6 Tips for winter college grads to stand out in the job market

Julia Flaherty
Posted by of Insight Publications

The job market can be an intimidating place for new graduates. But with a little preparation, you will be well on your way to success. When it comes down to it, maintaining a positive mindset and doing your research makes all the difference in the current job market. Start with these simple tips to set yourself up for success in the New Year and get that job:

12.21.17 - Pexels Free Stock Photo 1

1. Make a plan

It’s likely you’ve heard the phrase, “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” While the reality may not be as harsh as that, it is important for winter graduates to prepare before entering the job market . Whether that means taking on extra internships, freelancing gigs to gain yourself exposure, or coordinating mentoring sessions with local thought-leaders, it’s important you use all of your resources to execute a good plan of attack. Focus on a larger objective, but create small goals for yourself in getting there. Everything is a process, but you will achieve what you work hard for and set your mind to.

2. Continue your research

While you almost certainly won’t find yourself in the job you’ve dreamed about right after college, it’s important you keep up your skills in the process of getting there. Everyone starts somewhere. Keep your passion on your way to achieving your “end goal,” or, more like, “next goal,” because there will always be others to follow suit. Research companies you are interested in. Listen to informational podcasts that make you aware of industry trends within your field. Be an asset to yourself in the job market by keeping up with the times.

3. Create connections

12.21.17 - Unsplash Free Stock Photo 2Keith Ferrazzi, author, entrepreneur, and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, says, “The currency of real networking is not greed, but generosity.”

This means real connections who believe in you will watch out for you in the job market moving forward, so give them someone to believe in. Believe in your own professional ability. You got this!

Whether it’s a mentor, former colleague or friend, keep your mind open to opportunities to meet people and network. Stay connected to other recent graduates. You never know who will get you in the door somewhere. The phrase, “it’s about who you know” will become more and more relevant as you progress in your career. Join a professional network in your area or on the Web. Subscribe to job websites. Send your resume to companies you are interested in to introduce yourself, even if jobs aren’t posted. Start a conversation. You never know where it will lead! Don’t just try — do.

4. Present your accomplishments

Knowing how to present your accomplishments well will be inherently valuable as a recent graduate. This, of course, starts with having a polished resume, then goes to how you verbally communicate your accomplishments through the interview process. Be confident, poised and proud. Employers will be impressed by what you know, have done and aim to do within your field. There is a lot to learn ahead. You are more likely to start on the right foot when your mind is in a good professional head space.

5. Take yourself seriously

This does not always mean coming off as a serious person, but making a serious effort to achieve your goals. You show others how to treat you by the way you treat yourself. If you lack confidence in yourself, interviewers and hiring managers are likely to not feel as good, too. Present yourself the way you see yourself professionally. The phrase “fake it ‘till you make it” applies well in that you are always in a place of becoming the person you are. Enjoy the steps to getting to the professional level you want to be along the way. Enjoy the view and always absorb the lessons.

6. Become informed

Before you take a job interview, informational interviews can be very valuable.

Mashable attests that informational interviews, “give you a great leg up on other people who are looking for a job in that same company.”

Once you do your research about potential companies you want to work for, see if you can have an informational interview with a hiring manager or human resources rep within that company. They will be pleased to see your energy and interest. Approach them during a slow time. Of course, this can be a bit difficult at the beginning of the year, so it’s important to not be discouraged and be persistent. Research the right person to contact at the company. If they acknowledge your interest, be sure to show appreciation for their time. Ask them relevant questions. Get as much as you can from the informational interview, because even if it does not work out with them, it will work out with someplace sooner or later. Everything you do is one step closer to becoming a newly employed recent graduate.

Best wishes as you search for the right role and place of employment in the New Year!