College graduation season is upon us, and there’s no shortage of advice columnists offering tips to recent college grads on how to land that first, full-time job. Some discuss what today’s employers are looking for—candidates who are resourceful, intuitive, self-starting and sincere (like that’s a surprise)—while others suggest strategies for devising eye-catching resumes.
This isn’t one of those columns. My financial services colleagues and I actually had a preference for hiring recent grads for three good reasons:
They travel light. Although most will have worked part-time while in college and, ideally, completed an internship that coincided with their studies and professional aspirations, recent grads come with relatively little baggage. In other words, there aren’t a lot of bad habits to break or attitudes to change.
They’re malleable. Because they travel light and are usually pretty enthusiastic about their first full-time gig, recent grads are more easily trained.
They know more than we do. No matter how with it we hirers believe we are, recent grads are also that much more comfortable—often to the point of fearlessness—with technology. Consequently, we learned as much from them as they from us.
Contrary to what you might believe or hope, the hiring process isn’t akin to speed dating. In fact, although many of us feel good about the gut decisions we often make on the fly, I’ve learned the hard way that first impressions aren’t always correct. That’s why God invented second and third interviews.
So here’s how to get started.
Your resume should coincide with the position you seek or the posting to which you are responding. Not only should you not embellish it, but you should absolutely never misstate any of your qualifications, experiences or academic background. You never know who’s going to pick up the phone to check on these.