Here’s what that college recruiter didn’t tell you when you signed up for your freshman year: Finding a job after college is pretty challenging. There is often massive competition even in the kind of candidate-driven market we have today. Imagine a flood of new college graduates competing for the same kinds of jobs. All of you have very little practical experience beyond an internship or two. How can you stand out to employers post-graduation?
Step one is to brand yourself online as an up-and-coming professional person. Consider setting up a web page with your domain name (yourname.com). There, you can add your picture, your resume, and even testimonials from your teachers or the bosses at your internships. Add a page for your volunteer work complete with pictures. Did you serve on a committee at school? Do you have a portfolio? Then link that web page to your LinkedIn profile. Your brand should be consistent across platforms. If you have an Instagram or Facebook page, mark them as private so your professional and personal lives do not intersect.
Speaking of LinkedIn
Get your profile noticed on LinkedIn. To do this, you must consistently post and contribute to the platform. Start to develop colleagues to “friend” you on this platform as you gradually build your network. Join a group or two in your chosen area of study and become active by posting research or industry trends. Build rapport with people in your network because employers are definitely watching.
Practice Selling Yourself
Okay, this sounds strange, but what is an interview really except a chance to sell your skills to employers? Consider practicing your interview (selling) skills by first, researching the top interview questions employers usually ask. Get a friend to act as the interviewer. Then consider filming the interaction so you can watch it and critique your approach. When you’re ready, call a People Plus recruiter—we’d be happy to help you hone your interview skills and critique your website, profiles, and resume—for free.
Sell Your Experience
Telling a recruiter that you have a certain skill is different from telling a story where you applied those skills. Practice answering interview questions as if they were behavioral in scope. By this, we mean that you answer questions as if the interviewer asked you, “Tell me about a time when you…” Practice your stories that illustrate the common things employers ask for such as leadership skills. (Tell me about a time when you exhibited leadership skills.) Each story should be well-honed, precise, short, and to the point.
Work with a Recruiter
The best way to stand out from recent college grads is to work closely with a recruiting firm like People Plus. We help new graduates find good jobs every day. We also help them learn new skills such as interviewing, offer resume advice, and much more. If you’re wondering how to stand out from the crowd of college graduates out there, look no further than People Plus. We’re here to help you succeed in your next job search.