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Is studying an MBA worth it?

Top tips for recent graduates entering the workforce

A business woman sitting on a sofa talking on a phone with a laptop on her lap

You did it! You made it through all the studying, reading, assignments, nerve-wracking presentations and exams, not to mention all those late nights, to earn your degree. Congratulations!

And now you’re ready to enter, or re-enter, the workforce. Whether you’re looking to make that first step in your career or starting a new career, here are a few tips for entering the job market.

1. Review your resumé

Your resumé is your first impression with a potential employer and you want to make sure it makes you stand out for all the right reasons.

Before applying for any position, take the time to review and edit your resumé.

You want to make sure it is succinct. Aim for one page, if possible, and make sure it is up to date with your latest education and relevant experience. Also, ensure it is free of any spelling or grammatical errors, is easy to read and visually appealing. There are plenty of resumé templates out there to help you get started.

Lastly, carefully read the job description and requirements of the position you’re applying for and tailor your resumé to fit by highlighting your relevant skills, education and experience. Avoid using generic objective statements – tailor it to fit the position you’re applying for or leave it out.

2. Always read the job description

It can be tempting to apply for any and all jobs that even come close to what you’re looking for, but you’re more likely to find success if you focus on jobs that are the best fit for you and your current skill set and level of experience.

3. Update your skills

You may have just graduated with a shiny new degree, but there is always room for improvement!

Use some of your free time to improve your soft skills through free online courses and webinars, reading books and putting things into practice in your personal life.

The top soft skills employers are generally looking for include:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Organization
  • Stress Management
4. Always be respectful and professional

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking for a job has become a full-time job, and you are sending out resumés to various companies.

When scheduling calls, interviews or meetings with prospective employers, be sure to keep track of all your appointments. And if you’re in the interview process with a company and you decide that you are no longer interested in that position, reach out to let them know. You never know, you might want to apply for another position with them in the future.

And remember, when approaching a job interview, presentation is key. From your resumé to how you dress and conduct yourself – always keep it professional.

5. Consider a wider variety of jobs

You might have a particular dream job in mind, but if you’re just starting out, you might want to consider a few other options. However, landing the perfect position right after graduating is not always realistic.

Keep in mind that those short-term or temporary positions can be a great opportunity to get some experience, work on your soft skills and earn some money while keeping an eye out for the right job for you.

University Canada West’s Career Development Centre helps students and alumni transition from higher education into the workforce. The Career Development Specialists at UCW offer services for students, including resumés and cover letters, interviewing techniques, networking and various other workshops, on-campus employer info sessions, business social networking and internship resources, scholarships, volunteer expos and job fairs. 

The Centre also offers resources and workshops to help UCW students prepare to enter the working world with their best foot forward.

Published on July 21, 2021.