Job search advice comes in all shapes and sizes AND from many people and places. From college career offices, social media and blogs, to career experts and parents, sometimes it seems like there’s almost too much information out there. We thought it would be interesting to hear from recent college grads and job seekers —who are now gainfully employed professionals — so we polled a diverse group of 2015 graduates.
Wow! Not only were we impressed by the scope of their advice, we realized the Class of 2015 represents the real experts. They are fresh off the playing field and full of relevant and practical advice that we wanted to share.
For our poll, we simply asked: Tell us one thing you learned in the job search process.
We hope you enjoy the responses as much as we did!
Nicole – Vanderbilt – On networking
“Keep in touch with EVERYONE you meet. Networking is the key to success and you never know how people will be able to help you in the future.”
Robert – Yale – On job boards and LinkedIn
“Leverage the resources of job boards beyond just your school. LinkedIn is a great place to look for positions.”
Devin – Tulane – Use every connection you can!
“If you don’t have a direct “in” to a company, research and reach out to someone who works in the department you’re applying for. It shows that you’re dedicated, truly interested in the company, and going the extra mile. Everyone mass applies, but politely contacting people within the company and asking them to pass your resume along helps you stand out!”
Dylan – Syracuse – On job search websites
“The job search is tough; it really takes a lot out of you. But once you get the hang of the research aspect of it as well as gain familiarity with the certain websites to use, your options are limitless.”
Adriana – Tulane – Be well informed
“Read about the industry, keep up with news and events, being able to show interviewers that you have genuine interest and that you’re proactive is something that sets you apart from the crowd.”
Nicole – SUNY Buffalo – Don’t get discouraged
“There will always be candidates that are more qualified than you at every single interval, but that shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your goals. In fact, it should motivate you to work harder and be better.”
Evan – Cornell – Tell concise, effective stories
“I was able to refine my image and presentation so that I could effectively communicate with potential employers. After much trial and error I figured out the best ways to get my point across so that I was looked upon most favorably.”
Jessica – UPenn – Reach out to junior employees
“Don’t underestimate or dismiss junior/younger employees at prospective firms; they often times are the most helpful and have more power than you think!”
Jason – Tulane – Show genuine interest in the role
“Coming out of undergrad employers are looking for people who will be worth the investment on their end. There is such a high learning curve in the beginning stages of your career that while it is important to know the industry and be able to answer technical questions relevant to the role, it is even more important to show that you want this role more than the other candidates. Employers want to see a genuine interest in the role as well as the drive and ambition that will make you worth the substantial investment they will have to incur.”
Danielle – UMichigan – Don’t stress over the job search and interview process
“It may be the first time you’re experiencing the pressure of a high stakes interview, but it’s certainly not the last. Once I realized that, I was less stressed and able to focus on being myself and finding the right opportunity for me.”
Brian – UWisconsin – Be honest!
“If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, it’s best to admit you don’t know the answer instead of trying to pull an answer out of left field. Try to find an answer after the interview and follow through on email. This is indicative of how things work in the real world, and interviewers will appreciate the effort.”
Zoe – Yale – On thank you notes
“Taking the time to send prompt, thoughtful, personalized thank you notes pays off. It helps recruiters remember you, and a surprisingly small number of people actually do send them, so it is in fact a differentiator. And don’t worry if you don’t get a response, because they still noticed and now have your name on record.”
Jim – Georgetown – On firm culture
“It’s important to understand the culture of the firm you will be working for. Take the time to interact with the employees and build connections before your job begins.”
Emily – Tulane – Don’t necessarily take the first job you’re offered
“You may feel pressure to leave the job market as quickly as possible, but, in reality, that sense of urgency is often self created. Before you take a job you want to learn as much about the company as possible, meet as many people as you can and really think about if you see yourself fitting into the office culture. You owe it to yourself to go through the process at a comfortable pace because, in the end, you want to feel amazing when you walk into your office every morning.”