What Recent Graduates Can Do to Separate Themselves from the Competition

Posted November 26, 2013 by
Two excited recent graduates in their caps and gowns

Two excited recent graduates in their caps and gowns. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations, on graduating from school!  Now, it’s time to find a job.  In order to do that, you need to do some things to separate yourself from the competition.  The following post offers tips from Global Career Expert Dana Manciagli on how recent graduates can improve their job search(es) in order to impress potential employers.

1.      Resume: What can a recent grad say on their resume that will make them stand out as more mature and more ready for a full-time position?

  • Innovate: Don’t just submit a resume.  Write a “new” Cut the Crap (CTC) Candidate Packet, which has 3 parts: Cover Letter, Job Description Profile and Resume.
  • On the resume, use key words from the job description
  • On the resume, put your experience first, including volunteer positions. Most students put education first.

2.      Social Media/LinkedIn: What can recent grads say or do on their social media profiles that can boost their appeal to hiring managers?

  • More than LinkedIn, clean up your Facebook, and participate on Twitter, following your target companies.
  • LinkedIn: Have a 100% profile, match your resume, participate on LinkedIn Group Discussions for your target companies.
  • Twitter: Follow latest trends in your function and target industry, follow hiring managers or target company discussions.

3.      Internships: How can recent grads make it know that their internships were real-world experience and not just coffee runs?

  • First, get an internship in your field. Stop being a nanny for the neighbor’s kids or delivering pizza.
  • Then, once in, volunteer to be on teams, to help out on business projects, anything.
  • Meet as many executives if you can and stay in touch with them (network!) after the internship.

4.      Grades/Schoolwork: Do hiring managers care about your GPA and whether you were cum laude?

  • Good work always pays off. Put your GPA, if good, on your resume.
  • It’s a differentiator, but not a ticket to “win” a job in this competitive area. Get work experience, even volunteering, in your field.

5.      Extracurricular activities: Same as grades/schoolwork. What’s worth listing/talking about?

  • Yes, put it in a section on your resume.  Focus on the SKILLS these activities taught you that you will bring into your job environment.
  • Do not put down controversial activities around religion and politics (unfortunately – while it’s good work, it can back-fire)

6.      What else? What else can grads do to make themselves shine?

  • Research prior to any application, information meeting, interview or networking conversation. Most grads don’t even though information is right at their fingertips.
  • Buy one good interview suit. It does not have to be expensive.
  • Prepare by practicing the most basic interview questions. Role play prior to your first real interview.

Just like you put in hard work to earn your degree, diploma, or certificate, as a recent graduate, that same effort must be given to your job search.  Hopefully, these tips will serve you well in standing out from your competition to get the job you want.  Good luck!

Tips provided by Dana Manciagli.

Dana Manciagli is an Ex-Microsoft Sales Executive, 30 year hiring veteran of Fortune 500s, and has reviewed thousands of resumes and responsible for hiring decisions (e.g. not HR or a recruiter).  Also to her credit:

Author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! Launched on Amazon and found here: http://www.danamanciagli.com/book/

Speaks at major colleges and universities nationwide; her niche is the recent grad market

http://danamanciagli.com/

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