New Grad to New Job in No Time – 5 Tips to Entering the Workforce

College seniors everywhere are walking across stages, collecting their diplomas, eager to apply their knowledge in business! While their eagerness is great, many of them end up scratching their heads, confused on where to start.

The transition from school to the working world can be a challenge. You will have to dedicate your schedule to work, wake up early, follow a dress code, etc. While the change may seem daunting, it truly is an exciting time in one’s life.

5 Tips to prepare for entering the workforce:

  1. Start Now! Spending the summer relaxing may sound tempting, but you need to realize that job hunting can be a full time job in itself. Hiring processes can often take a month or more. Getting a job with little work experience – especially in this market – will likely take a while. Start actively job searching now. Make a plan and write it down.
  2. Use Your Internships To Your Advantage. Most grads have done internships, which don’t pay much, if anything, so now you can collect! Keep in touch with people at your internships. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Contact them on a regular basis and ask for recommendations. Staying top of mind is key. That way, when they hear of opportunities you’ll be the first one they think of!
  3. Review Your Social Media. 92% of employers use social media in the hiring process. If prospective employers are considering hiring you, they will search your name online. Take time to review your social media profiles. Make sure all your social media privacy controls are set, and remove anything unflattering. “Your first impression isn’t made with a firm handshake—it’s with a Google search,” says Dan Schawbel, the author of Me 2.0. Keep that in mind, and post conservatively. Additionally, make sure that your email address and outgoing voice mail message also portray you as a professional.
  4. Network Like You Mean It! Ask every professional person you know for a meeting, and explain your job vision. Ask about contacts to meet that might benefit your search. To build a sold network, regularly follow up to let people know how their intros have benefited you and thank them. Don’t stop once you land a job, either. Keep making quality connections. They can help you when you land that job, as well as future jobs.
  5. Prepare & Practice Interviewing! Interviewers know whether you prepared or not, and winging it is not an option! Being prepared will dramatically increase your chances of getting an offer. Research the company and the hiring manager; read everything you can to understand their language. Practice answering possible interview questions with your peers. Get a jump-start on your wardrobe by knowing how to dress for success. A little preparation goes a long way in presenting yourself with confidence.

Landing a job is a full time job in itself. Your job search will take time, which is common these days, so don’t fret. Your diligence and hard work is the exact behavior employers will want to see after you are hired. You’re practicing by demonstrating it now and showing them what kind of employee you’ll be — a valued one!