Grads…”The Best Advice You will Ever Get About Your First Job Search”


For new graduates there are many things that you will have direct control over in your pursuit of that first job. Any mistake or lost opportunity in your job search could be the difference between success and disappointment.

Here are seven things every graduate can control and will help make a difference.

1. Error Free Written Communications.

Any spelling mistake on your cover letter, resumé, thank-you letter or email correspondence just tells the receiver you aren’t serious about applying for the job. Carelessness suggests possible future behavior. Why would an employer want to take a chance with someone who makes mistakes?

2. A Targeted Resumé.

Not every job you apply for will be exactly the same. One resumé will not work for every job. Your resumé must reflect and highlight what the employer is looking for. You must make sure your resumé emphasizes the skills you have and the ones they will be looking for. If you do your research about the company you should know exactly what they are.

3. Look Beyond Job Postings and Job Boards.

Statistics vary from industry to industry and business to business, but job postings usually represent only a small percentage of the available jobs in any marketplace. The silent or hidden job market (those open positions not advertised or posted) are the ones you want to go after. They may be harder to find, but your chances of landing that first job will be better if you do your research and networking to find what is available and who is hiring rather than waiting for a job posting.

4. Show Interview Etiquette.

The way you behave tells people who you are and shows how you will behave if you get hired. “Please” and “Thank-you”, are the best two words in the English language and go a long way when employers are evaluating your candidacy. Proper etiquette shows good judgment which means you will most likely be a good employee. A solid handshake, an appropriate greeting and a smile will always make a great first impression. Do not ever discount the power of proper etiquette.

5. Be Prepared For The Interview.

Every interviewer will be able to tell in a very short time whether or not you  are prepared for the interview. If you do not demonstrate very early in the interview that you are serious and have done your research, the interviewer will conclude you are really not interested and move on to the next  candidate. If you cannot demonstrate that you know something about their company, there is little to no chance you will get the job.

6. Interview Follow-up.                                                                                                                           

Your behavior after the interview is as important as your behavior during the interview. If you do not follow-up after the interview with a professional “Thank-you” letter, the logical conclusion the interviewer will come to is that you are not interested in the job. Always follow-up after the  interview…every interview.

7. Networking Follow-up. 

Your network will be your lifeline in your job search. It is unlikely you will be successful without the help of someone in some way. Build your network carefully and most importantly, keep in touch with everyone on a regular basis. Following up with your network and keeping everyone informed about your job-search status means when opportunities arise they just might think of you.

Your job-search success will depend on how well you execute every aspect of the job-search process. Your cover letter, resumé, time management, research, interview and interview follow-up are all important.