It’s that time of year, when stores advertise “Dads and Grads” sales and universities across the country send new graduates out into the world. And while most have probably heard their fill of graduation and job search tips, I wanted to add my own 2 cents. (With an online/social media focus, of course.) Plus? You can win an awesome set of your very own Moo cards!
So, recent (or not so recent) graduates, here is my unsolicited advice for you:
Yes, job sites and networking events are great. But LinkedIn is still my preferred method of online stalking…at least professionally. And since that’s what the site’s designed for, employers don’t have to worry about seeing awkward photos of college parties or a long list of your favorite TV shows. Recruiters like to lurk on LinkedIn; give them something good to look at. Include a photo and as much relevant info as possible. Even better? Participate in groups, ask questions and stay active on the site. It’s a great way to attract an HR rep’s eye.
Clean Out Your Closet
Business casual, yada yada yada, modern day workplace blah blah blah. There are many ways to dress inappropriately for work, no matter how dressed down the staff is. And the old adage is true: it’s better to be overdressed than under-dressed. And not to get all quip-y on you, but did you hear the one about dressing for the job you want, not the job you have? Dress up for your interview, and pay attention to what people are wearing when you go. File it away, then dress for your first day like it’s still the interview. Then take yourself shopping with your first real paycheck. ‘Cuz trust me, you may think you have the right wardrobe, but a cardigan over a cocktail dress is not workplace attire.
Adjust Your Privacy Settings
Employers are going to Google you; it’s a fact of life these days. That’s why you need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. A blog, online portfolio or other professional website isn’t a bad idea either. But perhaps the most important thing you can do online to improve your chances of landing that dream job? Take stock of your Facebook profile and adjust your privacy settings. Allow only friends to see photo albums; keep past posts private and watch what you post about your job search. Don’t whitewash your entire profile however; with over 850 million people using Facebook, a no-show for your profile is a dead giveaway that you’ve got something to hide.
Be Your Own Business
Gone are the days where you graduated college with a job ready and waiting as soon as commencement concluded. You have to work at it, start small. If you can, create the job you want. Ask for more responsibilities at your job, and find ways to bring in your passion. It won’t happen overnight, but it can work. (It’s how I went from a print advertising copywriter to social media manager.) No options at your current job? Go freelance or start a project on your own time. Create a simple website to market your skills; revamp your résumé with real-world experience; give yourself a leg up on the competition with custom business cards.