The economy is slowly recovering, but many young Americans are struggling—even those with college degrees.
Don’t believe it? Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information published by The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2010 claims that nearly 483,0000 customer service representatives and more than 317,000 waiters and waitresses have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Before you start filling out applications and sending resumes, do yourself a favor and clean up your online profiles. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are an acceptable way to promote yourself and look for work, but make sure your accounts are free of scantily-clad photos in which you’re holding alcoholic beverages—or doing something even worse. If friends have tagged you in their questionable photos, remove the tags and ask them to remove the photos. Your days of no-holds-barred online pictures are over.
Create a simple, professional email account to use for your job search, preferably one that includes your full name or first initial and last name. Monikers like the cutesy FuzzyBunny99 or the risqué HotNSexyDelta might seem like fun for now, but they won’t make a good impression on future employers and will embarrass you down the line. Gmail or an email account associated with your personal domain seem to be a safe choice, as AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo are often considered outdated, at least according to The Daily Worth in Want a New Job? Ditch That Old Email.
Make sure your voicemail message is short, sweet and to the point. Clearly state your name and number along with a promise to return the missed call as soon as possible. Sound as professional as possible.
If you have been asked to come in for a job interview, congratulations! These days, we all have a GPS, but it may be a good idea to do a dry run the day before to ensure you know where you are going. Give yourself plenty of time on the big day because you never know when you will run into bad traffic. Showing up late for a job interview will not make a good first impression.
A recent Los Angeles Times article states that answering a cell phone or responding to a text message are the worst mistakes that potential hires make during job interviews. A whopping seventy-one percent of managers surveyed by CareerBuilder expressed annoyance over the habit.
Be sure to dress appropriately, too. College may be a time of self-expression, but attire such as miniskirts, nose rings or mohawks aren’t considered the norm in most professional environments. It’s in your best interest to look—and smell—professional at all times. Be sure to shower or bathe before an interview and avoid overbearing cologne or perfume.
Started your job search? Post your resume on the StateUniversity.com Job Board, where hundreds of employers will see it or search for jobs by type and location.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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