Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New College Grads: Tips for Landing Your First Job

College graduation season is upon us. According to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 1,830,000 students at the bachelor's degree level will graduate as part of the Class of 2018. That’s a lot of job seekers, which translates to a lot of competition for available job openings.

So as a new graduate, how do you stand out?
I’ve recently interviewed—and later, hired—a new grad for a sales position, and thought I’d share some of the attributes I ranked as most important during the interview process:  
I appreciate young professionals who...
  • Are prepared for a meaningful discussion.
  • Try to get me talking and sharing information with them, rather than trying to impress me with a resume.
  • Then use this information to position themselves as a good fit.
  • Understand that they don’t know everything and are excited about the journey to learn and become a contributor.
    • The ideal candidate takes the time to learn about and understand our “story” – what makes us unique and valuable to our clients – and then uses this information to tell why he/she wants to be a part of our company.
  • Take notes, review the notes, and can effectively repeat back the content we reviewed in our first meeting/interview.
  • Are interested in, and value, the immediate and long-term value they can provide our company—and what our company can provide for them.
  • Are genuinely excited about the opportunity and really want to work for our company!
    • There is nothing like someone who looks you in the eye and says, “I really want this job!”
  • Ask good questions about what they need to do to be successful, how they will be trained, what a typical day looks like, etc.
  • Never leave a meeting without asking about next steps.
Hiring young (sales) professionals can be risky—and they should understand this. It’s important to take a step back to see things from the employers’ perspective. New grads can gain an advantage over the others vying for a job by interviewing smart (be prepared!) and selling themselves by offering real value.
If you’ve got questions about your preparedness as you embark on your job search, connect with me directly at
Best of luck!
Bob De Garmo

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