You’ve Graduated from College: Now What?

graduates

If you are reading this before you have already graduated, we need to back up a little bit and look at what you should be doing to better your chances while going to college.  One of the best ways to help you determine what you want to do post-graduation and help you land a job is to get an internship or co-op with a company or organization in your field of study during your college years.  This will help confirm or deter you from what you want to do, while giving you valuable work experience to start building your resume.

Next, you want to utilize your school’s career center.  Not only can they help you network with companies, they can get you in touch with alumni and even get you involved with mock interviews for practice. They can also help you build your resume and format it (keep it to one page).   Almost all colleges and universities today have career fairs (fall semester and spring semester).  GO TO ALL OF THEM!  You will network with HR and hiring managers of companies, learn about companies, and sharpen your skills when speaking with decision makers.  You may get opportunities to move onto an interview with one or more companies and potentially have an offer in hand prior to graduation.  A lot of the companies also look for candidates for their internship programs so just another way to get your foot in the door.

If you don’t have a job offer after graduation and don’t want to live in your parent’s basement, you have to go get a job!  Create your resume and build your LinkedIn profile.  Make sure your resume and LinkedIn profile are very professional and mirror each other without discrepancies (we have tips on this blog on how to create both).  Another very important rule is to make sure you “Google” your name and see what comes up on the internet.  Trust me that this is the first thing most hiring managers do now.  Also, clean up and delete any pictures or posts on your Facebook / social media accounts that are inappropriate.  As a recruiter, I have seen numerous times where candidates who were more than qualified for an opportunity were turned down because of what showed up their social media pages. It’s time to grow up and get ready for the professional world.

While you apply to jobs on job boards or directly on company websites, do not forget that your network of professionals is just as good, if not a better way to land your new job.  Building your network and meeting decision makers in your field is still one of the best ways to land your next opportunity.  I have seen where candidates have found an opportunity with a company due to their network who had never “officially” posted a role, but rather “created” a position for someone they just could not pass up.

Now a company gets in touch with you to move you on to the interview stage: what’s next?  Make sure you invest in professional interviewing attire to dress the part.  Also, I cannot stress enough: GO TO ALL INTERVIEWS!  Even if you don’t think it may be the best opportunity or your dream job, there are a few reasons you want to take the interview.  Interviewing is a skill all on its own and the more you do it, the better and more confident you will get at it.  You may have thought you would not be interested in the role and then after learning more about the opportunity, it may actually be a great one.  Also, you have just met some new decision makers to add to your network.  Don’t forget to get contact information from them so you can send them a thank you note.

To sum it all up for getting that first job out of college:

  • Get an internship or co-op during college relative to your field of study
  • Go to all job fairs and utilize career services at your university or college
  • Update your LinkedIn profile and resume
  • Review, update, and edit all social media sites to make them professional
  • Utilize and build your network
  • Go to all interviews with companies and dress the part for the opportunity

Written by: Zandr Tesolowski

 

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How to Leverage Social Media in Your Career

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We’ve all been witness to how quickly social media can bolster and subsequently destroy someone’s career. Justin Bieber was discovered on MySpace, while Twitter has forever blemished Anthony Weiner’s political career. Every day people are also impacted by their online media presence, but usually in less viral ways. If your primary focus is protecting yourself from a social media gaffe, you’re on the right track but you’re missing some integral ways social media can help you as well.

Facebook

facebookMany people feel that because Facebook is a personal platform, its accoutrements shouldn’t impact the professional realm. I remember the good ol’ days when you needed a college email account to join Facebook and my mom didn’t “Like” every photo I posted.  Unfortunately, we now live in a different reality and you have to adapt. Most recruiters and hiring managers will check Facebook. A few strategies to avoid any mishaps include strengthening your privacy settings and censoring your posts. Much to the chagrin of many, this means removing any revealing selfies, blatant “party pics” and statuses that are polarizing or offensive. If you’re in the heat of a job search, you can even disable it until you’ve secured a position.

Can Facebook help me? You bet. Facebook is filled with people who support you. Don’t hesitate to share accomplishments, projects and goals. Additionally, it’s a great relief to me as a recruiter when someone’s Facebook I’m following up on isn’t littered with obscenities.

LinkedIn

768px-LinkedIn_logo_initialsIf you don’t have a LinkedIn, you’re missing a huge opportunity to promote your services, meet like-minded professionals and learn about career opportunities. More than just a virtual resume, LinkedIn is a great place to share articles that are relevant to your industry and post some blogs yourself without the hassle of a separate account or website. It’s supposed to be interactive, so use it for more than just the profile!

Can LinkedIn hurt me? In short, yes. Make sure that the dates on your LinkedIn profile and the dates on your resume match up. Use a headshot that is professional and flattering. And for goodness sakes, check the spelling on your profile backwards and forwards.

Twitter

indexThanks to the advent of screen shots, an ill-thought-out tweet lives on forever. You should review your privacy settings and stay vigilant about the information you disperse on Twitter. I recommend going back over the history of all your tweets and removing any that are off-color. Are they funny in the right context? Maybe. But consider whether or not your quick-wit is worth losing your job.

Can Twitter help me? Of course! Use this platform to share valuable information about meetings, events, and news. You can also advertise your skills and follow/interact with others in your industry.

Snapchat

240px-Snapchat_LogoMany of us have been burned by that friend who took a screenshot of the ironic and contorted face you sent in jest and then immediately shared it with the group chat (haven’t we?). Spoiler alert: that will always happen. Be judicious in the illustrations and photos you send through this platform.
Can Snapchat help me? Actually, yes. Many professionals share trade secrets and information about their businesses via the “My Story” feature. Send people to your website. Share a beauty tip. Promote your brand.

Instagram

instaI appreciate the privacy features on Instagram and find that typically people are more circumspect about what they post here. However, be wary of posting too many selfies as it can imply narcissism.
Can Instagram help me? Well, where would the Kardashians be without Instagram?

In summary, you have a virtual reputation that is very difficult to mend once tarnished. In addition to protecting it, spend some time strengthening it as well.

May Your Good Be Better And Your Better Be Best

It’s that time again. The time where we look back on the past year, see what we’ve accomplished and what we can improve on in the coming year. Whether it be at work or at home, we all can admit we have areas we know we can improve on that will not only better our own lives, but also the lives of those around us. Below are the resolutions our staff has made for the year 2015!


I’ve always been a huge perfectionist. I got it from my dad unfortunately. This trait can be helpful in most parts of my life, but in others, it’s a huge hindrance. I’ve noticed as I look back on my life, there are many things I wish I would’ve done but never did because I feared I wouldn’t be good at them. Well this year I’m changing things up!  I stole my resolution from the movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey. My resolution for 2015 is to not be afraid to try new things (aka say yes more)! And so far I’ve done very well. I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet but have always thought it was too hard to do. This past weekend I decided to learn. It is super difficult and I’ve wanted to quit about 5 times already. What I hope to obtain from this resolution is that it’s okay to not be perfect. As Annette Funicello says, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”  – Shawn Kinard


I have made a commitment not to hit the snooze button in the morning this year. Falling back asleep for 10 minutes and waking up only puts you in a bad mood to start your day. Instead I have set my alarm 15 minutes earlier and have been riding my exercise bike listening to sports talk radio. I am 2 days in and feel GREAT! – Mike Bays


“Today, I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered.” – Dr. Seuss. I never stick with New Year’s resolutions so this year I am quantifying them! Numbers and lists to check off work better for me than vague statements:

  • Read 2+ books per month
  • Camp 4+ times this year
  • Involve myself in something with my church other than just attending
  • Exercise 3+ days per week
  • Drink 6+ glasses of water per day (this is a huge challenge for me) – Katherine Ericson

I try not to make resolutions because I know I will break them before the month is over. Instead, I continue a vow I have had for many years. I always try to be a better person in whatever areas need improving that come to my attention. I also try to do something good for someone else without them finding out about it. If they find out, it doesn’t count. – Tanya Henderson


I am a big believer in New Year’s resolutions and I always make them. I have personal goals, family goals and work goals. It is very important for me to have personal and family goals as the majority of my energy and time go to my work. Without them, I would not achieve all I could for myself and family. Last year a personal goal of mine was to run a 1000 miles, but did not quite make it – 900 and change is what I did! My oldest brother has had this goal the last two years and has accomplished it both times. I am trying again this year and am on track so far.  A family goal I have is to continue to eat healthier and make healthier meals for my family.  I don’t care about carbs or fat; I care more about local food. Local food from small farms is so much healthier for you than food from commercial farms. It is also better for the earth and the animals. Another family goal I have is to participate in a couple of triathlons with my daughter and go camping with my son.  I also look forward to setting work goals with our fabulous team at our annual planning session coming up. – Ginny Beach


From a professional standpoint, I would like to improve and grow my local business network, both from the client and candidate standpoint. In order to achieve this outreach, I’m plan to beef up my LinkedIn profile using the information from our seminars this past year. From a personal standpoint, I plan to get back involved with a men’s Bible study group at my church. – Richard Heard


I make New Year’s resolutions every year with varying levels of success. I write down my resolutions (and goals) every year and read them every day. I also give myself a reward of some type for each week and month that I actually achieve my goal. I have an article that I have saved which reminds me that when I fail, I should not just give up but start over. – Carol Tribby


IMG_1747Working at Godshall to help people find new jobs and change their lives constantly reminds me of how blessed I am and what a wonderful life I have. I have an amazing family, a cute new husband, a brand new puppy and bountiful opportunities ahead. My goal for 2015 is to wake up every day and just be thankful. When things seem to be moving along at a very positive pace, I have a hard time remembering how many wonderful blessings there really are in my life and tend to focus a lot of my efforts on the few and far between negatives. This should not only be a 2015 resolution but something to guide me through every single day! – Rebecca Faulk

What are some resolutions you have for 2015?