Transitioning from a college student to a young professional can be intimidating. We’ve come up with a list of tips to help make this transition smoother!
Develop your Network:
It’s no secret that millennials are known for their use of different social media networks. Now is the time to make use of all these social media connections and reach out to the people in your network who can introduce you to companies and other connections within your industry of interest. Not only can the people in your network serve as a leg up from your competition, but these connections can also be excellent sources of advice and information. You never know who will turn out to be a wealth of knowledge or who could become a career mentor. Another resource you should be using to develop your professional network is your college career counselor. This is one resource that many recent grads forget to take advantage of. Career counselors can help you decide which career path or paths to explore and can also be a social network within themselves: meaning they are connected to hundreds if not thousands of alums all over the country; alums who are working in various industries in numerous positions, who would be happy to help a fellow alumni get a foot in the door.
Prepare an Elevator Pitch:
Now is the time to sell yourself! Be prepared, when meeting someone, to market your personal skills and strengths in a way that will grab someone’s attention. Start out by defining who you are and what your goal is. Then move into highlighting your personal strong points. You can even highlight the positive traits of the millennial generation. Most millennials are highly motivated, tech fluent, and capable of being adaptive. Deliver it with confidence and ease. You want to grab the professional’s attention and leave a memorable impact.
Follow Interview Courtesies:
Be careful not to skip out on your homework before arriving to your interview. Take time and prepare. Make sure you are familiar with the common interview questions, and practice how you will answer them. The more you practice your responses, the better your answers will flow during the actual interview. Also, familiarize yourself with the company you are interviewing at. You want to be asking the right questions during the interview. There is more to consider than just a salary, for instance company culture, the size of the company, the team or lack thereof that you will be working with, etc. It’s important to keep those other aspects in mind, as it will help you find a company that is the best fit for you.
First impressions take seconds to form and are long lasting, so make sure you start your interviews off on the right foot! Dress appropriately for your interview. Even before you have a chance to sell your skills and give your elevator pitch, you are selling yourself on your appearance. Maintain good body language throughout the entirety of the conversation.
Most importantly, send a personal thank you note to the people you met with, restating your enthusiasm for the job.
Mistakes to Avoid:
Try to avoid relying solely on the internet. Have an approach that is well rounded, so as to use multiple different outlets and methods of contact. A Monster college survey showed that 78% of post college job-seekers stated that they also utilized networking throughout their job search process. Keep in mind that there are thousands of candidates who are applying to the same job boards, so it’s important to utilize your network and those connections who will help your resume stand out. Do not just sit back and expect everything to fall into place. Stay proactive. You should also do your best to avoid any gaps in your resume. This does not mean you always have to be employed, but do your best to continue to learn and remain involved in activities. A common interview question that is asked is, “ what have you done since graduation?”, stay busy while you search for your first job post graduation. This could mean, taking online courses or volunteering. Staying active on your resume portrays a strong work ethic and a desire to learn.
Finding a job at the beginning of your career can be frustrating, but it is important to stay optimistic and not not give up!