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11 Tips to Stand Out as a Recent Graduate

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Summary: You need every way possible to stand out during applications and interviews when you are a recent graduate that can look just like every other applicant on paper.

Being a recent college graduate can be difficult in today’s job market, especially when you lack much experience. Here are 11 tips to ensure you stand out.

  1. Show your value – companies are hiring because they have a need to fill so you need to be able to show or demonstrate through your application that you are the one to fill that need. Carefully read the job description and mirror the language used in your cover letter and resume.
  2. Don’t undermine your worth – Yes, you may not be fully qualified for a position but don’t come right out and say that. Focus on your qualities and how they are transferable.
  3. Explain your transferable skills – This is especially important when you lack experience from jobs or internships. Focus on other positions and skills you have gained from clubs, academic projects, or your senior thesis.
  4. Google yourself – Companies use social media to get a sense of who you are so clean your profiles up to be professional.
  5. Build your personal brand – utilize social media to show who you are and who you want to be. Follow and interact with companies you admire.
  6. Have a network – Build a network and use it to help you find informational interviews. Your network can start out with alumni, your parent’s friends, and LinkedIn to get the ball rolling. Informational interviews are all about learning not getting a job.
  7. Practice and then practice some more – Practice your interviews multiple times to get it perfect. Review the most common questions so that you are prepared for them during the interview. Practicing is important but you also want to make sure you don’t sound too rehearsed.
  8. Research – Know all you can about the company before applying and especially before an interview.
  9. Ask questions – Go into interviews prepared with questions to ask. This shows that you are invested and have done your work to understand the company.
  10. Prepare your references – Ask those you wish to use as references for permission before using them. When you ask for permission you can also prepare by telling them about the company, position, or any other information that can help them give you a great reference.
  11. Be yourself – Don’t go into interviews trying to be someone you aren’t. Be true to yourself because there will not be a good outcome if you do get the job and find you can’t keep up with it or enjoy it.


11 Tips to Stand Out as a Recent Graduate by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin