With a college diploma hanging on your wall, your next step is to actually put your degree to use. Your journey from student to employee can sometimes be full of sweat and tears, but there are a few creative tricks in preparation for your first interview that may just help you in landing that perfect job after college.
Here are 10 creative ways to land a job as a recent college graduate:
- Dress to Impress: When your first interview is scheduled, one of the best things you can do to impress the hiring managers during an interview is dress properly. In other words, do not wear a suit you wore at your high school homecoming dance. Go out and buy something tailored; you can pay it off once you get the job. If you don’t feel comfortable spending money, wear something that you already have
- Drop a Name: One of the most basic, yet often over looked ways of landing a job is by dropping the name of someone who currently works, or has previously worked at the company. Don’t be afraid to do so during your interview, even if the name you drop is a friend of a friend of your ex-brother-in-law.
- Pick a Company With an Alumnus in Common: If you apply to a company straight out of college where a high-ranking alumnus are working, then you will at the very least have a foot in the door. Or, did you belong to a sorority or fraternity while in college? Do your research ahead of time and see if any executives or hiring managers at the company have a student organization, Greek affiliation, or Alma mater in common.
- Wear The Company’s Colors: A small, yet thoughtful touch like dressing in the company’s colors can really impress those doing the hiring, especially if anyone from the executive team is in the interview room. Though it may sound quirky – it’s a great conversation starter, and the hiring manager knows that you have done your research on the company. Add a subtle splash of color with a tie, scarf, or accent piece.
- Make Small Talk in Your Interview: A little small talk can go a long way in cementing the impression you make with the recruiters/hiring managers in your interview. Don’t be timid in taking interest in who is interviewing you. It adds a humanistic aspect to an otherwise (sometimes) stiff process.
- Shine Your Shoes: There is a very distinct difference between clean shoes and shined shoes. It suffices to say that clean shoes will not likely grab anyone’s attention. Polished shoes, however, have a much greater chance of impressing anyone who catches a glimpse. Though this many not reign in the offer letter, attention to detail can go a long way. The better you look, the better you feel –and hiring managers will take note of your confidence.
- Work on Your Pronunciation: It is one thing to use big words to impress your interviewee, but it is another to be able to enunciate them correctly. Before you go ahead and start blurting out any word from the dictionary, be sure you are pronouncing them right and using them in the correct context.
- Use Your College Experiences:With limited work history under your belt, don’t be afraid to fall back on your professional experiences during college. Not many companies will expect someone straight out of college to talk about how they boosted third quarter sales. Don’t focus on shortcomings, rely on what experience you do have!
- Charm The Receptionist:While the office receptionist may be one of the lower-level employees in the company, he or she likely has some input in the company regardless of how informal it may be. A company’s receptionist or administrative assistant may have the most frequent contact with the highest-ranking members of the company. You never know, the company might even purposely ask the receptionist to evaluate you as a way of discreetly judging your character away from the interviewer’s eye.
- Create a Memorable Post-Interview Thank You: Take that obligatory post-interview thank you note one step further. Pair your hand-written thank you note with a takeaway or gift that represents who you are as a person and prospective employee. Whether it is something you talked about in the interview, a school mascot, or a funny trinket, giving a tangible item to interviewers can make you a stand-out candidate.
Hopefully these 10 creative tips will get you a leg up on the competition. With a foundation of an accredited traditional or online degree, a polished appearance, and related experience (volunteering and internships) you have nothing to inhibit you from professional success.