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Career Student Life Transition

10 Powerful Tips For Graduates Entering The Workforce During COVID-19

April 29, 2021

Across many industries, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused uncertainty, affecting employment and experience opportunities for new graduates entering the workforce. As one example, a growing number of candidates are now interviewed virtually, impacting the opportunity to build relationships with the people involved in recruiting.

On the extreme side of things, many of today’s recent graduates will also be required to start their professional careers from home. Here are some insights for successfully entering the workforce during COVID-19. 

#1: Don’t Stop Learning 

Graduating from college doesn’t mean you are done with learning. While the knowledge and certificate or degree you acquired are valuable possessions, they are not the only things that lead to success. Beyond academic knowledge, there are a lot of things left to be learned that will put you ahead of others in finding, achieving, and being successful in your work life.

#2: Look For Internships First 

Though it is good to have aspirations for high-paying jobs, it’ hard to go from graduate into lucrative roles without taking a few other steps first. The number of open vacancies for recent graduates is now limited than in the past. Businesses are still trying to figure out how COVID has impacted their company and the industry in general, and they aren’t willing to make financial commitments or take the same risks they did in the past. If entry-level positions are slim, check out internships. One could even land you a full-time position once it’s completed!

#3: Start Building A Portfolio 

A portfolio is documentary evidence of what you are capable of doing. When other candidates compete for the same jobs with traditional resumes and cover letters, having a portfolio will help to differentiate you as a valuable resource. When desirable opportunities are not available, consider starting private projects related to the types of jobs you’ll love to be doing in the future. Or, consider volunteering in similar roles to show your strengths.

#4: Commit To Proactive Networking 

Being proactive about networking will put you ahead of other people that are usually waiting in a reactionary mode. You might have heard that your net worth is directly related to your network.  And, most people are holding back interacting with others because of the pandemic….now is the time to stand-out and shine when others are waiting! If your LinkedIn profile isn’t already in top shape, spend some time to do and use it as one of your greatest networking tools.

#5: Embrace A Relentless Drive

For you to move from being a graduate into the world of work, you need a relentless drive. More than anything else, this characteristic will empower you to withstand inevitable obstacles you may discover along the way. And, you can share those learning experiences with potential employers. A strong work ethic can land you just about any job, regardless of experience.

#6: Be Adaptable To Change 

When you are entering the workforce as a graduate, you are bound to experience a lot of opportunities that don’t match your expectations. At that moment, your best bet is to be open and adaptable to change. All employers want people who can adapt and change course during challenging times. This goes along with your drive. Work hard and be relentless!

#7: Try New Things 

Both in terms of learning and networking, you must commit to trying new things. Another way to look at this is that you have to embrace going outside of your comfort zone. The world works differently because of COVID-19 and you need to learn how to adapt. This might mean taking the time to learn how to use the new software the company is using for all of its virtual meetings. Or, figuring out the ins and outs of a project management tool that seems confusing now, but will be instrumental in organizing your team’s projects down the line.

#8: Define Your Meaning of Success

The big question is this – what does career success mean to you? Once you clearly identify what success means to you, convey that to others in a way that relates to your personal values, vision, and life purpose. Once this is communicated clearly, others can understand how they can help you achieve this, and how it fits with their goals for recruiting the right talent.

#9: Set Measurable Goals 

Having a goal is important. But if you don’t have a way to measure progress towards accomplishment of your goals, achieving them is difficult. As important as it is to set goals, measuring progress, and modifying your strategy when needed, are also important. Don’t aim unrealistically high nor sell yourself short and aim too low.

#10: Find Your Internal Motivation 

Motivation is the fuel that drives people to accomplish their goals. Without it, life will seem like a challenge. However, people need to find what drives them and satisfies their sense of self-worth and purpose. External sources can motivate you to achieve some things for a little while; however, they’re limited in helping you attain long-term, sustained success.

Spend time gaining self-awareness about your strengths, your goals, your measures of success, and what can get in the way of attaining these things.  Once you understand yourself better, you’ll know what you need for continuous growth, and which career roles will be best for you.

Career

Five Tips for College Students on Using LinkedIn

November 13, 2020

One of the biggest myths about college is the belief that a degree can guarantee you will have a successful career. But the truth is, you can graduate with flying colors and still struggle to find a job if you don’t prepare for what’s ahead.

Building a career takes planning and many careful steps along the way. One of the things that you can do to start preparing for a future great career is to slowly build your professional brand on LinkedIn while you are still in college.

How College Students Can Benefit from Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is such a powerful tool that if you are going to choose just one online profile, it should be on this platform. According to the platform, over 200,000 students join every month, and this impressive figure tells you that these students are on to something.

The benefits of using LinkedIn go beyond making connections and creating an online presence. Your profile is like a live resume that does much of the networking for you. Aside from these perks, here are some of the other features that students can utilize from LinkedIn:

Job Alerts

Whether you are looking for a part-time job, internship, or simply want to be in the know on who is hiring at the moment, you can set up job alerts on LinkedIn and be notified of new open positions in your industry.

Company Research

Learning more about an organization can easily be done on the platform. This gives you a peek into what is new in the industry, typical hiring processes, and even company reviews.

Professional Connections

Connecting with industry experts who can be a potential mentor for you is easily done. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking site, you can quickly connect with business leaders and professionals from whom you can learn.

How to Use LinkedIn for Career Preparation

If you are new to LinkedIn or do not have an account yet, here are 5 things that you can start working on to make LinkedIn work to your advantage.

Complete Your Profile

While not a LinkedIn requirement, completing your profile can give you a better online job search experience. You can receive targeted job recommendations based on the education and list of interests you placed on your profile. This helps you save time and you only get job recommendations that are relevant to you.

Upload your Online Resume

Uploading your resume on LinkedIn helps increase your employability level as this step makes it easier for recruiters to see if you would be a good fit. It’s important to take the time to know how to add your resume to LinkedIn.

Join your University Alumni Group

Connecting with your alma mater’s network allows you to form relationships with fellow students and college alumni so you can stay updated on where they have gotten job offers. You can also check with the alumni to determine if any of their companies are hiring and request a reference. Aside from staying in touch, these connections can greatly leverage your professional network.

Get and Give Recommendations

Try to get LinkedIn recommendations from mentors, fellow students, and even from your teachers. These serve as virtual references from other people in the industry and can help strengthen your profile. The more recommendations that you get, will show that more people find you credible and trustworthy in your chosen field. Don’t forget to reciprocate and give others recommendations as well.

Update Your Profile Regularly

Since your LinkedIn account will continue to work to your advantage so make sure to update your profile often with recent training, certifications, and awards.

LinkedIn is a great platform for college students to help them create a blueprint for a successful career. Like any tool, you need to put in effort for it to generate visible results, and preparation is essential. This is where you will see what one is willing to do to set himself apart and how far he is willing to go to achieve his goals. 

About the Author: Amanda Morris is a writer and a contributor. Her works are specifically geared towards providing information for students that can help them with their fields and their journey to career development.

Career Other

5 Networking Tips for Recent College Grads

March 26, 2019

Networking can be unnerving for recent college graduates and new professionals, but it’s essential in landing a new job and career growth in the future.

It’s estimated that at least 70 percent of available jobs are never listed online. Attending industry events, conferences, and other networking opportunities is a great way to get your name out there and discover jobs that aren’t posted on online job boards.

With that in mind, here are five tips for recent college grads to network like pros in any networking situation.

Carry Yourself Confidently

Having confidence is easier said than done, especially in an unfamiliar situation. The best advice to appear confident when you aren’t is to “fake it till you make it”. You can give the appearance of confidence by being conscious of your body language. Studies have shown that those who stand in “power poses” command more attention, suffer less stress, and benefit from improved performance. Make sure to stand with good posture, keep a smile on your face, and nail down the perfect handshake in order to impress a prospective connection.

Appearance Matters

Many people subconsciously correlate appearance with competence in other areas.  This makes it essential to have a well-rounded professional image. How you appear and what you wear can embolden you to feel more confident and improve the way you interface with others.

Paying attention to little grooming details prior to a networking event can give you an added polish and confidence boost. You can utilize a variety of effective beauty solutions to manage hair loss, smooth out your complexion, and whiten your smile. For sustainable improvements in your appearance, make sure to practice regular self-care by exercising regularly, sticking to a sleep schedule, and keeping a balanced diet.

When considering an outfit, you should always match the dress code of the event you’re attending. However, if the dress code is unclear, you should dress to fit the role of the position you’re aiming for. Looking the part doesn’t just impress your potential connections, it enables you to act the part as well.

Actively Engage

Everyone likes to talk about themselves. After introducing yourself, actively engage with your new connection and ask them about their experiences within the industry. Stay present in the conversation without checking your phone, speaking over them, or scoping out the event for who you want to talk to next. Demonstrating your interest in the work they’re doing makes them feel important while showing them your passion for the industry.

Look For Mutual Interests

Finding common ground and mutual interests can solidify a memorable conversation. You don’t want to go off topic without reason, as it can make you seem like you’re not serious about your industry. However, if a conversation is going well, don’t be afraid to test the waters around more personal topics, such as a favorite sports team, television show, or recent movie.

Exchange Contact Information

After a good conversation, you should always remember to get your new connection’s contact information to follow up after the event. This way, you can continue to build on your new professional relationship. Offer your own contact information and/or business card as well.

These tips are sure to get you noticed and remembered at your next networking event! Don’t forget to follow GradGuard on social media if you enjoy posts like this one.