Questions from Recent College Graduates

Graduating college is an incredibly exciting time, yet knowing how to enter the job market and begin your professional career can be extremely overwhelming. From deciding on a career path to contemplating a potential relocation, there are many questions to confront as you leave the academic world and enter the workforce. Without guidance, this transition can feel stressful and confusing which is why we sat down with Executive Vice President Emily Levine to discuss the best tactics and tips for navigating the job market after graduation.

What are the benefits of using a Recruiter as opposed to searching only on job boards?

“Recruiters can help open the door and land the interview for the candidate. A lot of my clients will reach out to me directly and not post online while others will do both. I think the advantage of using a recruiter when you are a recent graduate is that often these jobs are confidential openings. If someone is being replaced or it’s not yet discussed in the company that the position is going to be available, they’ll reach out to a resource like us and not post online.”

Will hiring managers consider candidates who have not yet located to the job destination?

“I’d say that even though it feels scary, the highest probability of landing a job is by being in the city that you want to work in. It shows employers you are serious about getting a job there. It is difficult to get a job in the city you are not yet located in because a lot of companies already have a pool of candidates who are local so it’s an extra step to consider people who might not know the city that well.”

How should I prepare to respond to employers when they ask for your desired salary?

“I think it’s important to say, I want to be realistic, I understand that I have to earn my stripes but I’ve been interviewing in the X to Y range. You never want to be pushy about it, you never want to be forceful about it, you also don’t want to seem entitled but I think that you also don’t want to undersell yourself. Throwing out a range and saying that you’ve been interviewing based on that depending on total compensation, benefits, commute and all those other factors will make you look like you’ve done your homework.”

How do you know if there is a chance for upward mobility within a position?

“If the position is open due to promotion, then you know that that person was rewarded for doing a good job. Also, I’ll look on LinkedIn and I’ll see how long people stay at the company. I think you have to be careful in the interview not to harp too much on it. Especially if you just graduated college, it’s important to know that if you’re already asking for a promotion before you’ve proven yourself, you might rub the interviewer the wrong way.”

What is the most important information to include on my resume?

“A lot of great resumes have an objective at the top to give an overview of your skills, your experience, your personality and what you’re looking for in a job. It’s a nice intro for people without having to write a long cover letter. It’s important to make sure that you include your previous internships. And people wonder whether or not to include a restaurant type of job, but it is very transferable. It’s all about customer service so I would suggest including those.”

How should I best be using LinkedIn as a networking tool to my advantage?

“I would make sure that you keep a current photo and you update a bio of what you’re looking for in a job. Make sure that you’re saying something along the lines of 'recent college graduate seeking a fast-paced administrative role where I can contribute my skills and grow.' In terms of networking through LinkedIn, you can reach out to companies you’re interested in working for or you can see who you’re connected to that works at companies you’re excited about. Reach out and ask them how they’re liking the company and if you should apply. They may offer to put in a good word for you.”

How important are internships prior to having your first job?

“After graduating college, it’s really hard to stand out amongst your peers so having strong internships shows that you took initiative throughout your summers to keep busy and keep your skills sharp. It will show your future employers what your interests were at that time. Even though a lot of internships are filing or answering phones, it’s important to show that you had some sort of exposure to corporate training.”

Ready to find your dream role? Head to our Find Work page to explore our current searches, or follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn to stay up to date with our brands and latest job postings.

Emily Levine

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As Executive Vice President at Career Group Companies, Emily Levine plays an instrumental role in the success of the Full-Time division, where she recruits for clients in both Los Angeles and New York. Since joining Career Group in 2010 as a Recruiter, Emily has excelled at building meaningful business relationships with both clients and candidates. Emily is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she received her BA in Communication. While not working, she enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.

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