Friday, November 16, 2007

Tips for the Recent Graduate who is Job Hunting

Yesterday I met with a recent graduate who is the daughter of a friend of my sister-in-law's. She majored in marketing and is working on her job hunt. I thought some of the information I shared with her might be helpful to other recent graduates:
  • Make sure you work in an internship. An internship tells a future employer that you've worked in an office setting and know important things like how to answer the phone and sound professional, work a fax machine, copy machine, postage machine and what an "in-basket" is used for. Internships also help give you some results to list on your resume, something to put in your portfolio and real life examples of how you helped a company achieve something toward their goals.
  • is a good website to get started in your job hunt. So is, as well as monster, career builders etc. But more importantly than websites, networking is still a crucial way to meet contacts who know people who are hiring.
  • Use at least a 12 point typeface on your resume. Most people who are hiring are over 40 years old and often don't like to use reading glasses during an interview. Especially when we are talking to a 22 year old.
  • Make sure you know your way around the computer -- if you know special tricks with powerpoint, excel and word that others don't -- you'll be invaluable. What about publisher, paint and outlook? Take some time to brush up on those clever little tips that give you an edge to be able to do something that most people with the 3-5 years of experience don't need to know to get a job.
  • Expect to pay your dues when you start. I know, you did your 4 years of college... well, so did most of the other people in the office, so it's like you're a freshman again.
  • Develop some questions for the person who interviews you. Things like: "what is the main focus of your company's marketing goals?" or "What's the biggest challenge in your marketing department?" are open ended questions that may trigger a response from you that tells the interviewer how you could help.
  • Most people you meet will know someone who knows someone who might know someone who is hiring. It's about networking. Make business cards with your contact info so it's easy to refer and reach you.
  • Find time to visit the chamber of commerce luncheons and talk to the other people at your table.

Getting a job is a job on its own. After you do get the job, remember that someone else is probably looking too. Take the time to encourage them with advice from things that helped you. Extend a hand behind you and help the next young woman in line!!

No comments: