Wednesday, December 21


It's that time of year again for college and university graduations. Students are leaving the comforts of academia, and are preparing to enter this volatile job market. Some have long prepared for this experience through internships, job shadows, and networking, while others are tip-toeing their way into the deep end of career searches and the real world.

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Here are 3 takeaways from the mock interview panel I recently served on:

1. Your resume is a reflection of your planning and preparation skills. So many students wrote it seems, the night before, their resume for the interview scheduled the following day. There were spelling, format, and layout errors. If this was the first impression, then there will not likely be a second encounter for many students. NOTE: Make sure you take several weeks to prepare your resume as it will likely be scrutinized just as much as the interview question and answer session.

2. Your interview is a reflection of your communication skills. Students were over-excited when they used an interviewers name during the process. When students spending time online, in clouds, and through social, it is no wonder that students have a hard to connecting on an interpersonal level. NOTE: Spend time working on simple conversations during dinners, in class, and on the job by practicing active listening.

3. Your handshake is a reflection of your confidence and motivation. Handshakes ranged from WWE wrestler grips to wet, dead fish grips. The handshake is a first impression into the student's confidence and motivation. NOTE:  Dusty Doddridge, Middle Tennessee State University Career Advisor, recommends asking to redo the handshake again if initially it was awkward or uncomfortable. Now that is a sure sign on confidence.

What advice do you have for students who are entering the workforce? What suggestions can you add to this list?

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