So, you made it! The graduation ceremony is over, the
diplomas in the mail, and the “congratulations” checks are rollin’ in. Now it’s
time to start thinking about the next step…landing that first big job. Now you
might be thinking, “I took that business class my senior year, I bought a brand
new suit, and my resume is looking good. Isn’t that all I need?”
Well you’re off to a great start! However, I would include a few commonsense “tools” that can help any graduate
build that career of their dreams. So before you head out to interview at that
Fortune 500 company, remember to:
- Use the Power of an Altoid—Pop a breath mint in your mouth before your interview. It’s only polite to be concerned about your breath and sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. Besides, that garlic and onion sandwich you ate for lunch may not be the first impression you want to make!
- Give Them a High Tech Business Card—You don’t need to have a business to have a business card. It looks professional and it keeps your contact information easily accessible. Include your college major and the name of your school. Get with the times and include your Linked-In address or professional MySpace page (emphasis on PROFESSIONAL), so the interviewer can get to know you better.
- Be a Podcasting Professional—How can your iPod help you get your next job? The 25,000 MP3’s you have stored probably won’t help much. However, downloading podcasts in the field that you are interviewing just might. In fact, the company you are interviewing for may have their own podcasts online you could access. Listen to them on your way to the interview…just pretend you’re cramming for a test!
- Look Ex “PEN” sive—Get a nice pen. Consider this an accessory and part of your professional image. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure it looks like it is!
- Put Paper Back on the Map—Bring a notepad. Take notes during or after the interview. This shows you are interested and paying attention. This will also help you to follow up after the interview, something many people forget.
In addition to these, we also have "tools" that we carry
with us everyday. Go to your interview
with a positive attitude, self-confidence, an open mind and SMILE…we all look
better when we smile. With these and the rest of the
networking tool kit working for you, you may land that dream job before the
graduation caps even hit the ground!