Ever so often, I meet a Human Resource professional who is super generous with advice for new college graduates.
Recently, I lucked out and connected with Denzel Alexander, Talent Acquisition Associate at Enquero, a technology solutions company in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. Alexander has been with the company for just under two years and is a recent graduate of Grambling State University.
When I asked if he had any advice for new college graduates, here are four insightful tips he shared:
“Always be realistic and prepare yourself for every possible scenario.”
This is really good advice because so often new college graduates lock themselves into limited options. Not because they necessarily want to but because they have limited career and industry awareness. It is amazing, for example, just how many more opportunities could open up if a new grad decides to explore opportunities in other parts of the country.
“Don’t allow the competitive, and sometimes unfair, job market after college to break your spirit.”
As I say to new college grads all the time, and actually to experienced professionals as well – the job market, no matter how good the unemployment rate is – can be daunting and distressing. Keeping your focus on your big goal and being willing to start somewhere is one way to not be overwhelmed by the process.
“Inconsistency is the easiest way to have your application/resume place at the bottom of the stack.”
In Mr. Alexander’s role he knows well how busy recruiters are. He actually said, “Recruiters are very busy individuals with a lot of irons in the fire, so there is not a lot of time to go through profiles with a fine tooth comb.” This means that new college grads have to develop a flow on their resumes that shows consistency and clarity of direction.
“Make sure your resume is specific and not too long.”
It is rare today to find resumes that are more than one page because LinkedIn is available for new college grads to really go into more detail about backgrounds. Some Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that are used to collect application information are so tedious to use, the simpler you keep the resume, the better it is. Remember that having a simple resume does not mean having a less engaging or less impressive resume. It just means that you have captured the important and relevant information that will pique the recruiter’s interest.
Thanks again to Denzel Alexander for his generosity to share tips with new college graduates who are engaged in a job search!