How to Help New College Grads

It’s FINALLY springtime and graduation season is in full swing! As the tassel is moved from one side to the other, many college graduates are are busy making plans for their future. Some may have jobs lined up, while others are busy interviewing – and some, perhaps, have yet to begin the process. Many grads will be looking to network with industry professionals – this is where you come in!

Networking is an essential step to any job search. Helping a fresh grad understand the importance of building a network is an important first lesson to the working world. In a perfect world, a fresh grad would leave a conversation with a new job lead but often, that is not the case. We’ve compiled some helpful job search and resume tips to pass along to any college grad during this exciting time. These tips are great reminders for professionals too.

Getting Started

Most new graduates have been born and raised in the digital age. Point out that their presence on the internet does not go unnoticed.

  • Email Address: Make sure it’s professional! Seriously, we (recruiters) do look at this type of stuff and I’d be much more likely to contact a over a for example.
  • Clean Up Your Social Media Footprint: What will I find if I Google you or search for you on Facebook? Are you leaving an electronic footprint that is appealing and professional to potential employers?
  • Create a LinkedIn Profile: Join your university or college LinkedIn Page, alumnae group and connect with others you know – friends that have graduated, relatives, your parents’ friends, etc. This is a great “place” to find people, and for them to find you! Don’t be afraid to ask for an informational interview to learn more about what they do or the company they work for, if either interest you.

Resume Tips

They say an artist’s work is never complete – same goes for a resume. Show a recent grad that a resume can always be tweaked and targeted to the perfect job.

  • Resume Templates: Microsoft Word offers several templates if you are starting from scratch: How to Access Free Resume Templates with MS Word, or you can use Google for resume examples.
  • Qualifications Summary: Start your resume off with a Qualifications Summary instead of an Objective. This should be a few short, yet powerful sentences that emphasize the strengths and value that you could bring to a potential employer.
  • Education: At this stage in your career search, Education should follow Qualifications Summary. Be sure to list the name of the school, location, field of study, anticipated graduation date, and include GPA (if greater than 3.0.) As you gain professional experience, your Education can eventually move toward the end of your resume – but for now keep it toward the top.
  • Work Experience: List any internship, summer or seasonal work you have done, starting with your most recent experience. Use bullets to emphasize your strengths and skills gained through these experiences, thinking about characteristics that potential employers will value in any field (i.e. leadership, communication skills, customer service, dedication, etc.)
  • Honors/ and Extracurricular Activities: Include this next on your resume (if applicable), following work experience. Do you belong to any campus groups, clubs or teams? Did you hold any leadership roles within these organizations? Were you the recipient of any Academic Awards or Honors? Now is the time to brag! Often times these experiences can set you apart from other applicants, help paint a more complete picture of who you are and what value and experience you can bring to a potential employer.
  • Technology: List any software programs or systems you may have used in class or through your internship experience, including MS Office Suite.

If you know any soon-to-be grads, keep these quick tips handy to send their way or if you’re a part of their networking plan. Even if you don’t have any immediate employment opportunities to share with them during your meeting, you could still help propel them in the right direction. Happy networking and here’s to the class of 2016!