Tips for New Grads

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Carlotta Zimmerman, Career Coach

Carlota Zimmerman is a career coach, or as she is often called, “a success strategist” who has helped thousands of people navigate the world of employment to find that perfect job to start their careers off right. 

She has several tips she suggests new graduates follow to find out about and land that dream job:

Prep on-line:

  • Follow the companies you’re interested in working for on their social media sites, including trendsetters within those companies. These days, smart companies are using their social media to have a dialogue with the public, and this dialogue is a great way for people to figure out a company’s core values, their mission, the language they use, in order to connect with, and present yourself as an ideal candidate. Also, on Facebook, when you like a company, Facebook will show you who within your network also likes the company. As a coach, I’ve helped clients get hired by companies, simply by having the client like the page, the client then realizes that a friend from band camp who also likes the page, works for the company, client reaches out to old friend, and next day, “Carlota, you were right, I’ve got an interview!”
  • Search your community: who’s working, or worked for, companies you’re interested in? Write out a list of names, but before you approach anyone, do a serious search of your own social media: Is it professional? If right now, this minute, your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter profile was on the Jumbotron in Times Square, would you be proud…or appalled? Go notch up your security settings on social media, delete any “racy” posts and then, once you’re confident that you’re posting as a professional adult, contact the people on your list privately, with a concise, intelligent, focused email explaining what kind of help you’re looking for, why you’re interested in the company, what you believe you bring to the table, and asking if you could take the recipient out for lunch or coffee and get their valuable advice. If you’re feeling brave, you can share this post publicly to your friends (friends only on Facebook! Do NOT tag the company.), asking people if they wouldn’t mind contacting you, if they have any leads.
  • Does your college/grad school alumni association(s) have Facebook pages? Like and join them! Many people there will have info or leads on these companies. In fact, you could see if there is a Facebook page/group devoted to your particular industry. Can’t hurt.

Off-line, aka IRL:

  • Join your college/grad alumni associations. The lasting value of your alma mater is your alumni network. That network, when used correctly, puts you at six degrees of separation for any job anywhere in the world. Join today, and ask what resources/tools they have for young alumni. Do they help with introductions, or your resume? Take advantage of all of it.
  • Speak to your college professors.  Your professors know people. That’s how they become professors. They know of people and opportunities that might seem a fantasy to you. If you’ve made any human connections with professors, and you’re wondering how to break into a certain job or industry, I urge you to today schedule a meeting with your advisor and/or professor, and make an intelligent case.

After the Interview:

  • You can do a lot of the same things on social media that you did before getting the interview: monitoring the social media of the company, signing up for their email list, seeing what they’re sharing online.
  • If people in your community helped you get the interview, this is a great time to send personalized thank you cards, expressing your gratitude, and sharing your renewed interest in the company.  They will remember this and come back to you with future opportunities.
  • Be realistic, you aren’t going to land the Senior VP of Marketing, but you may be given the opportunity to prove yourself, work hard, show gumption and eventually get the big title.
  • You want to present, on and offline, as a professional, passionate, committed adult.

About the Author: Since launching her coaching practice in 2008, Carlota Zimmerman, J.D., has worked with ambitious men and women around the world, including members of the Obama Administration. A popular public speaker, she’s appeared at BlogHer15, Social Media Week NYC, the NYC Bar; in 2016, she gave the Keynote Address at Wellesley College’s Latina Month Events. Carlota is a regular contributor to Huffington Post. Her career advice has appeared in NY Post, Fast Company, The Ladders, CNBC.com, More, Bustle, and NBC News. 

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