Advice for graduates looking for a job

Advice for graduates looking for a jobDesperation, fear, disinterest, overconfidence…all can be the downfall of a freshly minted college graduate. As can poor grammar and spelling, the wrong outfit or emojis in thank you notes (it happens).

To improve the odds of a paycheck over rejection, we’ve compiled our career advice most relevant to graduates looking for a job. Read this and share it with your friends, your kids and your friends’ kids. They’ll all thank you for it!

Professionalism, readability and impeccable spelling should be top priorities for formatting a resume. But trends and technology do play a role—don’t forget to look at yours on a smartphone.

There’s a reason “dress for success” is a saying. Do your homework to be sure you know what the best interview outfit is for your desired profession.

Does your vibe scream “college”? You have a brand, even if you don’t know it. Evaluate your web presence, pay attention to your body language and discover your strengths to build your personal brand.

Sending email to hiring managers is a totally different thing than sending email to a friend or even a professor. There are important points to email etiquette for graduates looking for a job that can make or break your chances of scoring that interview. (Like using too many exclamation points!!!)

Thank you notes are still a thing. And they’re a must after an interview. Not only is a thank you note after an interview expected, but it’s also another chance to reiterate how you can solve a need at the company. (By the way: Writing thank you notes is a service we provide at Merrfeld.)

You thought you were done with homework, didn’t you? But job interviews call for some research. You need to show that you understand the organization’s goals and needs to demonstrate how you can benefit them. And there are such things as dumb questions!

The days of formal internships, career fairs and job shadowing set up by your counseling office may be over. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time following a professional to learn about his or her job. Just realize that the expectations are a little different when you’re job shadowing as a grownup.

Even if it’s the best photo of you EVER, do not use a picture of you on a beach, holding any kind of beverage or with a crowd of friends as your LinkedIn profile photo. As one of the most important elements of your profile, your photo should follow a few basic guidelines. A Resume and LinkedIn Critique by Merrfeld (just $99) can help graduates looking for a job identify other potential pitfalls.

Did you know that you toss your hair every 4.5 minutes? Or that you tap your toes like you’re at a Blake Shelton concert? Nonverbal communication is powerful—often more powerful even than the words you say. Practice interviewing with Skype or with a friend who can identify those quirky deal-breaking habits.

It may seem like a lot to take in, but a little preparation can prevent those first few interviews from serving as painful learning experiences. No one wants to be a graduate looking for a job for long. Absorbing a little insider wisdom can help you, your kids, your friends or your friends’ kids join the ranks of the newly employed.

And if someone you know needs a hand, a professionally written resume is the perfect graduation gift. Call or email—we can provide a gift certificate for your recipient too!

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