you what to do, but to actually go out and accomplish something on your own is a lot more challenging.

    I would also argue that creativity is something that can’t be taught in school as well.

  14. I think you and your partner dillsmack have some kind of pent up aggression towards people that went to college. Maybe it’s insecurity cause you two didn’t graduate.

    Not taht I don’t agree that college can be a waste, but what you describe is not the norm for kids leaving college. Most of them don’t know their head from their a*s and it shows.

    I don’t know where you’re getting these college kids, with huge egos, and chips on their shoulders but I think it probably has more to do with your preconcieved notion of what a college graduate is like.

    1. well david you make a good point there but it also shows just because you have a degree you aren’t guaranteed anything as opposed to someone that doesn’t. There are more people out there that don’t have degrees and make more than a college grad, it goes to show its not the degree that got them there its the “who you know and not the what you know” theory.

    2. I think a LOT of college kids have bad attitudes. It played a large part in me quitting school.

      Kids who think they’re owed everything, cheat to win and talk a lot of smack.

      Same kids end up as middle managers for crap companies working 60 hour weeks supervising kids like they were 10 years ago.

      College teaches you to be an EMPLOYEE. Not really a free-thinking environment.

      1. While I agree that college teaches you to be an employee, I don’t agree that a lot of college kids have bad attitudes. If you run across them, it has nothing to do with the fact that they went to college..they might just be idiots.

  15. Sounds like you guys are filtering through quite a lot. I really don’t think the college angle has all that much to do with anything.

    If someone is telling you all that you are doing wrong in your company then they are just arrogant. This can be said about a lot of people college education or not. If this is being said in an application setting then said person is a complete idiot.

    If they are are trying to portray themselves as an internet god and how they can help then it shows they can’t read directions. Nowhere in your application format does it have a space for “Brag about yourself here: ________”

    Basically I think you are just seeing the very diversified personalities that are present in our society. More than likely the majority of people sending applications are in the college to just after college stage because their lives aren’t set in stone.

    I pray that my application wasn’t grouped with these yahooligans.

    -Austin Hale

  16. This made me smile. Finally someone who actually appreciates integrity.
    Trust and standing behind your word seem to be antiquated attributes.
    Well said!

  17. The reality is in college you learn competition, you learn to be the best, you learn to push your limit, they rank you, that failure it’s not an option etc.. Of course, it gives you some sort of huge ego when you finish. The one that succeed in college and in life are the one that can work in team, share idea and be able to finish school project and do something in their community…. It’s actually easy to spot them…
    Maybe you should ask for people that do something in the college or else where… like radio, a club leader, journal, community work… ( it gonna cut 2/3 of them)

    just my little advice….

  18. Bravo!!!

    You just said what I’ve been thinking for the past….hmmm….10 years.

    1. I agree. It’s too bad that some really don’t realize how valuable real world experience is.

      Might be more valuable than the college education said graduate pays for.

  19. yea ding dong this is the real world. if you take alot less money then maybe I will hire you in spite of your ignorance of the ways of the force

  20. I agree with what you’re saying but I understand what these people are saying.

    I can’t see the letters of course but I don’t think they’re trying to be cocky as much as provide a reason to hire them and explain how they have made achievements in the past.

  21. If you want a job working for the man, a degree will help. If you want to become independently wealthy off your own bat (and the truth of this post is that MOST people don’t have the drive and dedication necessary to achieve this), then a degree is entirely irrelevant.

    1. Mogul well said couldn’t have said it any better than you those were exactly the words I would have used

  22. Great post! 🙂 So true. I hate cocky college kids that think they know everything because they graduated. They want to be worth 100k / year right out of the bat. Hahaha

  23. My message to new graduates: If you show up to work on time EVERY day ready to work right away all-day…You’ll do better than 98% of your co-workers and rise quickly. I think only 2% of workers out there really bust their ass day in and day out and do not flake. Those are the ones who make it big.

  24. Great post and real straight forward feedback. It’s really great to have the edge on technology, but you must have the people skills as well to move ahead.

  25. The most important thing anyone can ever take from college is to Learn-how-to-learn. It doesn’t matter what classes you take or what degree you get, but rather what teachers you had or what professors you met.

    Sure, college may set in the realization that the library is actually a useful place and reading books or networking with people is crucial to learning. You may even see that there are patterns and methods for learning that remain constant in almost every field.

    What you could only hope to get out of college is the experience with a truly passionate teacher. A teacher who motivates you to love learning.

    To learn-how-to-learn, you have to love learning..so much of learning is about being motivated to teach yourself. Passionate people are self-educators and self-motivators and will always be able to learn how to learn.

    College can be great, or be totally irrelevant. It’s all about how you approach it.

    * On a side note, still waiting to hear back about the internship Shoe..?

  26. Awesome post! and this happens to be very true, I know this because I’m a college graduate. It gives you that little extra confidence, where you think just because you have a piece of diploma, makes you better at something. It’s not true, it’s all about having dedication motivation and the work ethic.

  27. […] Dear Highly Technically Skilled College Graduate […]

  28. education is necessary but it is not effective real life experiences and learnings.. life is not easy and in schools they teach you only theorics if you are strong and have vision to see future and trends thats effect of education..

  29. Amen, shoe! Most people who go to college think that their piece of paper gives them some sort of entitlement. Most people I know who went to college or university are idiots with crap jobs. And the ones with good jobs work their asses off 9-5, 5 days a week while I sit around and watch the money flow in 🙂

  30. So you’re saying that anybody that has invested in their future growth is an idiot? They should put themselves down because they took the initiative they’ve been told to take their whole life? What a croc.

    1. You don’t get it. Shoe’s not saying that anyone that goes to college is an idiot. He’s basically saying that it doesn’t make you a damn genius or better than anyone else.

  31. Great post and so true.

    I’ve been marketing on the Internet for a few years now and some of the most successful people I see or come across have all of these waisted degrees and qualifications. OK maybe not waisted but still not being used.

    I’ve seen law enforcers with 20 years experience simply drop everything for internet marketing etc.

    I’ve gone a little off topic but sure do see what you’re saying, Jeremy.


  32. “Obviously if you just graduated college you have a work ethic and can finish what you start.”

    That is a load of HORSE SHIT! You think because some snot nosed frat boy who sucked off of daddy who graduates college has a work ethic? I have never seen more worthless POS with titles & no commonsense in my life. When the real world slaps them in the face they run home to cry on mama’s nice round saline sack… Dangle a carrot & they come out of the woodwork looking for a free ride.

  33. Great post..

    I just graduated college but decided i didnt want to use my degree a long time ago.. (you still have to pay back those loans so i figured i might as well finish)

    overall im glad i went i met some great people and changed my perspective on a lot of things for the better.

    I considered dropping out several times, but ultimately decided to just stick with it. My degree is in criminal justice, but i knew i wanted to make more money and make my own schedule…

    sure made for some awkward conversations when i graduated and people asked me what i was going to “do”

    but im glad im doing what im doing and just hope i can make it happen..

  34. Great post. I’ve come across people that didn’t go to college & are a million times smarter than some that did get their degrees.

    And if every person that came out of college is so smart, why were we stuck with an tosser of a leader for 8 years? He went to Harvard AND Yale.

  35. Excellent Post!

    The problem that I also see with a lot of college grads(and most people in general), they follow the same path like everyone else(school, graduate, work) and for the most part only learn what they are required to learn at school or at work.

    Once again nice post!

    1. College is a place for us to social network…but some of us get too wrapped up with classes, projects, and partying, after we finish, we become rats in the huge rat race.

  36. I had just graduated college and I found this post very funny because it is the truth. I find it so funny that many of graduates now have never had a job in their lives before, and just because they may have had 4.0 all their lives they think they are worth millions.
    While it is true that school work does help a little to get a job but also employers want to see what you have done with that knowledge.

  37. This post just nails the frustrations I’ve been feeling lately.

    I’ve been hunting around for a designer to do some simple graphics work. I mean real simple. I’m paying whatever they ask, and I’m easy to work with.

    So why does it take 4 or 5 designers before one of them can actually get the job finished?

    It’s all about the things mentioned in this post – work ethic, getting things finished etc.

    Most people just don’t have those things.

    Unfortunately the internet lowers the bar so much that any idiot with a $299 laptop can set himself up as a business.

    Now if I could just come up with a script that tests people for work ethic and follow through, I may be able to do something about it lol.

    Great post though, right on the (shoe)money.

  38. I really agree with this blog most of the time with the last part because believe me or not all the jobs that I get is not because I am a brain or not because I have a tons of awards and letters to show how great I am. The main reason is because always I get a great recomendation for my previous boss do to the fact that I have a work ethic, can finish what I started, anyone can trust in me and thats the main point how I get all my good jobs and if more people act like myselft you will see that live will give you a big opportunity just do everything with honor…

  39. Hire me Shoe, I want tell you about everything I can do, but I will knock a muthafuckas head off his shoulders for you if need be.

  40. Shoe, you are so right dude. Anybody can learn these things on the internet, but it really takes the will to continue, and work hard. This is the first time I’ve actually heard someone put it out like that which is “THE TRUTH”!

  41. This is a silly post, they spent a lot of money on their education (and time) and would like to see it paid off. I am graduating myself next month.

    Surely any institution actually teaching their students and doing an effective job will understand there is a lot they have to learn and experience on their own. But hopefully they are doing this during college and thus come out with more than zero experience.

  42. The two traits that will get you where you need to be are reliability and persistence. I do think these things can be taught, they just aren’t.

    I have a few former employers that try to hire ex-military because they usually have these ‘skills’.

    One of my mantras in work has always been “Showing up is 80% of success”.

  43. As a current college student, I can assure you that I have never been “worshiped”, not been given a “free ride” to college because my parents think i am technically able. I have scholarships, but I hold a real-world job (along with many of my peers), and perfectly confident (but not cocky), and understand nothing worth getting is going to be easy, nor quick. This stereotype that most college students are just going through life not realizing how easy they have it because other people have always paved the road for them is a little unsettling. Most people around me (and I go to a fairly large university) are hardworking, ethical, and genuinely nice people. We aren’t stupid either, and don’t think just because we have gotten a degree, we know everything. We realize that there is no replacing real-world experience and that it is perfectly okay to take heed from those that have come before us, both in studies, and work.

  44. Brillient. When I was in the web hosting business I owuld get a fair few emails from these kind of people looking for jobs and I enjoyed coming up with sarcastic replies.

  45. I can only imagine the pressure people may have on hiring “the experienced” college graduate. It’s really crazy though because life experience and determination is the answer to success. Analyzing is a must IMO!

  46. I completely agree. And most people who don’t even know what SEO is, are providing SEO services.

  47. I like this topic. You made this straightforward letter for hot and over confident newly grads. Anyway that’s the spirit of a fresh grad. Good to see them survive in the real world.

  48. I absolutely agree with you, Shoe. Technical skills are one thing but personality and emotionality are another entirely.

    I’d rather work with individuals who are dedicated, passionate and able even if they knew a little less than someone else.

  49. For me, college is about networking, building a huge social network so you can get that money!

  50. I agree with you that there a lot of us who are really cocky. But with regards to ethics, all of us got that and do know how to finish what we started. I just did a “Quality, Professionalism and Ethics” module in my final year and is one of the highest weighing module. What more do you want?

    1. You took a course. That’s nice. Anybody with the money can pay for and finish a course.

      What more do we want? Everything. You don’t have anything yet expect a neat experience in a canned setting that was designed for you to leave feeling successful.

      Now show us 5-10 years of actual work experience that demonstrates that you have real world experience putting what you learned about to practice. Where it actually counts — on the job with those of us who have been doing it already.

      Not fair? The workplace isn’t ever going to be fair. Get used to it.

      1. Well, most if not all universities are now making the students take placement, which I did myself for a year. The final outcome was pretty good, got an overall mark of above 85%, I ain’t bragging but rather stating that it just shows that we are reading for undertaking real world jobs, the basics are there and just need to be polished. That mark also suggests we don’t need a lot of supervision which most employers fear, we are quick at learning, unlike you old folks, no offence, who take longer to grasp new things.

  51. It is the colleges that develop this attitude to some degree. I have set in class where this discussion of much better they are with two-year degree than someone that does not have one and been in business where they prop the 4year college grad as almost a demi-god to those that do not have a degree. It is some kind of elite attitude. Not sure why.

  52. I’m a proud college drop-out. I made the best decision in my life. They never taught me how to make money online or how to make your money work for you. I usually go back to the campus to take fun cooking classes or the free classes they have in my spare time

  53. So what they are replying now ?? Any improvement in their letters and all.

    Would love to read the updates and whether you got the reward for your effort or not.

  54. Of course new grads are going to talk about the skills they learned, at that point they don’t have any real world experience and they don’t have anything else to talk about!

  55. They get that BS from their Liberal Teachers that build them up thinking they can do whatever but in reality they have 4 years of a BS degree they will probably never use.

  56. There seems to be quite a bit of animosity towards college grads here that is based off of some sweeping generalizations. To be honest, a lot of this thread smacks of insecurity and jealousy towards “the other”.
    Sure, there are plenty of kids who go to college and manage to graduate but have a terrible work ethic and do not know how to really work hard in a team setting. There are even more who are either incapable of or do not desire to create their own career from scratch as many in the affiliate game have. But I cannot help but chuckle when some of you say that someone who went to college doesn’t know the meaning of work. I had to balance 30+ hours of classes and school work, 20 – 25 hours of time committed to athletics, and find time to make some money on the side, each and every week. And to be honest, I looked like a total slacker compared to many of my teammates and fellow students. I would work 50+ hour weeks for most of the summer so that I could afford to travel for a few weeks when I wasn’t in school full time. Again, there may be tens of thousands of people who graduate every year that are unmotivated and have a degree in basket weaving from XXX State but to throwing them in to the same general class as the people that I went to school with would be roughly equivalent to saying that everyone who makes a living online is a pimple faced ogre living in their parent’s basement going through fleshlight sleeves at a rate of 10/wk while dickrolling everyone they possibly can on DP or WF while slanging berriez to ignorant fatties. Sure, there are thousands who fit that description but there are plenty more who are mature, intelligent, hard-nosed business oriented individuals who are successful in all aspects of their lives: socially, romantically, financially, etc.

    In summary, don’t write all of us off just because we went to college. Some of us are trying to get a job and in order to get someone to convert on our offer (hire us) we need to sell aggressively. Some are just better at designing a great lander and writing good copy (resume filled with relevant qualifications and experience).

    Now that I have written my novella I will return to trying to become a master of the AM game!

    Good luck bros!

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