10 Jun

Resume Tips for Someone Just Out of College

Blog No Comments by Mary-Frances Winters

Resume Tips for Someone Just Out of CollegeMaybe you just graduated from college, or you will be graduating soon…this can be a scary time in life. You might be starting your first job, still looking for a job, or you may be planning to continue your education. Whatever the case may be, the real learning starts now. This month at LTAW we will be giving tips for recent college graduates and soon-to-be college graduates.

You’ve graduated college and it’s time to apply for the job of your dreams. The only problem is the only experience you had working while in college were part-time jobs at the local grocery store, or school bookstore. Don’t worry, even if you did not intern at a top law firm or IT company, you still accumulated a ton of experience and know-how through whatever job or volunteer experience you had while in college.

According to Susan Adams at Forbes, “a new grad’s resume is a focused one-page marketing document, with a succinct job goal that molds the résumé writer’s descriptions of each previous job and related experience”. Once you determine your job goal, then you need to determine what experience you had while in college you can connect it to.  Here are some areas to take a look at:

  • Coursework: Designate an area on your resume to highlight relevant coursework. Include higher level coursework that is more specific to your major (e.g. electives) and not those courses that everyone is required to take.
  • Jobs and Internships: Even if you think the jobs you worked while in college were menial, you still gained some real-life experience that can be attractive to potential employers. For example, perhaps you spent your summer babysitting for different families, then you ran a child care business. Or maybe you mowed lawns in the neighborhood, then you managed a lawn care service. Be creative with how your experiences are relevant.
  • Volunteer organizations: Your participation in organizations on campus are good ways to show your teamwork and leadership skills. List these organizations somewhere on your resume and a one sentence description of your involvement.
  • Experience that shows your character, integrity and willingness to work hard:  For example if you worked more than one job at a time, this can show your prospective employer that you are a hard worker.  If your work with a volunteer organization led to something good happening in the community or for persons in need, this can show that you are a person with good character.

Just remember, most employers are not expecting you to know everything just out of college – they realize your skills are entry-level. However, you still want to stand out above the other candidates. Resumes are a tool used to market yourself. The best resumes are carefully thought-through and contain a clear career objective and detailed, clear descriptions of coursework, work experience and other activities that are relevant to your dream job.

You’re Graduating…Now the Real Learning Begins!

05 Jun

Now The Learning Begins: Education After College

Blog No Comments by Christopher Craft

Now the Learning Begins: Education After CollegeMaybe you just graduated from college, or you will be graduating soon…this can be a scary time in life. You might be starting your first job, still looking for a job, or you may be planning to continue your education. Whatever the case may be, the real learning starts now. This month at LTAW we will be giving tips for recent college graduates and soon-to-be college graduates.

Graduation season brings new beginnings. It’s a time to celebrate all the hard work you’ve put into attaining your degree(s). It’s a time to enter a higher level of maturity. It’s a time to establish your brand in the real world. Hopefully you utilized your time and dedicated your studies in college to support your passion; but if you didn’t, all is not lost. Even if you majored in a study that’s related to your passion, you still have upcoming on-the-job and real world experiences to learn from.

Now the learning begins… In this article, I’ll tell you how appreciating and seizing the opportunity to learn after college will help you in your career.

Develop a Plan for Advancement

In order to know where you’re going, you must have a map.Don’t leave your career in the hands of blind hope and chance. Keep a private journal for career intentions. Along with your intentions, make note of the first steps necessary for you to achieve what you want. These “first steps” are definite actions. A plan is fine and good, but it takes action to make things happen.

Learn and Lean on Your Strengths

If you don’t know your strengths, learn them. Remember that outsiders might recognize your strengths before you do. This is a crucial step in your post-college education. Your strengths will open doors and allow you to stand out from the pack. Your strengths will allow you to be an asset to other people. To keep your edge, you must learn how to improve your strengths. You also have to learn and improve auxiliary skills.

If You Have a Job

If you have a job, be thankful for the opportunity. Starting your first job out of college is exciting. Keep that fire burning by challenging yourself at work after you get the hang of the basics. Take advantage of continuing education opportunities sponsored by your job. Keep your plan for advancement at the top of your mind at all times. Also realize that advancement isn’t always in the form of a promotion at your job. If your plan for advancement involves learning a new skill or improving a current one, hitting those marks will ultimately be worth more to you than any superficial sign of corporate advancement. Growth is relative.

If You Don’t Have a Job

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a job immediately after college. In fact, you might be jobless by design. Like in the previous scenario, keep your plan for advancement at the center of your decisions. If you keep developing and strengthening skills, and combine that with a heavy dose of networking, you’ll be on your way to success. Everyone has a unique journey. Your story is and will be defined by all your previous experiences and decisions. If you make sure that every decision you make is in alignment with your plan for advancement, you’ll eventually land the job of your desires.

Learning is improving; but learning also takes work. Learning in the real world yields a different set of effects than learning in college. While your GPA and degree(s) are important, what you learn and how you apply it in the real world is how you really make your mark in the world. Now go get it.

You’re Graduating…Now the Real Learning Begins!

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Christopher Craft is a speaker and the author of O.P.E.N. Routine: Four Components to Personal Branding Excellence. He’s also the Chief Visionary at Nao Media and Consulting, adigital agency for the sports and entertainment industries. You can follow Chris on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, and circle him on Google+.

03 Jun

6 Tips For Surviving Your First Job After College

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

6 Tips For Surviving Your First Job After CollegeMaybe you just graduated from college, or you will be graduating soon…this can be a scary time in life. You might be starting your first job, still looking for a job, or you may be planning to continue your education. Whatever the case may be, the real learning starts now. This month at LTAW we will be giving tips for recent college graduates and soon-to-be college graduates.

Congratulations, you’re graduating and will soon be starting your very first job! You are now officially entering the “real world”. This time can be exciting and scary at the same time. A course they don’t offer in college is how to survive your first job. One thing you can count on is that it will definitely be different than your college days. Here are some tips on how to survive your first job after graduation:

  1. Get plenty of rest. While in school you may have been able to function on very little sleep. But when you start your new job you won’t have 2 hour breaks throughout the day where you can take a nap to refresh – like you do in college. And more than likely your job won’t start after noon like your class schedule. Be sure to get plenty of rest, especially in the beginning. You want to make a good first impression. The first few weeks you will be receiving a lot of important information, so you want to be alert because now your roommate won’t be there to compare notes you may have missed when you “zoned out”.
  2. Take it slow. It is common for young workers to start a new job full of vim and vigor. There is nothing wrong with being excited, but before you start trying to run things you first need to sit back and learn. You want to first learn your organization’s culture and get to know how things work. While you definitely want to show your employer your capabilities and bring your voice to the table – being overly assertive in the first few weeks may give off the wrong impression.
  3. Be on time and work hard. First impressions are lasting ones. You do not want to start off on the wrong foot by showing up late, dipping out early or taking long lunch breaks. You want to show your employer that you’re serious and dedicated to the job, and that they did not make the wrong decision by hiring you. The best way to show them this is by acting professionally and working hard.
  4. Ask questions. You don’t want to “fake it until you make it”. You are not expected to know everything on your first job. Don’t be scared to ask questions if you are unsure of something. You will gain more respect by acknowledging the skills and experience of your seasoned colleagues at work. And you will make things a lot easier for yourself by not trying to figure it all out on your own.
  5. Meet people. Don’t keep to yourself. Get to know your colleagues and ask them questions about the job and the company. Your office is full of intelligent, thoughtful and experienced people. You can learn things about the company culture and politics from your co-workers that you may not be able to glean from your on-boarding process. You never know who can end up being a friend or mentor to help you along with your career.
  6. Continue to learn. Just because you graduated doesn’t mean the education has stopped. In fact the learning is just beginning. One of the best things about a new job is the incredible learning experience it provides. Always seek opportunities to develop professionally and acquire new skills related to your job, whether it be by asking your co-workers questions or by attending classes, workshops, webinars and conferences. This continual learning process does not stop until you retire – it’s not just for your first job.

You’re Graduating…Now the Real Learning Begins!

 

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