For new college graduates, the job market is one of the strongest since the Great Recession. In fact, a report by the Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute shows that the Class of 2018 will benefit from a job market that has improved for seven years straight, a stretch not seen by the researchers in its 47-year history
Yet there are still a lot of people graduating from college who are competing for many of the same plum roles. “Organizations have their pick of who they want to hire,” said Maryam Morse, Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry recently on Marketplace, the NPR program.
As such, recent college grads want to be sure they put their best foot forward as they search for their first role. Recent grads “don’t want to miss out on opportunities because they appear unprepared or unprofessional to a potential employer,” says Tara Wyborny, from her vantage point as Genesis10 Director--Junior Talent Programs. So to increase your chances of recruiters selecting your resume, contacting you for an interview and ultimately hiring you for a position that fits in with your career plan, our recruiting team put together a list of tips to help you slide more easily into your new role as a young professional:
Make sure your email address is appropriate. No matter how qualified you are, when applying to jobs, you still need an appropriate e-mail address. For instance, firstname.lastname@example.org might have been okay when you were younger, but when you are launching your professional career, it is not. Take time to get an appropriate e-mail address for your job search.
Clean up your online presence and lock down your Instagram and Facebook accounts. Recruiters know how to Google. It is an easy way for us to get a more complete picture of a potential candidate. We do not search in hopes of finding incriminating photos from college, but we like to make sure there is nothing lurking out in the open that could reflect negatively on our organization if you are hired.
Have a LinkedIn profile. This is a great way to network and manage your online presence. It’s simple and recruiters will look at it often.
Prepare for interviews! I am continually surprised by the number of college seniors who show up to interviews unprepared. We as recruiters do not expect you to have memorized our entire website, but we do expect you to have basic understanding of the organization and the position for which you are interviewing.
Bring multiple copies of your resume and a notebook to the interview. The extra resumes allow us to quickly and easily share qualified candidates with co-workers who also are involved in the hiring process. The use of a notebook in an interview shows that the candidate is engaged and interested in the position. Take notes! We also hope that written in your notebook are a few questions you would like to ask about the role and the company. Sometimes that's all that stands between you and your dream position. Do not show up empty-handed.
No work experience? Use class projects! Too many times I see resumes with little or no work experience, but the applicant has a degree that is perfect for the role. Candidates with irrelevant or little work experience should provide detailed accounts of class projects that demonstrate the skills they are looking to use in their first job.
Record a professional voice mail message. Recruiters call candidates frequently with updates on applications, interview requests and to extend offers. When we get a voice mail message that is not set up or resembles, “Yo, you have reached Chris, leave a message,” it can change our opinion of a candidate quickly, and first impressions are extremely important.
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