4 Graduation Tips (And A Giveaway!)

Sunday, 03 June 2012

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:

Join LinkedIn

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.

To get you started, Moo is offering a free set of business cards to a lucky winner! Just leave a comment before 5pm PST on Friday, 6/8 with your top tip for grads for a chance to win.


  • Speaking of Moo, I totally agree that every grad should have business cards! I tell students all the time that not every recruiter is comfortable with online-only. Having something you can leave behind (with your contact info) is still important, especially if you have an unusual name or a unique idea.

    But my number 1 tip is: NETWORK! Yes, social networking is great. I love it and have make many new clients and friends on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn, but networking in person is just as awesome. Being able to make a good impression and connecting one-on-one with potential employers makes it easier to find a job you will like.

    Comment by Perri Collins — June 4, 2012 @ 4:54 pm
  • Great post, Alison!

    Comment by Mandy — June 7, 2012 @ 12:25 pm
  • My top tip for grads is to take a moment to enjoy a great accomplishment! We so often get caught up in the next step, “I need to have a job before I graduate” that we often forget what a huge milestone we’ve reached by graduating.

    Another tip I have is to network within your University! Most people don’t think to do this. Often times if you connect with your professors and tell them your goals, they can personally recommend you to people they know who may be seeking your skills.

    Comment by Melodie Tao — June 7, 2012 @ 1:16 pm
  • My top tip is about clothing. I learned early on these three pointers:

    1. No one wants to see your midriff, sideriff, or backriff. Make sure you are covered up even when you bend down to tie your shoe.

    2. The workplace is not a fashion show. Save it for the weekend.

    3. If you even question whether or not you should wear it to work, just go back and change.

    Comment by Tami — June 8, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

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