You Graduated – Now What?

A Hopeful Graduate

The idea of college graduation is always exciting. With only a week left of the semester, a countdown clock of final papers, projects and exams automatically register in every graduate’s mind. And, before you know it, the big day arrives. It’s time to cue Vitamin C’s “Graduation” song while dressing in the traditional cap and gown garb, and if really special, a few honorable tassels.

Throughout the ceremony, fellow graduates inevitably are a distraction taking “selfies,” or the occasional horn blowers and beach ball throwers get themselves into trouble.

Yes, everyone is proud of their degrees, but what proceeds in the following months ahead is truly where the challenge lies.

A Frustrated Graduate

 Although the task of job hunting appeared daunting, I was determined to find a suitable position. Soon, my naïve graduate mentality began to change.

Most of the time, I would hardly receive a phone call. What was I doing wrong? How will I gain experience, if I am not given the opportunity? These questions always seemed to haunt me every time my lifeless eyes would stare into the black hole of a computer screen.

A Realistic Graduate

 Let’s fast forward two years since my graduation. Despite well sought efforts, I have still not landed my “dream job,” and I am learning that that’s alright.

During past work experiences, I have been told the same overused line, “Sorry, but we are looking for someone with more experience,” or my personal favorite, “There’s just such a large pool of qualified applicants.”

This has given me instrumental pointers that I would like to bequeath to new graduates and those in a similar position to mine.

 

A Jedi Job Applying Graduate

 Part 1: The Appearance

 

  • Dress appropriately and professionally in the form of a suit.
  • Maintain a firm handshake, eye contact, and good posture to demonstrate confidence.

 Part 2: The Interview

 

  • Study the job description and familiarize yourself with unknown vernacular.
  • Provide specific examples tailored to the job description when answering questions.
  • Avoid “vocal fry,” a term used to describe the monotone speech of some young women. Keep in mind, that you will totes be taken less seriously if you sound like Cher from Clueless.
  • Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview to show genuine interest.

 Part 3: The Network

 

  • Send a thank you to the recruiter shortly after the interview takes place.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile to establish new connections with others in a similar field.
  • Vary your job application approach (online, mail, walk-ins).
  • Take advantage of new opportunities that will give you an edge.

 My Final Thoughts

 All in all, it’s a competitive job market out there, but do not give up hope. A closed door can lead to new and exciting opportunities. Most importantly, take advantage of networking with others—create a name for yourself. See you out there on the job front.

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