Congratulations College Graduate! Now What?

You have graduated, and now you have joined the ranks of those college graduates looking for jobs. You have worked hard for four or five or how many years it took to complete your collegiate matriculation.  Time to get a job!!  Now is the time to launch your career.  Even this immensely competitive economy, there are steps to take to help land a new job successfully.  Don’t fail to launch!!

Research companies that might be seeking your skills.  LinkedIn has an informative skills section to help choose suitable organizations. Talk to people about what skills their work place values. Do not waste time and energy on a company or career that does not value your talent.  In the long run, you would not be successful in that environment anyway.

Cultivate a professional online presence. Consider using all of the social media sites. Start with LinkedIn and then possibly expand your professional online identity to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Consider creating and maintaining your own professional website like a social resume.  Do not just create your profile and expect it to do all of the work.  You must update your status, interact with people you know or want to know and demonstrate that expertise online.

Join professional organizations and attend events where you can expect to meet prospective hiring managers and mentors.  Your campus career center or alumni office’s networking programs are excellent networking references.  The more people you can meet and impress in person, the more likely someone will refer you for an opportunity.  Visit a favorite professor.  They will have former students who have made a mark in the business world and could get your “foot in the door”.

Become a walking commercial.  Be able to tell people what you do, why it’s important to them, and about your accomplishments. Create a pitch that emphasizes your skills and talents.  In simple terms, advertise.  No one has ever landed a job sitting in front of a computer screen on a daily basis.

Acting like a professional is paramount. You never know where you could meet a potential hiring manager. It could be someone in line at a grocery store, or a friend of a friend you meet at a social event. Online and in person, dress, speak, and act like someone you would hire.  Do not speak in slang or communicate in text language. This does not impress the majority of professionals who could hire you. Even if you are interviewing with a younger manager or human resource professional, they have now moved into the realm of the business world and they expect job prospects to act professionally.  Practice direct eye contact, a strong handshake, and fluidly describing what you do. Be prepared to tell your story at the drop of a hat.

Use your time well. Consider volunteering or creating a interim business. It may take some time to land an appropriate job. In the meantime, be sure you use your time well. Volunteer with organizations to practice the skills you need to use. While not everyone is suited for becoming a full-time entrepreneur, it can’t hurt to hang a virtual shingle and offer yourself as a consultant doing the work you would like to do full time.

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“10 Smart Things New Grads Should Do to Get a Job.” – On Careers ( Web. 07 June 2012.