4 Tips for Recent College Grads

In March I submitted my resume to Alter Endeavors.  As a senior business major with a focus in marketing, I was looking for an entry level job in those fields. After the long process of applying for jobs and going to interviews, I accepted the Social Media Intern position here at Alter Endeavors.
Trust me, I know those last months before graduation can start to get stressful if you haven’t found a job, a place to live, etc. It can be terrifying not knowing what’s on the horizon, what to expect in interviews or where you’ll be living a year from now. We spend the first 20 years or so of our lives in a structured school system and then suddenly we are adults with jobs.
In my last few months before graduation and my first few months after, I’ve learned a few things I wish someone would’ve told me.

 

Here are 4 tips for recent college grads:

1. Ask questions

Throughout the interview process, it can be tricky learning about a company or the potential job you’re applying for. While it is important to learn as much about the company and their culture before your interview, sometimes you might not be able to find the answers to your questions on their website. This is where you need to be sure to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions. If you are well-prepared and knowledgeable about the company, they will be impressed with your questions. A company wants to see your interest in them as well as your drive to learn more about the company. Not only will you go home with a better idea of the job you are applying for, the interviewer will see you take initiative in learning about them and appreciate the effort you put into the process.

2. Be yourself

It can be hard going into an interview and feeling like you need to talk yourself up as much as possible. To a certain degree, you need to promote yourself, but don’t create a whole new persona. While commenting on your accomplishments is important and necessary in the interview process, it is also important that you get to know the company culture as well as the potential employer. At the end of the day, if you tell the interviewer you’re relaxed because their company is relaxed, but you prefer a well-structured day, then you’ll end up getting frustrated with your company. You need to find a company that fits best with you and vice versa, or someone will end up being unhappy with the relationship. So, be honest with yourself and your interviewer, and you will be more likely to find a great match for you.

3. Never stop learning

I know some of you don’t want to hear this. You’re thinking, “Are you serious? I just got out of school, I thought I was done!” But, constantly learning and looking for new information and ideas is important. For my job as a Social Media Intern at Alter Endeavors, keeping up with new practices and trends can make or break your success in marketing for a company. Online marketing is still relatively new, and it changes day by day. My boss is always sending us articles about new trends and the best social media strategies and practices so that we can stay on top of what is going on in the industry and change with it. Adapting to your industry is necessary, and the companies unwilling to do this tend to die out with the old practices.

4. Don’t be afraid to change

Lastly, we all know change can be hard. You get comfortable, and the idea of changing can be daunting. It may seem like too much work or too far out of your box, but sometimes that’s how the best ideas are thought of or created.  Working for a small company, I have learned that being able to adjust and wear many different hats is a necessity. While larger companies may have you specialize in one area, being open to change and being adaptable can benefit you when they may be trying to fill a more senior position. Over my years of playing soccer, I had multiple coaches tell me that for them, the best player isn’t the one with the most skill but the one who is coachable and willing to try new things. This ability to be innovative and unafraid of change can be the difference in your company’s long-term success.

If you work hard, ask questions, be yourself, keep learning, and adapt you’ll be okay.  Keep these tips in mind, save yourself the trouble of applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and make a good impression on the jobs that are. For us recent college grads, after-college life can seem intimidating, but we’re more ready than we know.