Advice for fresh graduates to get hired and improve their resume
Employers are eager to scoop up the latest graduates in technology and other fields, but with government student-loan forgiveness programs and mid-life career changes, there are more and more graduates each year according to the “National Association of Colleges” and the competition is intense. How do you stand out from the crowd, especially if you’re younger and inexperienced?
Show, Don’t Tell
While you should always flesh out your resume with concise examples of all your accomplishments, remember that you’ll still make a better impression if you demonstrate ability rather than talk about it. Positive energy, an eagerness to learn, and a hunger for opportunity are all things employers are looking for in the interview room. Just be yourself and make sure that your bodily functions are met. Get some sleep, eat something, and bear in mind that food and mood go together. Exercise never hurts either, and anything that boosts your confidence will impact your ability to show your strength.
If you’ve got the pedigree, show it off
Anything that impresses your potential boss is good news for you, just don’t be cocky about it. Remember that classroom experience is rarely as valuable as on-the-job training, but your goal is to stand out. If you have a double major, know a second language, or studied at a prestigious university, use what you’ve got for maximum benefit even if those skills don’t relate to the job you’re applying for. You never know when one of your side activities might pleasantly surprise your employer and open up new avenues of advancement that you may not be aware of.
Just as with show, don’t tell, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to do some extra credit. Maybe it’s a proposal you’ve worked up, a sample program, some research, or a fresh idea you think might be valuable—whatever it is, show that you will go above and beyond the call of duty and make sure that your pitch goes outside your job description.
Do a SWOT Analysis
A Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats analysis is a great way to talk about or visualize your relative value to a company by calling attention to what you offer while minimizing the risks involved. In short, it’s just proper business procedure, and every boss will appreciate your effort to communicate with them on a level they can understand—the bottom line.
Focus on opportunity rather than compensation
If you’re applying for your first job, chances are you’re not going to be offered a great comp package. Don’t fret about that, just focus on what you can do to grow with the company and what they can provide you with to reward your loyalty. This is especially true if you’re aiming for a leadership position, and you should always focus on how you can innovate to help the company and your co-workers move forward. Of course, there is never any guarantee that you’ll be rewarded or that someone higher up the chain won’t take credit for your work. What is guaranteed is that if you don’t bring your A-game to the table every day, you are destined to take a back seat to someone else who does.
The worst form of self-sabotage is false confidence, and bosses simply don’t have time for it. Be confident, yes, but do so with just cause and don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong or when you simply don’t know the answer to a question. Focus on how you can improve your performance and let others praise your work.
While pursuing your unique strategy to stand out, remember the classic holy trinity of salesmanship: get them to know, like, and trust you. Show them who you are, be friendly, courteous, and above all truthful.