Careers and Coffee #7: Job search tips for recent grads

hat toss

high school graduates tossing up hats over blue sky.

In this episode of Careers and Coffee, Liz and Dan discuss communication with hiring managers, and some things to think about when first applying out of high school or college.

LinkedIn Tips for recent grads

Finding your first job post-college




Full Transcript:

Dan Holterhaus 0:00
All right. Good morning, Liz. We’re back. Careers and coffee episode number seven.

Liz Kennedy 0:04
Good morning, Dan. How’s it going?

Dan Holterhaus 0:06
Good. I’m on my third cup of coffee, I think this morning. So

Liz Kennedy 0:12
you’re rearing to go then?

Dan Holterhaus 0:13
Yeah. Yeah. Feeling good right now feeling good for sure. Well, let’s dive right in. Today, with, we’re in middle of May right now, high school graduations coming up college graduations. We want to touch on what high school and college graduates can expect as they enter the workforce, and especially in regards to communication styles. So, Liz, what advice would you have for recent high school and college graduates?

Liz Kennedy 0:46
Yeah, so I’ll probably focus more on college grads, as you’re entering the workforce, you know, hopefully you’ve interned or you kind of got a sense of what kind of role that you’re looking for. But if you’re still in the job search as a recent grad, which quite possibly you could be with COVID. And everything, I think one thing to keep in mind is communication. So through the hiring process, it’s painful for everyone, right, it’s painful for job seekers, because they apply and send their resume off into the ether, hoping someone will respond back and may or may not find some communication back from the place that they’ve applied to for some time. And then it’s hard for hiring managers to who may reach out to a candidate trying to get a screening call set up and not get, we’re not getting anywhere with. So if you’ve put your email address as your primary kind of contact info on your resume, make sure you’re monitoring, I mean, it’s just simple, like, make sure you’re monitoring your email. And I just think about sometimes, you know, when we’re communicating now, we use a lot of different methods, whether it’s like Facebook Messenger chat, you know, Instagram or whatever it is that we’re we’re communicating with people. But hiring managers may have not caught up to that style, that, that kind of like in style way of communicating. And so you just have to respect the fact that they’re sitting at a computer all day, and they’re trying to blast off as many emails as they can to kind of keep the communication flow going. So I would say email is probably going to be your primary method of getting contact from recruiter. And so make sure you know, if you don’t see it, coming into your inbox, checking your spam filter, making sure you’re adding but company, like like if it was the Gazette, you would add at the Gazette to your authorized list, you know, in your contacts, and your email provider, just just simple stuff like that, just to make sure you don’t miss those opportunities as they’re coming your way.

Dan Holterhaus 2:45
Sure. And so, what would you say if email is going to be probably the primary way of communicating? What would you say would be a good response time from a candidate to an employer?

Liz Kennedy 2:57
Like for a candidate to reach out to an employer?

Dan Holterhaus 3:00
Well, if they if they do get emails from a potential employer, for, say, an interview? How long do you think, you know, how often should a candidate be checking their email,

Liz Kennedy 3:14
I would say you need to check it every day. And maybe multiple times a day, if you’re if you’re truly on the job search, because the sooner you apply your reply to that email from that recruiter, the more encouraged they’re going to feel that you’re still interested in that role. And the more likely that they’re going to add you to that shortlist for a manager to review. It just there’s just a flow that that that applications need to go through. And I’m talking more at like, you know, kind of a long term career type job. If it’s a, if it’s like, if we’re looking for seasonal work, and it’s a summer job, maybe the phone is a better fit, right, like so maybe making sure your phone numbers clear. So if you’re going to be working for a retail place a small business, that business owner may want to reach out to you by phone to do a phone screen, so maybe make sure your phone numbers prominent, just kind of depends on what kind of work that you’re looking for. But if it’s really kind of that career path type job, I would suggest, you know, make sure your LinkedIn is up to date and your email and all that stuff. I mean, these are all things that your college recruiter, your college career center is gonna have to coach you through. Um, but just just trying to keep that top of mind.

Dan Holterhaus 4:31
Yeah, good stuff. Let’s switch gears just a bit here. You mentioned LinkedIn. And I’d like to get your input on what are some things that maybe a recruiter might be looking for in a LinkedIn profile or other you know, social media, either to advance a candidate forward or maybe move a candidate back.

Liz Kennedy 4:57
Again, this is gonna be more for that career type pass. So it may not be like a manufacturing role or something like that it might be more of a kind of an office type role. Simple things you could do. And we have resources on quarter careers for this just basically how to get your LinkedIn profile set up for success. And there’s a lot of little tweaks that you can do. And it’s changing all the time, you know, like, what is best practice for LinkedIn. And so YouTube is really good fit to say, hey, like, if you just googled in YouTube, how to set up my LinkedIn profile as a recent college grad, I’m sure there’s gonna be like 10 videos that show you what you should be doing. But simple things like making sure you’re, you’ve claimed your URL, so that your URL in LinkedIn isn’t just a string of numbers, but actually has your name, have some kind of story about your career path and your profile. And that’s, that’s kind of easy to see some examples of that we have a will link in the show notes to our blog post about this, but you can see some examples of what a storyline is. And it could just be like telling you the story about what your career path is what you’re trying to reach, that can help recruiters understand what you’re looking for and matching you to best fit.

Dan Holterhaus 6:14
Add one thing I would add to that is maybe a professional picture. So especially on LinkedIn, which is you know, viewed as more of a professional social network where you might be communicating with, you know, potential employers or colleagues having a professional picture. Rather than, you know, maybe the one of you and your friends out on a Friday night or something might be a good idea, especially for LinkedIn.

Liz Kennedy 6:39
Yeah, and if you can’t afford to have a professional picture taken, you can just create a simple backdrop for yourself. Put your put your phone on a stand of some kind and set a timer and just take, you know, do candid camera for until you get a good shot and put that up there. But yeah, that’s definitely something that shouldn’t be part of it.

Dan Holterhaus 6:59
Yeah, I’ve actually used a tool in the past, it’s called removed at bg. So you could almost just take a selfie, and it removes the background behind you. Which might also be, you know, kind of a quick way to get a decent photo of yourself taken and yeah, even have a background. Right. So just a white background.

Liz Kennedy 7:20
Yeah, that’s a great tip. And I think even Instagram has a new filter like that, too. So so there’s a lot of resources out there for you to get everything looking up to snuff, it’s never been easier to, to manage our our online profiles. Okay, so, Dan, what would you recommend for someone to do with their social profiles before they apply for a job?

Dan Holterhaus 7:47
turning the tables asking me question. I think just cleaning it up and looking back, especially as you you know, maybe you are a recent college grad, and you don’t, you might not remember what you posted, you know, senior year of high school, or something. And maybe it’s not even anything too bad, or something that you don’t view as bad, but somebody that potentially may be hiring you for a job might look at it. And so that’s kind of weird. So I would just look back and make sure things are PC. Especially on LinkedIn, you know, obviously, you know, Instagram, Facebook, there’s, there’s different things you can do with your settings to make it you know, if you do have some, you know, anything in there that you may not want other people to see, you know, you can change your profile settings to make sure you know, maybe only your friends can can see your profile, but I would definitely just go through everything, make sure you look professional, and don’t have anything. Maybe too outlandish on there.

Liz Kennedy 9:01
So, yeah, those are good tips. I mean, you know, setting your privacy settings courses important on any social profile. But knowing knowing that you you probably I mean, at this rate, you’ve probably lived most of your life online. So that’s not the case for me, thank God. But that that is something to think about. So that’s a good tip, Dan to like, really kind of look at your history, and maybe there’s some things you just you don’t even need those posts anymore.

Dan Holterhaus 9:33
Yeah, and I guess I would also add to that, I think it’s okay to show a part of your life right. I mean, you know, like I, I play golf, and I paddleboard and do things like if you go through my Instagram, you’re probably gonna see photos of that. And I think you know, stuff like stuff showing what you’re interested in. I think that that’s good for an employer to see to kind of see like, Okay, this is somebody that you know, is interested in these things or Maybe he has attended these conferences or, you know, has has these passions so when I when I, when we say PC, we don’t, I think we’re just meaning more of like, anything that might look a little strange to a potential hiring employer.

Liz Kennedy 10:18
Okay. All right. So what are we talking about today, we’re gonna have some resources in the show notes about LinkedIn. So there’s various steps that you can take to upgrade your profile on LinkedIn to make it really stand out your recruiter. And then the other thing is just making sure your communication that you’re open to the communication methods you’ve provided in your resume, and making sure that you’re monitoring those. And you can probably do something like If This Then That to kind of highlight those things and notification, notification, no, no. Notify yourself of when an important email comes in. If you’re not used to, you know, continuously checking your personal email. If that’s not part of your daily practice, maybe you can set yourself up for success with some some tools and digital tools.

Dan Holterhaus 11:06
Yeah, good advice. Okay,

Liz Kennedy 11:09
get it. Get it out there guys. There’s plenty of jobs and if you are interested in getting some help on like, Hey, I’m not sure. Just shoot us an email, contact us contact at quarter careers. COMM be happy to help you out.

Dan Holterhaus 11:25
Yeah, absolutely. All right. Thanks, Liz. That’ll do for today. Cheers. Cheers person, Bobby. We’ll see you next time.

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