As a new intern at Walrath Recruiting I have been asked to contribute to the blog discussion and add a few of my own thoughts about the workforce of today. To start off I did some industry related reading and thought I would add my thoughts about some common topics. I first read the following article and recommend that you read it as well.

http://www.business2community.com/human-resources/post-college-crisis-10-tips-students-transitioning-workforce-0885481

Here are my thoughts:

Through ten useful and practical tips, the authors of this blog article give college graduates ideas on how to make their transition into the workforce less overwhelming.  These tips advise students on behaviors such as the pursuit of internships to open the door to new companies, emulating their coworkers’ behaviors, dressing professionally, arriving timely and prepared, and relying less on cellphones and other technology.  In addition, they advise students to stay away from “office politics”, such as the gossip around the workplace or the various negative comments, opinions, or personalities of other coworkers.  They also describe other useful tips such as joining professional associations to enhance their network, submitting scholarly work to peers within this network, and always “staying hungry” for the goals and visions the students have for their futures.

In reflecting on these tips, I recognize that these are valuable suggestions to help a student to grow their network, prove confident in a working environment, and ease into an important transitional milestone.  From personal experience, becoming an intern is a crucial stepping stone to help students discover what they are looking for in a career, as well as to gain quality tools to build their resume.  I also appreciate the quote in the article that state, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”, encouraging students to dress to continually impress, rather than to simply fit in.

Social MediaHowever, I also believe from personal experience that the authors missed a very important piece of advice regarding social media and online personal branding.   In a growing technological world, it becomes increasingly important to not only clean up social media accounts of unprofessional content, but to also enhance these accounts with the student’s relevant skills and experiences to brand themselves to the public eye.  For example, a journalism major that maintains a professional online blog or a graphics design major that creates a personal website has the perfect opportunity to showcase their talents.  Likewise, a business major that has an updated LinkedIn account, or a marketing major that updates their Twitter with professional and eye catching tweets can instantly obtain a competitive edge over other students that may apply to the same positions or graduate schools.  In today’s world where employers almost always Google potential applicants, students should use this as an opportunity to continue their resume, exemplifying and selling their skills and talents.

For more explanations and advice on personal branding:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2010/10/04/building-your-personal-brand-with-social-media/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/08/13/an-experts-seven-tips-for-using-social-media-to-get-a-job/2/

 

~ Katie Nelson