When I graduated from undergrad (many years ago might I add …), I had two primary goals.
So, I went to visit the career center (sounding familiar …) How did your career center advise you?
- Dress in a navy blue skirt-suit.
- Carry a briefcase.
- Wear nude stockings.
- Put on a pair of black 1 inch pumps.
- Cross your legs at the ankle, when sitting.
- Look the interviewer in the eye (so they won’t think you are lying).
- Bring 3 copies of your resume (1 page only!).
I could go on … What advice did your career center give you when you graduated from undergrad?
Well … much of this advice is no longer relevant.
Even the First Lady of our county no longer wears nude stockings!
So, what are the “New Rules?” What is your branded image (online & in person)? How do you create a professional competitive edge during interviews? Could you benefit from professional coaching? To request information about coaching services click HERE.
Want to connect with Dr. Gia? Click HERE!
Sokoni Davis says
What a great topic!
I received the same type of advice which was good & important but needed to go deeper. I feel that the advice was important and most of it still applies especially when I see what young people wear to interviews now. The advice needs to go deeper when I think about the majors that many students are choosing. Many of which will not prepare graduates to have a decent job or pay back their loans. Colleges back when I was in school and now need to prepare youth to see trends and what is in demand in the current & future job markets, so that their dreams are not deferred after graduation.
I did not get a lot of advice about marketing myself for the career world once I graduated. I took some prep. courses back in high school so I thought I had it all together. But I probably didn’t. The one thing I did learn in grad. school to give you an edge is not to just bring a resume but to also develop a portfolio. You can take your portfolio on your interview depending on the interviewer and leave it with the interviewer to allow him or her to see your success in documents. I placed in my portfolio various awards from other employers, even great evaluations, transcripts to show my trainings, and samples of materials that I have written. This goes far, especially if you design it in a way to show your versatility, growth, and intellect. I also think an edge it to send your transcript via fed ex. Now this is my own personal thing. But if you really want a job, you have to stand out from the other 60 resumes. I would fed ex the cover letter and resume and this way, the employer will definitely take a look at it.
I was given very similar advice. As a African American women, I was also told not to wear braids. I do not know if they are still giving out that advice.
Dr. Gia says
Hi Sokoni (Dr. Davis),
Really great point!
Academia, in general, does a good job of disseminating information.
Information alone can be partial. The key is to teach students how to translate that information into real-life applications so that, in your words, “their dreams are not deferred after graduation.”
You know …
We just recently participated in a panel discussion with the Chicago Industrial Organizational Psychologists (CIOP) on Creating a Positive Presence and Brand in Social Media. One of the concerns expressed by the recruiters was that, young graduates are unaware of how their online presence affects their professional reputation.
Many may have just spent the last 4 years posting pictures from college parties and Spring breaks in Cancun, on social networking sites.
Now that they’ve graduated, it is time to find a job.
The question is, when their potential employer Googles them, and they will, what will they find and what are the college career centers doing to help prepare students for this new age of social media?
Dr. Gia says
Tishalee, really great personal tips.
The effectiveness of your strategies are evidenced by your personal successes!
I won’t tell our age but … given you and I attended undergrad together, we both entered the workforce around the same time.
We were not challenged with the impact of social media back then, like new graduates are not.
Many companies no longer accept paper resumes. They actually specify on their job postings, “no calls” and require job seekers to complete an “online application.”
How can new graduates create a competitive edge in this new online environment?
Heck, given the current economic environment, many of my friends and colleagues have found themselves unexpectedly in the job market.
How can any of us create a competitive edge in this new online environment?
Thanks Tishalee for your post!
Dr. Gia says
Really interesting question.
In my coaching sessions, I follow the moto below:
Your clothes should never be more interesting than you.
I use a slight reframe with my clients, “your professional image should never be more interesting than you.”
I am not sure how career centers are advising African American women (or women in general) with regards to braids (or locks for that matter).
However, this may be an interesting note, as recently as 2012, Hampton University (an historically black college) banded braids and locks for fear that their graduates would not get jobs. Clearly, this issue is still current.
See post Huffington Post article below: