Important Tips for the Recent College Grad Reply

The late nights cramming for finals is over; you’ve put your cap and gown away…yes, you’ve survived college and it’s time to enter the real world.  Now before you start picking out the Ferrari or the McMansion, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a job.  While you’ve likely taken some type of employment seminar, nothing in the real world is ever textbook.  Below are important tips that I believe every new graduate should follow.

Network, network, network!  Like most recent graduates, your network is likely more limited than those who’ve been in the workforce for several years.  One thing to remember, especially in a tight job market (and even in a great market) is that many times the old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” does hold some truth.  Sure, you still need to be qualified, however it never helps to have someone on the inside.  So how does one network?

  • LinkedIn– not your traditional networking, however this is one social network you don’t want to dismiss!
  • Connect/converse without limits– don’t sell your network short by networking with only those who can help you achieve your goals. Be open, honest and genuine with everyone- it’s amazing how small the world is and karma has a way of coming back to find us.
  • Listen- don’t just listen for opportunities in the ‘now’, listen to what those around you say. What makes their job difficult?  Is that something you can fix?  If you’re able to connect these dots the opportunities afforded to you will be many.

Concentrate on that Resume!  A resume, by Webster’s own definition, is simple- it’s a personal summary.  So why not skip all the theatrics, slap together a few blurbs around your experience and start getting those applications out the door?  The reality is that for each position you apply for, there are hundreds, if not more, other people trying to get the coveted interview.  Now you don’t need to ship your resume off with glitter ink, watermarks and neon orange paper (unless the position calls for quirky or gaudy), however you do need to make sure that the content of your resume is organized in a manner that easy to digest.

  • Styles- make sure the overall style of your resume plays to your strengths. As a recent graduate you will want to focus on the skills and knowledge that you’ve just earned.  A narrative focusing on how those courses and any extracurricular activities relate to the position at hand may be the best way to go.
  • The little things– even the most perfect resume in the world is quickly derailed by spelling and grammar errors. Unless you’ve broke out the quill and ink vial, give the spellchecker a click and then make sure you give it a once over- if possible find another set of eyes to review.  Don’t be that guy…or gal who fails to heed this advice!
  • Customize- unless you’re applying for the same position at the same organization over and over again, you should have more than one resume. In fact, you should make sure that each resume is suited and tailored for each position which you apply.
  • Keywords- make sure your resume is filled with keywords, this will ensure your resume will make it through the applicant tracking system. Often, keywords are simply job titles, skills, certifications and so on. I would suggest making a list of your targeted jobs and review the job posting and make a list of what terms or keywords appear many times, as this will give you an idea of what to use in your resume.

Beyond these tips, remember that even in the greatest of economies it takes time to land that perfect job.  If you’re not getting much traction in the way of interviews, consider using a professional resume writer.  They’re often able to help punch past that first layer and help land the interview.  In the end, remain positive and be persistent as you follow your dreams.

 

Michelle Kruse has more than 10 years of hiring and recruiting experience and a background in coaching and leadership development. At ResumeEdge, Michelle recruits and hires resume writers, provides training and ongoing support, manages strategic partnerships and serves as a subject matter expert on the job search process.

Crash Course in College Essay Writing – 12 Tips to Get You Started and Your Juices Flowing Reply

WritingSuccessfulCollegeApplicationsThe clock is ticking and you are a new high school senior (or parent of one!). The summer flew by without even a thought about what to write about for your college essays. Were you too busy with SAT prep? Driver’s ed? Hanging out with friends? Working? Procrastinating? Don’t worry, because help has arrived. Follow these dozen tips below and (hopefully) your juices will be flowing. Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Writing Successful College Applications and start reading and getting inspired. But for now, here is your “Cliff’s Notes” version of what you can do to get started: More…

Ask a Writing Expert: Q&A with Grammar Girl Reply

MignonGreenHeadshot6Last month, I had the exciting opportunity to ask an Internet celebrity some questions about writing and grammar. Mignon Fogarty, or as most of you probably know her, Grammar Girl, is the Donald W. Reynolds Chair in Media Entrepreneurship in the School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is also the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips, one of the oldest and largest podcasting networks; a veteran of Silicon Valley startups; and best known online for her work as the New York Times bestselling author Grammar Girl.

Read on for a transcript of my Q&A session with Grammar Girl, and be sure to check out her website, podcast, and newsletter for more helpful writing tips. More…

Prepping Your Homeschooler for the SAT Reply

application4When it comes to SAT prep, homeschooled children have a unique advantage. Most students are used to lecture-based classroom learning, an ineffective model that doesn’t get to the core of each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and individual learning style. Because your child is used to independent study, he or she can tackle the SAT the right way from the onset, without any adjustment in his or her approach to the proper material.

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Social Media and Your MBA Application Reply

SocialMediaToday’s post comes to us from Stacy Blackman, founder and President of Stacy Blackman Consulting (http://www.StacyBlackman.com). Founded in 2001, Stacy Blackman Consulting has helped thousands of MBA applicants gain admission to the most selective business schools in the world. Stacy is a highly-respected expert in MBA admissions and her company is regularly featured in publications such as BusinessWeek, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. More…

“Thank You” Reply

traditionalthankyouThe 2013-2014 application season may be winding to a close for the most part, but there’s still one important task left for many applicants: writing thank-you notes. While some probably wrote and sent such notes long ago, now’s the perfect time to send them if you haven’t yet done so. More…

A Sample MBA Application Essay Outline Reply

1355307316_pic_mba_2While most college application deadlines have come and gone, there are still many students out there preparing to submit applications to higher-level programs, MBA in particular. With that in mind, I thought I’d take some time today to provide some detailed advice for anyone still working on MBA essays. Don’t forget to check out our sister site, EssayEdge, for more great advice like this! More…

The Only Admissions Q&A You’ll Ever Need? * Reply

online1I’ve read a lot of advice about college admissions over the past few weeks. While most of it has been good, it’s also left me feeling like we at Peterson’s could do an even better job informing our readers about the intricacies of this complex process. So, I rounded up some application authorities to conduct an in-depth interview. Let’s meet our distinguished panel:

 

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Monday Link Roundup for Week of 12/9/13 Reply

P copyWe’re going to dive straight into the links this week because, as you may have noticed, we’re nearing the crescendo of the college application season and things at both Peterson’s and EssayEdge are busier than ever. Let’s see what’s been going on in the wild world of college admissions over the last seven days.

  • A neat note from the Navy Dispatch: college admissions standardized testing (the SAT and ACT) is available free of charge to active-duty service members at their local base education centers. If you’re in any branch of the military and are considering college after your service ends, this is a great, great opportunity to take advantage of! More…