Q: My daughter just graduated from a top-ranked university and is jobless. JOBLESS! All this money we poured into an education and no job. Give us your 10 best pieces of advice for recent college grads. We need it. Soon.
A: Here goes!
1. Take a deep breath. She probably just graduated last month!
2. Use the college career services office. Make sure that they know your daughter, her career interests and any geographical preferences. They should not just know her as “Oh, yes, we remember you from the workshop that you attended last fall.” They should know her as an eager and persistent grad actively looking for a job.
3. If she isn’t on LinkedIn, she should be. Her LinkedIn profile should include a photo (without solo cups, bunk beds or other signs that she is still a student), a summary of her skills and her education. Also, make sure she includes key words in her LinkedIn profile. If she is eager to enter a specific field, she should review job descriptions in that field. Are there specific skill sets which are required, which she may have? Include those skills so recruiters scanning her profile (via a key word search) find her. She should also join groups related to her career interests, her college and where she is searching for her job.
4. Her resume should be easy to read and error-free.
5. Checking email and voicemail is important, hopefully a few times per day.
6. Remind her to send thank-you notes/emails when someone has met with her, even if the meeting was more a professional courtesy.
7. Temping or contracting can lead to a full-time offer. Plus it builds experience and professional contacts.
8. Networking is important. I recommend 75% of a job seeker’s time should be devoted to networking (e.g., meeting friends, neighbors and relatives to discuss her search).
9. A social media check is sometimes needed. College grads need to make sure that their Facebook page, Instagram and other social media accounts don’t portray an image which would be concerning to an employer.
10. Have an elevator speech. This is a 1-2 minute summary of who she is and where she hopes to be professionally. Practice it in front of the dog, a sibling, a friend or a parent.
Finally a piece of advice for a Mom and Dad: be patient, supportive and encouraging. Job hunting is hard work. There is lots of rejection so having a strong support system is important.
by Pattie Hunt Sinacole, First Beacon Group LLC
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