New College Graduate's Guide

Prepare yourself to get a job


November 2015

LinkedIn for New Grads


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        Today, many employers use social media as one of the tools to consider and determine the job candidates. Social media is the online persona of each person reflecting their lifestyle, behavior, attitudes, etc. The company looks at those online profiles which help them determine whether each candidate is fit to their organization. Unlike other social media, LinkedIn is the largest professional online community. Many companies and professionals in various fields communicate and participate in this online society.  Most companies post job openings on LinkedIn and they also use LinkedIn to find out the people who might be a good fit to their company. This is a big opportunity for the new graduates to impress the employers by the professional profile. The following are the tips you should do to set up and polish your LinkedIn profile in order to increase the opportunity to get the job.

1.Choose an appropriate profile photo
The first thing you should do on the LinkedIn page is uploading profile photo. The profile photo is kind of the first thing that gains people’s attention. If you don’t have the profile photo, the employers might ignore to view your page. The most important thing to remember is choosing an appropriate photo. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram. I don’t think the employers will feel impressed to see your party pictures as the profile photo. So, pick a good quality photo that you look professional!

2.Write a good headline
The headline is a short statement which you introduce yourself to the recruiters. It is the first thing that appears after your name. So, use this space to identify your selling points and area of work you are interested in.
Good tips for writing a perfect headline 

3.Use a keyword
In the skills and endorsement section, you should include the keywords that relate to the job you’re looking for. The more relevant keywords you have in your profile, the higher you are on a recruiter’s search rankings. This increases the chances of your profile getting noticed. In addition to industry buzzwords, such as creative, responsible and strategic, you should include the specific words of tools or programs for each industry, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Google analytics.

4. Get recommendations
Also, in the endorsement section, you should have someone on your connections, such as the previous employers and the professors, writing at least one recommendation for you in this section. This section helps to endorse your listed skills or experiences and it basically makes your profile more credibility.

5. Complete the summary
Summary section is where you advertise about yourself. Talk about your unique selling points, goals, and personality. You might describe your motivation, passion, experience and what are you good at. Don’t forget to include some keywords that the recruiters might search for.

6. Show your achievement
On the LinkedIn profile, there are many sections that you can present your achievement. So, fill it up! You can include GPA, certifications, honors and award, courses, or projects that demonstrate your skills. In addition, you can include the real examples of your works, such as your writing and design portfolio, on the LinkedIn profile page.

7. Join the groups
You should join the groups that relate to your target industry. You should be active and participate in discussions of the groups. This helps you have the connection and create your professional brand. Not only the job opportunity you can get, but also the knowledge you can gain from other experts.

8. Make your profile page public
In the settings, change your LinkedIn profile page to public and also create a personal URL. For example, When people search for you online, this will help your page have a higher rank in a Google search.

I think these are some great tips that will help you have some ideas to start setting up your LinkedIn profile page properly and professionally. Thank you for reading!


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Job Interview Preparation for New Grads


Job interview. Businesswoman having a job interview. [url=][img][/img][/url]
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       I think most new graduates feel scared and stressed when thinking about the job interview. Especially for the first time interview, the stress, excitement, and anxiety might decrease our potential to present ourselves to the employers. The best way to handle and nail it is to make sure you’re prepared. The following are the steps that I think will be useful and help you get ready for the interview.

1.Do your homework
It’s important that you need to know the basic information about the company you interview for. The interviewer will expect you to know quite a bit about their company. Therefore, do some research about the organization. At least, go to read the information on the company’s website.You should know what they do, the competitors, and the current situation of their industry.You can go beyond that by reading the business magazines, newspapers, or industry journals. This will help you have some information to develop answers when you are faced with the specific questions. In addition, if it’s possible, try to get the inside information by talking with some of the company’s employees.

2.Prepare for the typical interview questions
The best way to handle and reduce the stress for the interview is preparing beforehand and practicing answers for some typical interview questions, especially, the toughest questions that you fear the most. The most common questions asked by the interviewers are :

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What are your short and long term goals?
  • More typical interview questions on Monster

When you answer the questions, remember that your answers should focus on how you will benefit and add value to the organization,not just about yourself.
When you struggle with some questions during the interview, it is okay to say “ That’s a tough question” and pause to think before answering.Try to complete and respond the questions as best you can and avoid the answers that are lengthy and rambling.The interviewers like and want answers that are concise, complete, focused, and relevant.

3. Develop examples from your resume related to the job you’re seeking.
Identify your top skills and experiences on your resume. Think about examples that explain and prove those points. You can describe the situations and problems you deal with. Then explain what you did to fix it and and finally, the outcomes of the problems. Try to demonstrate your personal contributions.

4. Prepare to ask good questions
During the interview process, you’ll be asked whether you have any questions. You shouldn’t say “No” because asking questions demonstrates your level of interest in the job. This is also an opportunity for you to find out information about the company and decide whether you are fit to that organization. You should prepare 3-6 questions or jot some down during the interview. These are examples of what you might ask the interviewers.

  • Can you describe the characteristics of your ideal candidate for this job?
  • Is there a training program for this position; what does it consist of ?
  • Are there any travel requirements? Relocation expectation?
  • Based on good performance, could this job lead to career growth opportunities within the company?
  • Could you tell me about the people with whom I would be working? To whom would I report, and who would be my peers and subordinates?
  • More questions on Job Mob

However, there are some questions that you should not ask, especially in the first interview. The interviewers might feel unimpressed if you are too enthusiastic to ask these questions.

  • What does your company do ?
  • How much does the job pay?
  • What are the hours of this position?
  • How many sick days do I get?
  • How much time off do I get?
  • If I’m hired, when can I begin applying for other roles within the company?
  • Do you do background checks?

5. Practice Practice and Practice
Practice makes everything better. It can help you have more confidence and reduce the pressure. You should practice interviewing out loud with counselors, mentors, adults, or even in the mirror. Practicing out loud makes you hear the words you intend to speak, including the tone, emphasis, inflections and facial expression which is very important in the interview. According to the book “How to make it happen” by Harwood, attitude which includes enthusiasm, energy, likeability,smile, optimism, and confidence accounts for 40% of the factors that make the interview successful. The second factors are image/appearance and verbal and nonverbal communication. Each accounts for 25%, followed by job qualification 10%.

6. Be Professional
First impressions really matter. As I mention above that image and appearance including dress and grooming is a significant decision factor for the interviewer, so make sure that you dress and behave properly and professionally. This factor demonstrates the level of your interest
in the job. In addition to going to the interview, you should bring these materials with you.

  • Your business portfolio ; transcript, letter of recommendation, etc.
  • Spare copies of your resume
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of 3-6 personal and professional references
  • Pens and pencils
  • A notebook with a list of questions for the interviewer.
Photo credit :
Photo credit :

7.Know Where You’re Going
The worst thing that you don’t want to happen on the interview day is being late. You must have precise and good directions to the company ahead of time, and if you can, practice traveling to the site. Being late because of getting lost is an unacceptable excuse.

8. Relax and take a rest
Get a good night’s sleep , so you will be ready and fresh for your interview day.

9.Finish strong and follow up.
The closing statement is important. Tell or show them how much you are excited and interested in this opportunity and why you are fit for this job and organization. Also, you should ask and clarify the next steps and the timeline. You can ask about the decision date , so you can follow up. Finally, send a personally tailored thank-you letter or email to each interviewer (if more than one interviewer) within 24 hours after the interview. The thank you note is a sign of your interest and professionalism.

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