Postsecondary grad season can produce a range of feelings from the thrilling liberation from the constant pressure of assignments to moments of crushing anxiety about next steps.
The world around us has changed dramatically in the past 4 years (yes, pandemic and, hello Ai tsunami) and yet, some things, like the importance of social etiquette, are as important now as ever.
With this in mind, here are five timely and timeless practical tips for new grads:
- Build your personal brand.
- Build a solid LinkedIn presence. Do the same on Twitter if that is more your jam.
- Create a profile including a picture, description bio statement and outline your experiences. If you are struggling to write the description statement, ask someone who knows you well to draft it for you. They will do it 10x faster than you will. Throw out to the universe what you are actually dreaming of and looking for. Remember to add “open to work” on your photo.
- Get good at email. There is no easier way to look like a professional than with a consistently professional approach to emails. Add a signature to the email with a link to your social profiles.
2. Build your network.
- Connect with family, friends and faculty. Most importantly, reach out and connect with friends of your family. These are the ones who may actually get you an interview.
3. Get active & be strategic.
- Follow thought leaders in your area of interest.
- Create a post or repost relevant professional content.
- Comment on posts of others in a way that adds value (even posts of your thought-leaders).
- Work to deepen your sector knowledge of areas that are interesting to you.
4. Keep building skills.
- Build expertise in ONE marketable hard skill – Excel, presentation decks, Canva, etc.
- Master basic office tech like MS Office/Teams, Google Suite, Zoom, Slack, Asana (or other project management program) and Notion.
- If you have limited work experience, highlight your transferable skills.
- The most critical skills that employers are looking for are: reliability, work ethic, adaptability, growth mindset (are you coachable), team players work these into the personal description statement.
5. Say “thank you”.
You will likely be asking a lot of favors from people you know or barely know. It sounds silly but a “Thank You” email will help you stand head and shoulders above others and help you build a network that will actively help you on this journey.