Have a Flexible Mentality
As a new graduate, the first concept to understand that will you put you ahead of the pack is; having an open mind and flexible mentality. Meaning, accepting that you don’t have all the answers, you are there to learn not just a paycheck, and open to taking on new tasks whether it is your job role or not. Those who have a rigid state of mind are typically unwilling to learn and thus tend to fall short when facing new obstacles. Being flexible will eventually show your employer that you can be a valuable go to person and as such, you will often be presented with new opportunities.
More Than Your Degree
To simply put it, you are capable of more than just what your degree says. Sometimes graduates get stuck in thinking they are limited to applying for jobs in the field their degree is in. While of course some jobs require you to have a specific degree due to requirement of technical familiarity in that field. Many other career fields simply require a general bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position, so don’t feel afraid to apply to jobs in other industries if you’ve decided to change career paths during or post of your college career. In the long run, what matters most for career progression is the experience and acquired skills you gain post graduation.
Be Prepared to Work
Show up prepared and ready to work at your new position. Employers don’t have the time to, nor should they have to, teach you how to be an employee while also showing you the ropes of your new position. Nothing is worse than landing a job only to have your new employer worried they’ve made the wrong hire. You truly can never be over prepared, so spend the time to prepare yourself for your new position by:
- Being punctual - Learn the deadlines of expected work completion, show up on time, and be early for meetings.
- Dressing for the job - Learn what the dress code is, whether it be formal, informal, casual, etc.
- Being collaborative and communicative - Establishing an open line of communication from the start with your coworkers and managers will make the time at your job a lot more efficient.
Put Your Resume Out There
Your resume can do some of the foot work for you, but it can’t do that if it’s just sitting on your desk or computer. These days employers are searching for potential employees just as much as job seekers are searching for them. As a new graduate, submitting your resume to the various job seeking boards is one of the most valuable and yet, free tools you have at your disposal. They allow job recruiters to easily view your resume and contact you if you’re a potential match. Another great tool for new graduate, job seekers is Linkedin. Even if you don’t necessarily have any job experience, you can still list all of your skills to be endorsed by peers or previous professors. And similar to a cover letter, your Linkedin bio can mention what your attentions and/or goals are. There are a multitude of employers are Linkedin as well, so be sure to submit your resume to as many credible platforms as you see fit.
Take On an Internship
Finding a job can feel like having a job in itself already. If you are having a hard time as a new graduate finding a job right away, don’t fret. It may be that the jobs you are applying to require a bit more experience. Consider taking on an internship position, whether it be part time, volunteer, or unpaid. Unpaid internships are typically flexible enough for you to maintain a part time job so you can also pay the bills. Although there’s no guarantee you will be offered a job after your internship is over, but you will certainly benefit from having relevant experience that can lead to a position elsewhere.
- Update your college resume so it is relevant.
- Clean up or set your social media to private.
- Always look for an opportunity to network.
- Sign up for job alerts for the companies and positions you are interested in.
- Make sure you are qualified for the positions you are applying for.
- If you do get offered a position, make sure the position and company is a good fit for both parties.
- Utilize your Alma Mater’s Career Services department. Often they offer free resume services, verified job boards, and career fairs.