Browsing Tag

post-graduate

Transition

The Best States for New College Graduates to Live

March 3, 2021

Graduating from college signals the beginning of a whole new era, and starting your post-graduate life is a big step to take. The extent of this challenge can differ greatly depending on where you live. If you are considering where to base yourself after college, it helps to know what areas offer the most opportunities for finding a job and affording a place to live.

Using data sourced from the United States Census Bureau, we’ve broken down the best states to start your post-grad life. 

Hawaii

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.2%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $49,455
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $635,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,300

It’s no secret that Hawaii’s allure for the younger population is strong, offering a very unique lifestyle, but it does have one major downside in that it is very expensive. The median price of a home is the highest in the nation, so the dream of ever owning your own property in Hawaii any time soon is probably a lofty one. That said, the average income for graduates is relatively solid and the unemployment rate for the same is comfortably low. 

Photo by Brian Garrity on Unsplash

California

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 20.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $59,709
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 4.1%
  • Median property value: $525,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,750

Another state that requires a mention due to the extent of its attraction is the state of California. Unfortunately, though, it’s the second most expensive place for owning your own home (especially in the state’s largest city of Los Angeles) , as well as suffering a high unemployment rate. If you do still fancy your chances of gaining solid employment in the Golden State, however, the median college graduate salary is one of the highest in the nation.

Indiana

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 16.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $47,950
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $179,900
  • Median monthly rent: $1025

While Indiana lags behind somewhat when it comes to the percentage of people who hold a degree, its housing costs are very attractive for those starting out and hoping to own their own home sooner rather than later. It boasts a pretty healthy unemployment rate for degree holders, too.

New York

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 19.9%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $56,910
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3.5%
  • Median property value: $411,000
  • Median monthly rent: $3,200

The Empire State might have the highest rent, but it also boasts one of the highest median incomes of any state, so again, if you fancy your chances of landing a great post grad job and you want to go big, then maybe take a bite of the Big Apple!

Colorado

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 24.8%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $51,093
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.9%
  • Median property value: $420,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,900

If snow-covered mountains are more your thing, Colorado is a solid choice for postgraduates. With one of the highest percentages of adults with degrees, a healthy median income and a reasonably affordable property market, it might be time to head to the Centennial State of colorful Colorado.

North Dakota

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $46,945
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 1.1%
  • Median property value: $224,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,300

If job security is your priority, then the Great Plains of the midwest might be calling. North Dakota boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate for college graduates. Couple that with a particularly affordable property market and this state is not one to overlook lightly.

Massachusetts

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 23.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $60,715
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3%
  • Median property value: $439,900
  • Median monthly rent: $2,600

With a median income of over $60,000, you could afford more than beans for dinner if you lock down some post grad employment within the Baked Bean State. Rent isn’t the cheapest around though, so perhaps beans on toast once a week would be prudent. 

Seager Trailhead, Massachusetts 3, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stati Uniti

Photo by Michael Baccin on Unsplash

Maryland

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $61,631
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.8%
  • Median property value: $305,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,700

The Free State has the desirable statistics that you just can’t argue with. A high median income, a reasonably healthy unemployment rate for graduates and an affordable property scene makes for a very promising climate from which to launch into post-college life.

Only you can really know what location will make you truly happy, but being armed with some important statistics when it comes to employment opportunities and affordability can help you recognize which state might be best for you to call home after college.

Career Other

Dorm Room to Board Room: Tips for Starting Your Own Business Post-Grad

June 23, 2020

How many stories have we heard about the success of dorm room startups that gained enough investors to grow and become industry giants? SnapChat, ModCloth, Reddit, and Facebook were all once a college student’s idea that eventually became national brands and widely-successful organizations.

Although it takes a great idea, constant networking, and a lot of hard work, the next story could be about your own business idea. Here are some tips on how you can take your business from the dorm room to the board room and find entrepreneurial success post-graduation.

Establish good finances

No matter how good your idea is, you’ll need money to hire employees, pay for production and marketing, and lease an office space. As a college student, you likely don’t have many financial resources to invest in the company yourself. However, you can rely on family and friend contributions, private investors, or SBA loans to gain starting capital that you will eventually payback. If you make regular payments to these lenders, you’ll build good credit and position your business for success. Just be sure you’re managing and organizing these new finances, so you don’t run into trouble. Consider using an online small business bank so you can access your money and track your business expenses no matter where you are, and hire an accountant to ensure you’re doing everything by the book. Proactivity with your business’s money will help you establish a secure enough financial position to grow your business into a powerful brand.

Learn to market

It’s not enough to have a good offering if you can’t interest customers in it. Work to finetune your marketing skills to engage your audience, and bring in business. If you weren’t a business or advertising major, consider taking an online marketing course to learn how to effectively leverage all avenues of your marketing– including social media, ads, and organic search. Then, put it into practice! Build out your organization’s digital footprint and brand recognition by writing content, publishing advertisements, and spreading the word to potential customers. This will not only result in increased sales but also stronger brand recognition and long-term success.

Network, network, network

Networking isn’t just important for securing a job or internship after college, it can also make or break your business. Oftentimes, who you know is one of the most impactful contributions you can bring to your organization as a business owner. Fortunately, you likely have exposure to many powerful people within your university network, whether it’s professors, the board, alumni, or even the students. Reach out to those on and off your campus for a brainstorming meeting, a marketing focus group, or an investing pitch to grow your network and develop interest in your organization.

Find a mentor

Similar to networking, it’s critical that you find a mentor as a post-grad business owner. Even if you have a million-dollar idea, as an inexperienced businessperson, you need access to established knowledge in the entrepreneurial world to guide your decisions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to business owners who inspire you either by email, phone or LinkedIn. Ask for advice on the market or niche you’re interested in, or how they decided to structure their business. This can open a dialogue that’s mutually beneficial, providing them with fresh perspectives, and you with hard-earned industry wisdom. 

It’s critical that you take these proactive steps to ensure the success of your organization. However, when starting your own business after graduation, it’s also important to enjoy the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and excitement, but remember to take time to reflect on your progress and stay excited about the future of your business as you move beyond college.

Career Other

5 Must-Know Resume Tips for College Students

June 17, 2020

For those in college or recently graduated, landing that first job can be a daunting experience. Many may be discouraged by their lack of experience, while others worry about problems in their academic record. If your greatest selling point is your education, how can you compete with other applicants?

Here are five must-know resume tips for college students and recent graduates about to enter the job market. 

1. Lead with education.

As you move up in your career, the work experience section of your resume will become more important and should be placed at the top. At this stage in your life, your educational experiences are your greatest strength. By placing them at the top, you can help make up for your limited work experience.

Keep in mind a few things though. Consider leaving out your GPA if it’s below 3.4. It’s not a requirement to include it. Also, because you are a college student with limited work experience, consider including more than just the name of your college and graduation date. Things like relevant coursework, group projects, and even clubs and organizations should all be considered.    

2. Include relevant experience instead of work experience.

Work does not necessarily have to be paid in order to have value. With this in mind, don’t think just because you have no paid work experience that this means there’s nothing for you to mention on your resume. The trick here is to think of the work experience section more as a practical experience section. 

This can involve much more than unpaid internships. Volunteer work can also be included to show the skills and experience you’ve accumulated. Think of opportunities where you had to take on important responsibilities. Were you an officer in those student organizations you joined? What projects did you work on? What events did you help facilitate? 

3. Write a custom cover letter for each job.

As important as resumes are, they alone will not get you an interview offer. Resumes work best when coupled with a cover letter customized to each job you apply for. While it may not seem worth the effort after spending so much time on your resume, one study by a nation-wide resume company, ResumeGo, illustrates that not including a cover letter can be a big mistake.

The results of that study found that applicants with cover letters carefully tailored to each job yielded just over 50% more interviews than those without. Interestingly, applications with generic, cookie-cutter cover letters fared only slightly better than applications with no cover letter. 

4. Take advantage of resume builders.

The rookie mistake college students make is starting their resume writing process off with a blank Word document. Instead, there are resume builders online such as Kickresume and Resume Genius that can really make writing your resume a lot easier while also providing various prebuilt resume templates to work with and pick from.

5. Take advantage of your career counselors.

The career center exists…please, take advantage of what they have to offer! Career counselors are specially trained to help college students strengthen their resumes and prepare them for career success. 

Even if you might not have a strong connection with your assigned counselor, they will likely provide a far more extensive critique of your resume and job documents than any average Joe Schmoe online or resume service. While getting advice online isn’t always the worst idea, know that as a student, you have access to far more reliable resources – so use them!

Even though the job application process can be intimidating, having a good resume is always the solid first step! These tips are sure to get your resume to stand out among the crowd.

Career Other

5 Ways to Avoid the Post-Grad Slump

April 17, 2020

College graduation is quickly approaching, and while it’s a time of celebration and achievement, it can also be the pivotal moment right before post-graduate depression kicks in. Graduating college is a huge transitional period for young adults as they start to work tirelessly to enter the “real world.” Stay ahead of the post-grad slump with these 5 tips: 

1. Make a Timeline

A visible timeline is key to keeping yourself busy and on track while securing your first post-grad role. Setting soft deadlines for yourself allows you to keep your efforts organized and meaningful. For example, if you graduate in May, you may want to set the goal of having 20 applications submitted by the second week of June. Utilize resources for finding a job to determine if your goals are realistic and achievable. 

2. Look good, feel good 

It goes without saying that when you look your best, you feel your best. Take time to care for your appearance right after college, whether that means getting a fresh haircut or treating hair loss, so you enter the adult world feeling the most confident. You should also create a consistent skincare routine to follow every night to keep yourself pampered and feeling excited to show your face. Exercise is a key ingredient to feeling good. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that everyone engages in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to ward off stress and boost their mood. So, get out there and find your favorite way to stay fit! These small adjustments should help you feel good and ready to impress.

3. Keep a positive mindset 

Make sure you’re taking care of your mental health during this stressful period of your life. This could mean spending time with your family and friends to get some daily laughter in, or meditating in the morning to start the day with an open mind and heart. Therapy is another great option for staying on top of your mental health. Whatever it may be, know that it’s okay to take a deep breath and just trust that you will find the right opportunity to use your degree.  

4. Enhance your skillset 

During your downtime between graduating college and finding a job, why not pick up some new skills? There’s plenty of online classes and certifications available to learn something beneficial, like Excel or graphic design. Continuing to learn after college is not only good for your brain but is also a way for you to stay motivated and dedicated to bettering yourself, which will make you feel accomplished. 

5. Reward yourself 

Motivating yourself with rewards is a wonderful method for staying on track and holding yourself accountable. When you achieve a milestone in the post-graduate process, make sure to celebrate, even if it’s small. If you have something to look forward to then you’ll be less likely to find yourself in a funk.  

With the help of these tips, recent grads will be able to dodge entering a post-grad depression. Start these practices as soon as you can in order to maximize productivity, feel good, and start your first career with a positive mindset!

Career Other

Choosing a Profession After College

November 21, 2019

Despite the fact that you envisioned graduating from college and immediately finding the perfect career to bring you financial and personal success, perhaps the search for the job of your dreams isn’t going as well as you’d hoped. Rather than get discouraged, try a few strategies to uncover what your major makes you suitable for, what will challenge you and what might truly make you happy.

Conduct Interviews

Although you may have expected to be the one answering questions on job interviews after college, conduct some research yourself before choosing a profession to pursue. Consider various ways to network to hear about different opportunities and meet the actual employees who perform those duties. Ask if you can shadow staff members on the job or at least take the time to inquire about their tasks on a typical day, what the company culture is like, who they report to, what the biggest challenges and rewards are and if there are many opportunities for advancement, for example. The answers to your questions may be the tipping point on whether you’d care to follow up or not.

Follow a Passion

If you have an interest that you love researching or a hobby that you love participating in, consider ways you might be able to turn it into a career. If you don’t feel that you’d be able to find a financially-viable position in a field that you’d love, talk to a counselor from your school to see if there are any related jobs you may have overlooked. If you like decorating your home, for instance, you might enjoy working as a set decorator, retail store manager or a design coordinator. An interest in criminal justice, for example, might lead to court reporting Seattle, forensic science or background screening.

Experiment

When you’re unsure about committing to a career or obtaining the additional education to qualify you for a new job, consider the different types of apprenticeships that will enable you to work in an industry to see how much you enjoy it. In addition to gauging your interest level, the training will give you the added benefits of earning a salary, providing work experience, pairing you with a mentor and developing your skills should you decide to go into that field.

Take a Gap Year

Despite the fact that a “gap year” typically refers to taking time off between high school and college, you can also use the break after graduation to clear your head. Pass the time wisely by traveling, trying out a variety of part-time jobs, volunteering for various organizations or spending time with friends and family who work in different industries to give you some possible job ideas for the future. The time off may help you feel refreshed and instill you with a new sense of purpose and direction.

Don’t be alarmed if you’ve graduated from college and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. Take the months after graduation to continue growing into the person you want to become and discover the career to bring you fulfillment and contentment.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Career Other

How to Get the Most Out of Your School’s Career Fair

August 9, 2019

With undergraduates and graduates returning back to school, career fairs will start to occur at numerous universities and colleges. Whether you’re a freshman, a senior or a graduate student, career fairs are the perfect opportunity to help find yourself the right internship and/or job. As every student likely wants to make the best impression possible, here are some tips on how to do just that. 

Dress the Part

The first and most important thing when attending a career fair is to look presentable while there. If you’re dressed nicely, put together and professionally, companies will take notice. The same will go if you’re dressed down and wearing sweatpants or any unprofessional clothing. If you look like you don’t care, prospective employers will think just that. By no means do you have to wear your finest clothing, but putting together a nice outfit can only help when attending a career fair. If the career fair is happening during your classes, dress ahead of time so you can just pop over to the career fair once you’re finished with classes for the day or have a break in between. Along with making sure you have the right outfit, you’ll also want to have the right beauty look to go with it. By no means should you go heavy on the makeup. When in a professional setting, many find that less is more. Applying an everyday beauty look to go along with your outfit will make you feel as confident as ever. If your hair is in need of a refresh before the career fair, use a hair mask or revive with a high-quality hair color that will give you head-turning locks.

Be Open to Every Company That’s There

While you may have a field of interest in mind of what you’d like your career to be in, it’s most beneficial to be open to all the opportunities presented to you at a career fair. Whether it’s finance, marketing, engineering, etc., the kinds of jobs available are endless. Even if you see a table that may not be in your exact area of expertise, stop by to check it out anyway and see what kind of opportunities are available. You never know what you might come across or what might pique your interest. 

Be Prepared 

When attending a career fair, it’s only natural to engage in conversation with any table you approach. In order to make sure you make the best impression possible, it’s helpful to be prepared ahead of time. Not only do you want to make sure you have a handful of copies of your perfected resume but you also want to make sure you’re prepared to answer any questions that may come your way and have perfected your elevator pitch, otherwise known as your career pitch. “What kind of past work experience do you have?”, “Why would you want to work for a company like this?”, and “Are you interested in relocating?” are only some of the questions that will likely be asked at a career fair. Having prepared answers and a career pitch stating some of your biggest strengths will only help and show your potential employer that you’ve thought seriously about your future. 

Follow-Up 

Following-up is one of the most important and often most forgotten things to do after attending a career fair. Following-up with recruiters or the companies you’re interested in is an amazing way to show your professionalism, your interest and to ensure they keep you in mind for any future openings. After each table you attend, make sure you get contact info in the form of a business card, phone number or email of the company and/or direct recruiter as this will make following-up incredibly easy. Sending a note or an email thanking them for the time they spent talking to you will be much appreciated and will give you an edge that will be hard for others to beat. 

For more tips on entering the workforce check out more of our blog posts and follow us on social media!

Career Other

5 Common Mistakes You Can Make at Your First Post-Grad Job

July 30, 2019

Being hired for your first post-grad job is an exciting life event. It’s also one that comes with apprehension, confusion, and a fear of making mistakes. This is all normal. Everyone messes up at least once, and chances are, you will, too. Fortunately, most people are willing to forgive mistakes and help newbies get situated. However, you also can do your part by actively trying to sidestep common blunders. Here are five mistakes people often make at their first post-grad job and ways to avoid them.

1. Not asking for help

It can be intimidating to enter a new workplace, especially one composed of long-time veterans who go about their days like clockwork, automatically knowing what needs to be done. While it’s understandable you’ll want to fit in as quickly as possible, it’s a bad idea to pretend you already know everything. It’s far better to ask for help right away if you don’t understand something or need further clarification. No one expects you to learn by osmosis.

2. Not researching a job before accepting

Many newbies to the workforce are so excited about landing a job that they forget to do their due diligence before saying yes. For instance, if a job offer is in a new city, you’ll want to carefully research the company before you accept it. And if you need to relocate, be sure you are moving to a city you can afford. You don’t want to end up in a circumstance where you’re set up for failure from the get-go.

3. Arriving late in the morning

Late arrivals are generally under your own control, so as “mistakes” go, they’re not as forgivable as some other blunders. While in social settings, being fashionably late can be seen as cool, at work it’s definitely not. Make an effort to be on time every day with these tips:

  • Get in a habit of getting out of bed at the same time every day.
  • Go to bed earlier if you can’t get up in the morning.
  • Avoid hitting the snooze button.
  • Set several alarms if you do tend to snooze or turn alarms off.

Make whatever changes you need to do to be punctual. While occasional lateness is usually forgivable, it’s not acceptable for most workplaces on a regular basis.

4. Including too many people on emails

Email is still a primary method of communication for most workplaces. People often start a chain of emails that includes dozens of recipients, sometimes more. Before joining the conversation, consider these rules of thumb:

  • Read messages carefully and determine if a response from you is warranted, or if the email is purely informational.
  • If a response is warranted, be brief and discriminating about your reply.
  • NEVER hit “reply all” — unless your response provides value to everyone, offers more information, or asks a relevant question.

Hitting “reply all” is a common mistake, sometimes even for seasoned professionals. But try to avoid this one because it’s an annoying time-waster that can earn you some ill will. No one wants their inboxes filled up with “OK, got it” or “thanks for the information” types of responses.

5. Losing your work

It’s upsetting to discover your work has gone *poof!* after spending hours on a project or document. Don’t make the rookie mistake of losing your work. Instead, make the use of cloud computing software a routine part of your day. Navigating cloud technology is also a good skill set to add to your professional toolbox.

At the end of the workday, it’s a given that everyone makes mistakes. The best thing to do is own them and do whatever you can to rectify them. If you hide your mistakes or fail to own up to them — rather than fix them — people eventually catch on and lose respect for you. It’s wiser to accept that it’s OK to screw up sometimes rather than beat yourself up. Try to learn from your slip-ups and discover ways to avoid mishaps in the future. 

Career Other

5 Tips for Writing a Rockstar Resume

July 15, 2019

If you want to get hired, you need to learn how to write a winning resume. It’s one of the most important things you’ll ever write your whole life – a personal marketing document where you “sell” your knowledge, skills, and abilities to a potential employer or recruiter. 

Sadly, employers have seen their fair share of poorly-written resumes crossing their desks. To top it off, you only have 6 seconds to grab their attention and leave a strong impression. So what can you do to put yourself on top of the resume pile? Following are five key tips to ensure your CV doesn’t eliminate you from consideration.

Tip #1: Identify keywords in job postings.

If you’re just about to write a resume, the best way to get started is to carefully read job postings that interest you and are suitable to your profession. If you’re applying for different jobs, take some time to study each job description and identify key words and phrases that the recruiter is looking for in an applicant. And then, make sure to include them in your resume where relevant.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a Nurse, the HR manager might list keywords like “assessment”, “management”, “care”, “clinical”, or “patients” in the job description. Pay close attention to what’s listed in the “Requirements” and “Qualifications” section. If you have the required skills, consider adding the keywords, right in the “Skills” and/or “Experience” section of your resume.

Tip #2: Format your resume wisely and appropriately.

No matter how well-polished your resume is, a potential employer may not read it thoroughly the first time through. Remember that a resume gets scanned for no more than 20 seconds. And if it contains over 2 pages of poorly organized, hard-to-read information, your chances of getting invited for a job interview will shrink even further. 

  • Use the a proper, logical format with wide margins; and clean and concise headings
  • Help guide the reader’s eye by using bold and italic typeface (Times New Roman is a popular font choice for CVs)
  • Use bullets and numbered lists to point out important details, like your achievements and skills

Tip #3: Use a template that suits you.

There’s a whole plethora of resume templates to choose from, making it difficult to choose just one. But in order to make a good first impression (and a long-lasting one, too), it’s best to pick a simple yet visually attractive template. These days, being conservative and minimalistic is better than going for vibrant colors and chaotic visuals.

The way you present information is also important. For this, you can go for a chronological, reverse-chronological, or a targeted type of resume template. Whatever the case, choose one that best highlights your strengths as a candidate. 

Don’t know how to get started? An online resume builder may just be your answer. You can find a lot of services that offer them for free or for a small fee, at Resumance.

Tip #4: Focus on your achievements.

Recruiters and HR managers, particularly those in technical fields like computer science and engineering, look for candidates who can help their company solve a problem or accomplish a specific need. That said, a candidate can’t be the solution to their problem if they don’t state how they’ve solved similar issues from previous job experiences or situations.

  • Do away with generic descriptions of the position you had or applied for
  • Focus on the actions you took in a particular situation at work – NOT what your job was 
  • For each achievement you include, ask yourself: ‘How did this benefit me and the company?’
  • Write down one or two first-line job descriptions, and then list your achievements
  • Only list down achievements that are unique to – and done by – you, not what someone else did

Apart from achievements, highlighting key responsibilities is just as important, but don’t make a list of your daily workload. Focus only on those that will make you stand out as the ideal candidate.

Tip #5: Make your resume an interesting and compelling read.

The tone of your CV must not only be professional, but upbeat and enthusiastic, as well. Your strongest and most relevant points as a professional must come first, using positive action words like “managed”, “completed”, and “developed”, among others. Make use of superlatives like “best”, “top”, and “highest”, as well.

Using such high-impact words to showcase your achievements is a key component to making your resume highly compelling for the one who reads it. 

Applying for a job can be a long and arduous process. There are many steps to take – ones that require careful consideration on your part. Writing a rockstar resume is just the first stage of this process, but it’s a crucial one that will secure an interview if done right. Hopefully, the tips and tricks above can help put you ahead of the competition. Best of luck!

For more advice on finding a new job or navigating life after graduation visit GradGuard or follow on our social media @gradguard

Author: Abigail Jackson is an independent management and career consultant, specializing in professional services, with 10 years’ experience. During her free time, she works as a resume writer for a number of professional online platforms and provides expert advice on how to create a winning resume.

Career Other

6 Tips For Nailing a Skype Interview

May 21, 2019

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, but having to sit in front of your webcam can make them even scarier.

Job interviewers are increasingly relying on Skype interviews as an intermediary step between a phone interview and an in-person interview. If your college semesters are coming to an end and you’re prepping for a video interview, these tips will help you make the perfect impression.

1. Perform Some Background Research

Preparing for a Skype interview should be no different than preparing for any interview. You can easily stand out from other applicants by learning as much as you can about the organization you’re applying to. Research the position through the organization’s website or through tools like Career Search, Vault.com, or Glassdoor.

2. Curate Your Space

Pick a clean, well-lit space with simple furniture or decorations, and angle your camera parallel to the wall behind you. If you live with roommates or pets, make arrangements before your interview to keep them out of the background.

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions matter—and this might be the truest in an interview. Dress professionally from head to toe. By dressing up for your interview, you’ll also be mentally preparing yourself to present your most professional side. Caring about the details will stand out and help you feel more confident.

4. Prepare Your Equipment

At least an hour before your interview, take some time to set up your computer so you’re ready to go before the interviewer calls. Test your internet speed to make sure your video call won’t drop or have to buffer. And ask a friend or family member to help you test your sound and video before the day of your interview.

You can also place the Skype chat window directly below your computer’s webcam so that it’s easier to look into the camera while still seeing your interviewer’s face. This will help the conversation feel natural on both sides.

5. Use Confident Body Language

Body language can make or break a remote interview. Avoid looking stiff by sitting up straight while relaxing your shoulders. Leaning in slightly when your interviewer is speaking shows your interest and engagement. And finally, focus on keeping your arms relaxed at your sides.

6. Send a Follow-Up Email

Once your interview is over, it’s important to follow up. A good follow-up email is polite, direct, and brief enough to leave another positive impression. Confirm that you’re ready to take the job by gently requesting an offer, or simply state outright that you hope to be hired for the position. Finally, make sure to include any follow-up materials promised during the interview.

Skype interviews may not be your favorite activity, but they’re quickly becoming a fact of life, especially if your degree means you’re applying for jobs across the country. Make the best of the opportunity by leveraging these tips from GradGuard, and you’ll soon be a video conferencing expert.

BIO: Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.

Career Other

3 Tips For Effectively Working Remotely

April 9, 2019

As you start interviewing for your first professional job, you’ll likely realize that many companies are adopting remote capabilities for their employees. Working remotely allows you more opportunities when it comes to finding a job and therefore can be an exciting option. However, it is important to keep in mind and prepare for the differences that remote work can bring about. To help familiarize you with those differences and how to combat the difficulties, here are a few tips to help you maximize efficiency while working remotely:

Get In The Mindset

Be sure to set yourself up for success by transitioning from “life mode” to “work mode” every morning. This can best be done by dedicating a physical work location in your home or apartment where work is done. Other physical changes that can help your transition include showering and changing your clothes as if you were going to the office or wearing shoes/ slippers to feel like you are fully dressed and ready to focus.

Have The Appropriate Tools

Any remote worker will tell you that having insufficient technology can be the demise of a successful setup. To ensure you are set up for the most successful system possible, initially ask if your employer utilizes the best communication tools so you can feel included despite the physical distance from coworkers. On top of supplying you with a reliable laptop and keyboard, one of the best things your company can provide you with is a unified communication platform to video conference and instant message with fellow employees every day. Be sure to ask when you are interviewing for remote positions if they implement these systems or if there is room to adopt them in the future.

Know When To “Log Off”

One of the most challenging parts of working remotely can be knowing when to “log off” for the night. Because technology allows us to be connected at all times, it can be beneficial to work when you are most productive but also difficult to set boundaries of when you are available. To combat this difficulty, develop the habit of setting a designated end time and inform your coworkers of when you will be logging off. If you fail to set this precedent when you first start in a remote position, you could set the standard that you are available 24/7, which could cause issues down the line.

As you enter the working world, keep these tips in mind when interviewing for and starting a remote position. If you rely on these starting points and tips from GradGuard, the transition into the remote working world will be a breeze.