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12 Secrets to Preparing Yourself for the Job Market After Graduation

September 8, 2011

Antoine D. Moss, Ph.D. is a former intern for Congress, the FBI and NASA who recently turned his internship into a full-time job at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He also speaks publicly as a motivator and empowers students to become the CEO of their dreams across the country. Dr. Moss’s new book, Learn to Intern CEO Style, chronicles his internship experiences and strategies for turning ambition into reality.

AntoineDMoss headshot 150x150 12 Secrets to Preparing Yourself for the Job Market After GraduationBy Antoine D. Moss

To get a job in 2011 you need to have the “Big Three”…
1) Have a college degree
2) Demonstrate through real-world experiences that you have the ability to add value by being innovative and multi-talented and
3) Have connections

The Secrets to Acquiring “The Big Three”

1)      Develop a plan – Each semester (or year) you should develop a specific career plan that will help you target your career goals while you are still a student—stick to your plan.

2)      Intern, intern, intern – Employers want students who have already gotten their hands dirty in the real-world. Therefore you must complete as many internships as you can. Be sure to develop a customized internship plan to achieve your goals while you are interning.

3)      Take advantage of your career services counselors – Acquaint yourself with your career services department. They will be very resourceful to you and will guide you with your career decisions and development.

4)      Build a powerful resume – Develop a resume that’s loaded with solid, substantive experience that highlights your skills, strengths, and student involvement. Be sure to edit to perfection!

5)      Achieve and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA – A high GPA conveys to employers that you took college seriously.

6)      Take a diverse set of classes – Employers want students who have a diverse set of skills and knowledge, so learn as much as you can.

7)      Become involved in student organizations – Stay involved in on-campus activities and acquire leadership positions because this will help you gain confidence and respect by your peers and employers.

8)      Volunteer regularly – Volunteering shows employers that you enjoy giving back and it will also help you hone your skills as well.

9)      Develop effective communication, vocabulary, and writing skills – Employers look for individuals who are very, very strong in these areas. From your interview and writing samples, recruiters will immediately know if you have these indispensible traits —they make a huge difference in the workforce! Be sure to take several writing and public speaking courses.

10)  Gain professional exposure – Gaining professional exposure helps you build your network of connections. You can quickly acquire professional exposure by attending networking and professional social activities. Conducting informational interviews are also effective. Get some business cards made and don’t be shy at handing them out!

11)  Social media presence – Clean up your social media profiles. Employers know that we are all human and love having fun, but convey that you like to have clean fun. Don’t post unprofessional comments and pictures because they can haunt you later in your job quest.

12)  Find a mentor – Having a mentor to help you navigate your career success is huge. Find a professional or professor who will be willing to offer you guidance as you develop yourself as a professional—you can even have a virtual mentor.

…and always remember that you are the CEO of your dreams!

Antoine has previously written for Eye of the Intern, read For Best Results, Customize Your Internship.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Doreen Liles December 17, 2013 at 9:23 am

This is a wonderful site to gain information from. I learned a lot by reading the secrets to success after graduation. I am going to put these points into helping students at my college.

Thank you again for your insight!

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Synthia December 17, 2013 at 9:42 am

Great, thank you Doreen!

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