College Graduate Wears Mortar Board With Message To Potential Employers

So, you’ve graduated from college. First of all, congratulations! That’s a big deal, and we all know it’s not easy. We also know that once the celebrating is over, the hard part really starts—finding a job. We don’t need to go on about the current job market because we’re sure you’ve heard it all before, but did you know that if you graduated from college here in Memphis, you have a couple of advantages right off the bat?

For starters, you have access to countless Memphis startups, businesses and entrepreneurs—not to mention big corporations with Memphis headquarters—all of which are eager to connect with hard workers who have big ideas straight out of college. Second, there are a lot of prestigious Memphis colleges and universities that look pretty darn good on a resume. Whether you’ve just graduated from any one of our more than 10 colleges and universities, these tips will come in handy as you head out on your job hunt.

  1. Start early: If you wait until after graduation to start your job search, you’re already late. Many college students start networking with faculty members, lining up internships, taking leadership roles in campus organizations and attending club events as early as freshman year. It sounds crazy, but these are competitive times—get an early start or risk getting left behind.
  2. Focus on what you’ve learned: Employers like to see candidates with experience, but as you’re no doubt aware, it’s hard to show experience when you’re looking for your first real job. If you don’t have a long employment history, focus instead on your life experiences. What have they taught you? How would you apply those lessons to a new job? How did they make you a better, more well-rounded person? If you can answer these questions with conviction, you’ll impress most employers more than you would by simply reciting a laundry list of previous jobs.
  3. Polish up your social media presence: When it comes to social media, there are two things you should keep in mind. One, it offers a great opportunity to show off your professional skills, network and connect with people who can help you in your budding career. Two, if your mom has a Facebook page, chances are your future boss does too, so be careful what you post.
  4. Learn to budget: Your college days are behind you now, and so is the “work-hard-play-hard” ethos that came with them. It’s easy to see your first real pay check as your ticket to new clothes and nights out at the bar, but that attitude is a great recipe for a hangover and an empty wallet. Landing a job requires focus, and staying out of debt requires learning how to manage your money. After all, that first job might not last forever.
  5. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”: Although it’s been a while since Henry David Thoreau penned that famous quote, it’s stood the test of time. Even as it becomes more difficult to secure the type of safe, permanent job that defined past generations, there’s never been a better time to start your own business and follow your own unique vision. Decide what you want and go after it.

Memphis has a reputation as the best city for startups, a friendly place for businesses, and a city that supports arts, music and all things creative. If you’ve just graduated from college and are working on figuring out your next move, you couldn’t have a better launch pad. We wish you the best of luck!

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