Over the next few months, many recent college graduates will embark on the job search. This time can be daunting but also rewarding. If you graduated with a job, congratulations! I hope you find fulfillment and adjust well to this life-changing experience. If you, like many others, are frantically searching for a job, have no fear. Though you may not have graduated at the perfect time, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure you have a leg up on the competition.
As Fox News reported last week, there are four great tips to remember as a recent college graduate. The first tip, which I mention often, is to change how you think about social media. If in college you used social media to connect with friends and post pictures, make sure you have adjusted the privacy settings accordingly. Recently, companies made headlines by asking job seekers to provide Facebook passwords. While this may be overstepping, you have to protect yourself – if something is online, consider it public information. You shouldn’t rely on privacy settings, especially if a human resources representative is friends with a friend of yours.
Secondly, though it might sound cliché or superficial, appearance does matter. I mention to my 7th graders often that, though we don’t like being judged by what we look like, people will take you seriously if you command respect. By dressing appropriately for your interview or job, you show your superiors that you are there to work and that college is in the past. I think this tip is especially important for young women. Sometimes it’s difficult to find clothes that flatter your body type without buttons popping or pulling up your shirt frantically before the boss comes in. I have been there and I know it’s a hard transition to make from wearing sweats to class every day to ‘business casual’ but trust me that people will pay attention when you ‘show up’ for the job looking put together.
In addition, keep in mind that you graduated recently. When you are a newcomer, it’s important to stay humble. During an interview or while at a job, ask thoughtful questions and give suggestions when asked but don’t act like you know everything. There’s a difference between being a go-getter and being obnoxious. Make sure you learn this early on. Once you’ve given an impression of a know-it-all, it’s very difficult to overcome. Though you might have learned a great deal in college, it’s nothing compared to ‘real world’ experiences.
Lastly, make sure you stand out from the other job seekers. If you’ve had similar internships and course work as others your age, you must differentiate yourself in some way. Otherwise, your resume, cover letter, and interview will reflect unoriginality. If you’ve had a fun experience or learned something while out of the country, by all means bring it up during a job interview or when you meet co-workers.
Is there anything on this list that I missed that you feel is important? Have you used any of these tips before? If so, let me know by leaving a comment.