Sunday, January 16, 2011

Get Ready for the Job!

So you are about to receive your degree. Now what? Navigating the job market, especially for new graduates, can be tough. Kandice Kidd, a career management faculty member at Robert Morris University in Chicago, tells you three things to do right now to land a job after graduation.

Strategy #1: Build Your Network

"One of the most critical things is building or expanding on your network," says Kidd. Your network is all of your professional contacts. They should know when you will be graduating, what you would like to offer the marketplace, and what critical skills you have developed in school.

Although as a student your network may be small, Kidd says remember your network has "tentacles." She explains, "You might only have seven people in your network, but each person might have access to seven other people. So it is critical that you ask your network for referrals."

Social media is also a great resource for building your network. Kidd cautions though not to rely just on Facebook where you are more apt to highlight "the fun" and less apt to post information on your skill set. Instead, she recommends building a base on social media designed for professionals such as LinkedIn or

Strategy #2: Fine Tune Your Professional Path Documents

Professional path documents include your resume and cover letter. These are documents that are going to introduce you to the decision makers.

Your resume should not be a one-size-fits-all document. You should have a resume catered to every position you will be applying for. "The work experience section should not be a laundry list of responsibilities. It should show two things: contributions plus outcome. You have to showcase results," says Kidd.

Your resume should be designed in a reader-friendly format. "The recruiter or hiring manager is only going to look at your resume for about 2-10 seconds because they have been trained to scan very quickly," states Kidd. "They are looking for key words and key experiences to jump out at them. If they do not see an obvious connection, then they are not going to pass your resume along to the person who can hire you."

Always include a cover letter with your resume. For the recent graduate especially, it is so important to write a strong cover letter because this may be just what gets you the interview. 

Strategy #3: Think Beyond Your Major

You may be earning a degree in business, but that does not mean you can not land a job in other industries. What you learn in school is broad, and therefore you gain a broad base of competencies. It is important to know the various careers your skills can transfer to. Kidd says, "Do research and pull up job descriptions for maybe three jobs that you are interested in. Scan those job descriptions and pull out the key qualifications and responsibilities and then look to see just how your skills transfer."

Additionally, here is another article that could help you polish your presentation:  10 Things The HR Department Won't Tell You!

Article by: Lori Lewis-Chapman for

Take a free Career Personality Test on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

© Copyright 2019
All rights reserved.