2017 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

3 Tips to Help Land Your First Job

By: Dr. Mike Ammons Director, Raleigh-Durham Aspire Campus North Carolina Wesleyan College

10-page research papers, 1 ½ hour essay exams, and 8am classes – No More! You have successfully completed your bachelor’s degree and are anxious to move to the next stage of your life and career. This moment is filled with excitement because you no longer have

the burden of earning passing grades, yet, there is also a sense of trepidation resulting from the uncertainty of post-graduation life. There is no greater pressing issue than finding your first job with diploma in hand. If you follow these tips, you will be that much closer to having a W-2 and enjoying all of the benefits of your years of hard work in college. Update your Resume As a job seeker, your resume is the best marketing tool you have to capture the intention of hiring managers. While having a stellar resume will not guarantee a job offer, it is, however a needed tool to get an invitation for a job interview.

In crafting your resume, you need to quantify your experiences to date. Since you have a limited or short work history, you need to highlight those activities that you engaged in during your college years. For instance, involvements in clubs/organizations, volunteering, work study, and internships. Additionally, discuss the leadership roles that you were in and those problems you resolved. However, while it may be tempting to use buzzwords like “motivated” “team player” and “detail focused”, you should, however, explain how you were able to make a positive impact within the organization, even if you only served as a volunteer. Use statements such as “improved process efficiency by 15%” or “exceeded alumni donations by $10,000”. Lastly, take advantage of your schools resources. Most schools have an entire department devoted to alumni relations and career services that offer a host of amenities like a job network, on- campus recruiting, interview workshops, and resume writing. Also, do not be afraid to ask your former professors for a letter of recommendation. Buy a Business Outfit While the business culture of today is trending toward that of a casual work environment, you still need to make a good impression to get hired. Buy yourself a simple black suit (Males) or skirt (Females). Even though you may be on a budget, there are some cheap alternatives to reduce the costs associated with purchasing these items.


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