Thousands of college graduates are submitting their resumes for internships and jobs this summer. They’re all hoping to land their dream jobs, or maybe just a job to pay off their $22,900 worth of loans. Ah yes, the generation that gets to walk away with the title: most indebted ever (according to WSJ). But there’s so much more than packing up your cap and gown and looking through the CareerBuilder.com website. Here’s my top 5 tips for this year’s graduates. Hope it helps you in your search!
Top 5 Tips for 2011 Grads
- Find your professional and personal line. I can’t tell you the number of resumes I’ve seen float into my inbox where it takes one search button to tell me all their dirty laundry. Expect employers to Google you. And expect that your first impression may be your last. We recently had interns send us their one paragraph biographies, and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. Writing is a critical skill, and writing professionally is one that schools just don’t teach. Be more cautious.
- See life with a wide lens, and don’t be afraid to dream. The worst thing you can do is just think about the job, one title, pay check, promotion at a time. When I graduated, I had my heart set on law school. To kill time, I took an internship that changed my career path quite dramatically. Don’t be afraid to find new passions and follow them where they lead you.
- Be confident, but not a jerk about it. The worst thing you can do is walk in thinking you know everything. Be humble and willing to learn and grow. Admit when you’re wrong (I’m still learning this one), and don’t be afraid to ask for help (still learning this one too). Your colleagues and mentors are there to help you and guide you. They are the best thing that will happen to you in your career.
- Get involved. There are plenty of professional organizations all over the country, and most of them have groups for young professionals. Don’t be afraid to meet new people. This is the perfect time to expand your network. The first thing I did when I graduated was find organizations to volunteer for. From professional organizations to non-profits – I volunteered for committees, went to networking events, and more. I’ve met some great friends, colleagues and learned of additional growth opportunities.
- Work/life balance is hard. No one told me how hard this would be, nor was it ever taught. Your balance is likely different than mine, and you may take a few years before you find the balance that works for you. I’m still tweaking mine every day.