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Tips and Tricks for Entering the Working World

By Keiran President
On December 6, 2018

Some of you may be preparing for the transition point of college: moving from campus life to the working world. For a few, it is happening right now. For others, it will take place in May, and most of you still have some time. Regardless, you will be entering the working world sooner or later, and I believe these tips and tricks may be beneficial to you when your time comes.

My first tip for you has to do with answering the following questions: What do you want to do for a living? Where do you see yourself working for the rest of your life? What is your dream job?

Answering these questions is the first step of getting ready to figure out where you want to go in life. The answers to these questions will define your goals, serving as a guide for you.

Your answers to these questions will help you strategize how you are going to achieve your goal, leading you to consider what you have to do to get there.

Your next move now is to put your resumé and cover letter together. The sooner your resumé is done, the easier it will be to update it as you journey throughout your college career. Don’t worry if you don’t have much working experience coming out of college; employers are aware of that and it will most likely not impact your chances, especially for an entry-level job.

Cover letters aren’t as popular as they were in the past, but they can be used when applying to big companies. The cover letter should highlight why you think you are the best candidate for the job and why you want to work for the company.

Both your resumé and cover letter can be reviewed in the Career Center on campus.

With that complete, it is time for you to move to the job-search process. I would recommend you all to make a LinkedIn and Indeed account.

LinkedIn is a great way to network, market yourself and search for jobs. These websites also allow you to show up on searches conducted by potential employers.

Indeed is somewhat the same, except for the networking side of things. It is more of a job search engine, while LinkedIn is more like a social media platform. Both sites allow you to create an on-site resume, which makes it a lot easier to apply for some jobs right away.  

Now that your accounts are in place and you have applied, you have to wait to be invited for your first interview. These interviews may be in person or over video call. Whichever it is, dress to impress, but stay business professional. It is said that you can never overdress for an interview.

Take notice: I said for both interviews! When it comes to the video interviews, some interviewees only dress waist up. Interviewers know this trick and would sometimes ask interviewees to stand up to go grab something, just to see if they are fully dressed. Don’t be that halfway dresser!

Things to keep handy when attending an interview:

  • Hard copy of your resumé for both you and the interviewer
  • Notebook and pen to take notes

Things not to keep in hand when attending an interview:

  • Cellphone. Leave it in your car or turn it off completely

When attending an in-person interview, it is said that you should always be nice to the receptionist. Your short conversation could be a make-or-break moment for you and your future employment.

Time for in-interview talks.

First thing is to be yourself. With that in mind, you may be less nervous going in. They may start you off with some personal questions to break the ice, before diving into the real deal.

Interviewers tend to lean more toward the situational-type questions. This will give them an understanding of how you go about solving and resolving situations and communicating. The best way to answer these questions is the S.T.A.R. approach: Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  • Situation: Describe the situation you were in or the task you needed to accomplish.
  • Task: What goals were you working toward?
  • Action: Describe the measures you took to address the situation, with an appropriate amount of detail. Keep the focus on YOU.
  • Result: Describe the outcome of your actions; don’t be shy about taking credit for your behavior.

I would recommend you answer these questions with confidence. Remember, you are marketing and selling yourself to your potential employer, so don’t be afraid to make yourself look good.

Some employers may ask you what your salary expectations coming out of college are. It’s recommended that we don’t over-price ourselves. We are advised to take an entry-level salary of $35,000 a year.

Coming to the end of your interview, it is your turn to ask some questions. Here are a few questions you can ask at the end of your interview:

  • Why do you like working here?
  • How long have you been working here?
  • What are you looking for in a candidate for this job/position?
  • What would be the next steps from here?

There you have it: a guide with tips and tricks for entering the working world. Hope these help you guys as much as they have helped me so far. Go forth and flourish! We are the generation of today and tomorrow; it time for us to get into the real world and make a difference.

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