Career Advice for Recent Grads

Do you have any new grads in your life who just returned from post-graduation travel and are asking you for advice before they start looking for their first “real job?”

Well, I think I might be able to help! My name is Ariana Katsigiannis, and I am a rising senior at NYU studying Politics, Rights and Development and Spanish. I have been interning at WCE for over a year now, and throughout my time here I’ve had a lot of exposure to resumes, interviews and new hire training. Based on what I’ve learned and experienced here at Wisnik, I’ve compiled a few tips that I would give to my classmates who just graduated and are looking to start their first job.

Everyone knows how daunting the job searching/interviewing process can be, especially if you don’t feel confident with your interviewing skills, but the more you do it the more comfortable you will be. If you’re looking for a way to make your resume and cover letter stand out, while also making a lasting impression on your interviewer, you can start by doing the following!

  • No two jobs are alike, which means you’ll probably need a few different versions of your resume. Nobody likes to spend time rewriting and formatting resumes, but it makes a difference. Spending a little extra time fine tuning the experiences you are trying showcase in your resume makes a big difference in the long run. This is especially true for recent grads, who often apply for a wider variety of positions than experienced professionals.
  • Your cover letter needs to address both why you want the job and why you are qualified for it. As a recent graduate, chances are, you probably haven’t had much relevant work experience to include on your resume, so you should let your cover letter do the talking. Be sure to attach the correct cover letter to your application if you are applying online– there’s nothing worse than receiving a cover letter addressed to the United Nations for a entry level recruiting role.
  • Do your homework. The interviewer will know whether or not you’ve looked at their website by the types of questions you ask and your knowledge of the role you are applying for. If you really want to impress them, log onto their website prior to your meeting, do your research and ask them about something you saw that was interesting.
  • Have an idea of what skills you can bring to the organization and how you are looking to spend the majority of your time there. If you want to do graphic design, a legal recruiting role is probably not the right fit for you. Highlight what you can do for the organization, rather than what they can do for you.
  • Stay in touch with the people you would like to use as your references. If it’s been awhile since you last spoke with a mentor, supervisor or professor you would like to use a reference, be sure to make them aware of the role you are applying to so that they are prepared to speak on your behalf.
  • Bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and writing samples for your interviewer to reference in the interview. If you are going to be working part time or have prior obligations that might interfere with your new role or start date, bringing a schedule with your availability is extremely helpful. By doing so, you show that you are both organized and proactive.
  • Follow up. No matter how busy you are, sending the people you met with a quick but genuine email thanking them for their time and consideration is always appreciated.

As mentioned above, the interviewing process can be quite overwhelming no matter what stage you are in your career, but sharing these helpful tips could be just the type of advice recent grads are looking for to boost their confidence and performance.  Please feel free to share these tips, and add your own!

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