Landing your first job right out of college is not easy. You have done the hard work to earn your degree, and unfortunately there is still a great deal of work to do to land a job. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Be on Time
You should always plan to arrive at an interview early. Showing up before your scheduled time not only shows that you are a person with good time management, but communicates that you can be counted on and are reliable as well. By allowing yourself this extra time, you have allotted yourself a bit of insurance should you come upon some unforeseen circumstances that might have otherwise delayed you.
Dress to Impress
This is a simple concept that is so very important. When you walk through those doors into the interview, this is the first impression you are going to make on your new potential employers. If your shirt is wrinkled or you come in dressed very casually, you will give off the air of complacency or lack of enthusiasm. If you come in dressed professionally, you will show that you are taking the interview seriously, that you respect yourself and you deserve to be respected.
Triple Check Your Resume
This may seem like a no brainer, but more times than not people leave the editing process out. Whether they omit this important step due to being anxious or excited makes no difference, forgetting to take a careful look at the spelling and grammar on your resume could be the one thing standing between you and an interview.
Relate Your Experience
Don’t discount your volunteer work or projects you have completed for classes or other extracurricular organizations. By discussing these experiences in interviews, you can demonstrate your work ethic and commitment. Bring relevance to your experiences. Relate them to the work you are interviewing to do. Find ways to compare your past work with the work you are hoping to be able to do for the company you are interviewing for. Discussing the similarities of the jobs, past and future can possibly aid an interviewer in picturing you as the one to fill a certain position.
Ask Specific Questions
When the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask good ones that show that you are interested in the position and have a solid knowledge of the company and what they are all about. Do your research about the company and then find ways to subtly show that you are in the know. Once you get the job, you can ask questions later to decide if you want to accept it.
No one wants to hire someone that is complacent. A good employee is one that is passionate and driven and has exciting new ideas. Find ways in your interview to demonstrate your passion and present yourself as an energetic innovative hard worker who is excited to get started.
Choose Your Words Carefully
When you are in an interview situation it is important to consider both the words you choose and your phrasing very carefully. You do not want to offend your interviewer in any way or present yourself in a less than flattering manner. By thinking before you speak, you can ensure that you show that you are an eloquent, educated candidate for the job who knows how to behave appropriately in the work place.
Know Specifics About Why You Are a Good Fit
Know the requirements of the job that you are applying for and the specific tasks you would be performing should you receive the position. With a greater understanding of what would be required of you in the position, you can show ways that you are qualified for the job by giving examples of past experiences that are relative. Don’t miss the opportunity to give specific examples of your own character traits and how they would benefit specific tasks.
Show Them Why They Should Like You
Engage the interviewer. Show that you are an interesting and dynamic individual. Always be considerate and never interrupt. You want to demonstrate in the interview that you are a good communicator and have good social skills. Remember, not only are you interviewing for a job, you are also potentially about to become a member of an already established community in the work place. Whether or not you will fit in is an important piece of the puzzle.
No One Owes You a Job, You Have to Earn It
Never approach an interview as if you are entitled to the position based on your education or past experience. It is an employer’s market these days and there are hundreds if not thousands of applicants for every job. You have to earn every opportunity. Do not expect for any position to be simply handed to you. Make it your goal to show the employers why they HAVE to choose you.
George Gallagher writes for education and financial publications. He is also a consultant to recent graduates looking for help understanding private student loan consolidation and other financial questions.