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Posted May 02, 2016 by

6 things to do before starting a new job

Welcome on board - businesswoman holding white sign with text in the office courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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It’s the time of year when many college seniors begin thinking about what they will do after graduation. Most students focus on the interview process but may not have thought about what to do when they are offered full-time jobs. It can be both exciting and scary but starting a first professional job is now part of the imminent future. Although many students have worked part-time and participated in internships, starting a full-time job is a different venture. Student life is unique in many ways, so it’s important for soon-to-be graduates to make a few changes before they begin new entry-level jobs.

1) Look the part

College doesn’t have a dress code, but most jobs do. To be taken seriously, it’s a good idea for students to know what most of their colleagues will be wearing. Some offices will require a suit and tie, but most are now business casual. One of the most common mistakes new employees make is showing up to the office in attire that’s too informal.

2) Practice the importance of being prompt

Probably the most undervalued asset new employees can possess is promptness in communication. In addition to being to work on time or early, new employees should learn how important it is to stay in communication with the team. It’s fairly common for college students to forget about emailing professors or their peers because they’re mostly relying on social media to be in touch. However, new employees who don’t respond to a colleague’s or supervisor’s email or phone call will be viewed as unreliable. If something is going to take 24 hours to complete, be sure to send a quick note that communicates this information.

3) Get into a daily routine

College classes can be held at 7:30 in the morning or 10:30 at night, and most students will have significant breaks to work on self-study throughout the day. Most office jobs, however, are from eight to five (although flexible work schedules are becoming more common). It’s important to get into a routine of getting up early and dealing with the morning commute and also having enough down time later in the day to be prepared to do it all again tomorrow.

4) Gather paperwork

Once students graduate and start new jobs, they’ll be very busy adjusting to their new responsibilities. Gather any academic paperwork needed prior to the first day on the job. This can include official transcripts, letters of recommendation, references, networking contacts, or anything else that might be needed in a particular field. Many employers will ask for this paperwork, so it’s better to have it on hand and readily available.

5) Chat with your mentor

It’s a great idea to sit down with a mentor before starting a new job. A mentor will have specific and valuable insight into a particular field and perhaps even a specific company or manager. Take any advice available in order to be successful the first few months of a new career. Mentors can also help ease anxiety and build confidence that can make those first few weeks run smoothly.

6) Get organized

Graduating from college is a huge transition and can leave students feeling their lives are in disarray. Each person’s situation will be different, but it’s important to begin a new job feeling organized. Whether this means settling into a new home, moving across the country, or just getting paperwork in order, an organized lifestyle will help a person be more professional and help them focus on making a great impression in the workplace.

Want more advice for recent graduates going into the workforce? Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, guest writer

Robyn Scott, a guest writer for College Recruiter, is a private tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine, and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

Posted February 08, 2016 by

Job candidates: How to find them

Choosing amongst job candidates courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Organizations often overlook having an open house or another face-to-face meeting as a relatively inexpensive way to hire multiple people for one or more roles. The best candidates do not apply for jobs simply because they’re open to taking new jobs, and they happen to be qualified for jobs recruiters want filled. College students and recent graduates are far more likely to be interested in applying, interviewing, accepting job offers, and staying with a company for years if they understand the organization, the work environment, and the team they’d be working with from the beginning of the process. (more…)

Posted September 18, 2013 by

Are You Seeing 2020? A Look into the Future of the Job Market and More

While all of us should take one day at a time, you might be thinking about the future too.  The following infographic shows what the job market and other areas in the United States may look like in the year 2020. (more…)

Posted February 03, 2009 by

Six Things You Can Do to Find a Job Faster After Being Laid Off

More layoffs were announced recently, making the long-term future of the U.S. economy far more uncertain. But more importantly, the immediate future of the people who lost their jobs – many of whom lived from paycheck to paycheck – is even more uncertain; and if what employment experts say is true, it will take most of them a minimum of six months to find new jobs. Dana Mattioli, in her article for The Wall Street Journal, Speeding Up the Process of Finding a New Position, offers several helpful tips to make the transition from laid off to newly hired happen a little more quickly.

  1. Do a self assessment. Here Mattioli recommends asking yourself if maybe you need to be looking for a new career field instead of just a new job.
  2. Have a financial plan in order. Here, Mattioli suggests getting your finances in order as much as possible and create a budget that will tide you over until you find a new job. She also recommends signing up for COBRA benefits, but those benefits come out of your pocket. I would recommend looking into applying for whatever medical assistance program your state offers, especially if you have little or no money in savings.
  3. Go beyond the usual suspects. Tap into the hidden job market, Mattioli advises, by “reconnecting” with colleagues or friends, networking on sites like LinkedIn and joining professional associations.
  4. Make yourself stand out. Instead of submitting a standard resume, submit one that demonstrates your ability to make a positive impact on or generate revenue for the organization where you hope to be employed.
  5. Stay relevant. Whatever your industry, make sure you’re up-to-date with any changes by subscribing to industry newsletters, again, joining professional organizations, signing up for webinars or – if affordable – signing up for a class or seminar at a community college to help improve your skills.
  6. Be patient. This is probably far, far easier to say than it is to do. There are so many people out of work these days and competing for the same jobs, so it’s going to take a while just to get an interview.

Following up any interviews with thank you notes expressing gratitude and an eagerness to become a part of the team and contribute to your new company’s success will also help.

Posted December 30, 2008 by

Active Candidates Can Be Great, Too

With so many companies downsizing and going out of business, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of people actively looking for new jobs. Ironically, according to Ronald Katz in his article for ERE, “What’s So Great About Passive Candidates,” recruiters tend to shun active job seekers. The way Katz describes recruiters’ disdain for active candidates sounds as if it’s the challenge of wooing someone away from a current employer that gives them a thrill. To them, people who are looking for new jobs, even if they already have them, must be troublesome.
The way things are right now, disregarding active job seekers could cause recruiters to miss opportunities to hire really great candidates who had the misfortune to work for companies that collapsed as a result of the recession. “[I]n this time when literally tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs, it’s crazy to assume that everyone who is out there looking for a job is ‘damaged goods,'” says Katz.

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