6 Ways Recent Graduates Can Stand Out As Professionals

So, you are a recent college graduate. You keep hearing about the lack of available jobs and that recent graduates are taking jobs that do not require a degree. You don’t think you can stand out from the crowd. And, the worst part is that your parents, relatives, and friends are asking what you plan to do with your degree. Yes, this is quite depressing. Yes, this does not make you feel good about starting a job search. Perhaps you are even asking yourself why you bothered to get a degree in the first place. Stop! Stop the negative self-talk! Because, there is good news for you!


6 Ways Recent Graduates Can Stand Out

Finding work is a challenge for everyone, especially recent graduates who have less professional experience than others. However, you are still employable and can be successful. Remember, you have the power to take charge and build a strategy that will help you get noticed in the professional world. Take a look at these six strategies that will help recent graduates emerge from the crowd and stand out in the professional arena.

1. Get A Mentor

Hang out with people smarter and more experienced than you. Identify a professional in your field who is a few steps ahead of you. Let this person mold you, teach you, advise you, and support you. You will learn tons from them that will help you stand out from the crowd.

2. Know Your Industry

What are the trends? What is working well? What is not working well? And, identify where and how you fit in. What skills and qualities are most needed in this industry right now? Are there areas you need improvement on? Identify how you plan to best utilize your skills and qualities in your industry. The more you know, the more your passion and purpose will begin to emerge.

3. Get Excited About Your Industry

Once your industry knowledge increases, you will begin to identify where you fit in and will see the paths you want to take. This is where passion and purpose emerge, and you become excited about what is to come. You will start to “wear your purpose.” Enthusiasm and energy will flow through in the words you use, the way you hold yourself, the work you do, and the relationships you build. Wearing your purpose will make you stand out. Why? Well, there is nothing more contagious than enthusiasm.

4. Build Professional Relationships

This used to be called networking. In Reid Hoffman’s book The Startup of You, he describes networking as a genuine relationship between professionals. These are relationships that have give and take. They are not one sided. Think about what it means to be a good friend. This is a genuine relationship. These are the types of relationships that form alliances and strong professional connections. These are the relationships that will help you stand out.

5. Use Social Media Strategically

Gene Krantz said, about the strategies used to repair equipment on the Apollo 13 space mission, “I don’t care what anything was designed to do. I only care what it CAN do.” This is how to use social media strategically. Your strategy should focus on how you can leverage LinkedIn, Twitter, online portfolios, and blogs. These are the social media platforms that will build your network, best highlight your brand, and show the professional world what you plan to contribute.

6. Find Your Professional Voice

The more you converse through social media and networking, the more credible your professional brand will become and the more you will be seen as a prime candidate for a professional position. Finding and articulating your professional voice will help you stand out. So, try out these strategies and watch what happens. You will be wearing your purpose before you know it. Are you a new graduate who needs help with these strategies? Check out my CareerHMO Coaching page. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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About the author

Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson is the Coordinator of Career & Professional Development at Spring Hill College where she helps students transition from student to professional. She is also in the process of starting her own consulting business where she works with businesses and individuals on professional etiquette, branding, and image consulting. Are you a new graduate who needs help with these strategies? Check out her CareerHMO Coaching page.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CareerHMO coach. You can learn more about expert posts here.   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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