Navigating Post-Graduation: 8 Tips for Recent Graduates

Job searching is a process. It takes time and you may hear many NOs before you get a YES. Remain positive. You aren’t the first college graduate to graduate without finding the right opportunity and you aren’t the only one. Keep these tips in mind as you journey to your First Destination.

1. Grit Matters. Don’t Give Up

During a recent TED Talk, psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth said that while intelligence matters, the key is to have grit, or determination — the willingness to push through even when the odds are against you. We know the job search is tough, but you can’t give up. There’s an opportunity waiting for you!

Duckworth TedTalk

2. Know Your Professional Brand

The most common complaint from employers about college students is their lack of professionalism in three areas: dress, knowledge of company, and ability to identify and articulate talents. Don’t pressure yourself to know everything about what you want to do, but DO know your strengths and practice communicating them, so when the time comes you can impress. Be sure to practice common interview questions while you’re at it too.


Dress to Impress


3. Remember Talent Trumps Major

Your choice of major offers you a powerful lens in which you may view the world and the work you’ll be doing. But don’t stop there! Most employers hire talent, not majors, so allow your skills and what you do well guide you in your search rather than your major.

4. Answer “What’s Next for You?” with Confidence

It can be frustrating answering the same questions over and over, especially when the answer is, “I don’t know.” First, take a deep breath. A good response incorporates what you would like to do and the steps you’re taking to make it happen. Also, use the opening to ask for possible informational interview contacts.

What's Next comic

5. Be Flexible about How You Acquire Experience

Remember there’s more than one way to gain experience and more than one path to success. Consider conducting informational interviews, volunteering, or taking a position in your desired industry even if it’s not doing the exact job you’d ultimately like and vice-versa.

6. Use Handshake Before You Lose Access

You’ll always have access to the OPCD website resources, but your Handshake profile will expire. Take advantage of viewing postings now and be proactive.

7. Represent Yourself Well

Create the best possible resume, cover letters, writing samples, and other marketing tools. Make sure materials are clear of all typos, weak phrasing, grammar issues and any other mistakes. Use action verbs and make every word count.

8. Create/Enhance Your Social Media Profile

Not on LinkedIn yet? Has it been awhile since you updated your profile? Make sure your profile highlights your skills, talents, and successes. It’s also a good time to examine your other social media accounts. Post a professional photo and clean up anything you wouldn’t want visible to the world or better yet, your boss. Join WFU Career Connectors and WF Alumni on LinkedIn to engage with alumni and friends of the university that have agreed to help Deacs during the career search.