All of your hard work has paid off. You’ve received your college degree and are ready to embark on your first official job hunt. Let’s face it, the job market is hot, and opportunities appear to be abundant –how can you set yourself apart from the other qualified applicants?
- Communicate your strengths. A cover letter provides an opportunity for you to communicate the technical skills and strengths that you can bring to the role you applied for. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point! Your resume will provide a detailed look at your work experience. Utilize the interview to expand upon your knowledge.
- Revisit your personal email address. Does it project a professional image? If in doubt, you may consider updating your email address or creating a separate professional account.
- Dress for success! Whether it’s an in-person or virtual interview, present yourself in a professional manner. This helps convey that you’re interested in the opportunity.
- Do your research. Look up the company you’re applying for. Make sure that you understand what they do and the industries they work in. Don’t just review the job description. Review their company story, services, culture, and news. Make sure you want to be a part of their team and company.
- Check your social media. We live in a digital age and social media and the internet can have lasting impacts. Make sure your online information is up to date and revisit photos saved to any public accounts.
- Arrive early! First impressions are important. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to give yourself time to get organized before you start. For a virtual interview, plan to log in early as we know technology always has its road bumps. And don’t forget to check what appears in your background. Don’t let a pile of dirty dishes or last week’s laundry be a distraction. Using a plain or blurred background will provide a nice and simple background for your interview.
- Be your authentic self. Answer the questions truthfully rather than what you think the interviewer wants you to say.
- Ask questions. Come to the interview with 2-3 questions. If you’re not sure where to start, a quick internet search about the company or industry will give you a starting point.
- Use your manners. We’re constantly tied to our technology, so don’t forget to go back to the basics. A firm handshake, eye contact, and ‘thank you’ are always a winning combination.
- Limit personal distractions. Make sure you silence your phone or consider leaving it in your car. Be present and in the moment. Take in your surroundings and limit any possible distractions from outside sources.
Good luck with your search and don’t forget to send a follow-up email or handwritten thank you note to the interviewer.