Offering Real World Advice to College Seniors, Photo Credit Dr. Carrie Beth Swanay

Real World Tips for New College Graduates – Social Media Tips Included too

Offering Real World Advice to College Seniors, Photo Credit Dr. Carrie Beth Swanay
Offering Real World Advice to College Seniors, Photo Credit Dr. Carrie Beth Swanay

I recently gave college seniors and juniors “real-world” advice about getting ahead in their upcoming careers. I was at the local Advertising Club’s student portfolio review for graphic designers, photographers, Public Relations, Marketing majors. These tips are also applicable to other Majors!


  1. Summary on Resume: what can you tell me that makes you unique? THINK HARD ABOUT THIS (Sell yourself, more about that below)
  2. Again: What makes you stand out vs the person sitting next to you applying for the same job? (your projects, travels, languages, your technique)
  3. Experience on Resume: There’s so much more than “worked at  ___ restaurant”… say stuff like “Handled Customer Service, Organized & Personally Maintained Inventory,”  etc…. a bulleted list starting with a verb on each action item that would make ABC Company want to hire you for your people skills. (use words: Executed, Maintained, etc)
  4. Technical Skills: Most of these students were knowledgeable with Adobe Illustrator/PhotoShop. I asked them… what you do specifically with Illustrator? What really makes you so good at it? (write it on your resume)
  5. Sports/Extra-Curricular Activities: What do you do in the ___  team that is transferable to a job? (team work, learning new :Blank: in a quick amount of time, etc)?
  6. Everyone in the room was going for the same job opportunity (i.e. graphic designer) what could you say in your resume and in a job interview that could make you stand out? (travel in a foreign country, experiences working with a nonprofit, projects with limited timeframe, etc)
  7. How is your Social Media presence? Are you tweeting relevant info about this industry? How’s your LinkedIn profile/picture? Is it up to date? Are you engaging with influencers? Stop sending request to connect on LinkedIn and start making them want to connect with you because of your skills and your expertise (time to blog)!
  8. How’s your handshake? How to: Firm grip, hard shake (hold very firmly for two seconds), and maintain eye contact — it shows confidence.
  9. Start reading books on Selling, everything you do in life is about selling. Whether it’s to get a job, get a special project to do for your boss vs your coworker, it all requires convincing, you need to sell yourself and why YOU!
  10. Start working with nonprofits or volunteering your time, you’ll make great connections and add stuff to your portfolio that will make you stand out.
  11. Pet Peeve: Turn off your phones, I noticed students waiting to be “interviewed” by other professionals were checking their cell. When going to a real interview, just leave the phone in the car. The receptionist will see that you were waiting impatiently looking at your phone while waiting for the interviewer to appear.
  12. Don’t forget your Resume (and several copies too) and Portfolio. You should have a digital version of it on your personal website.
  13. AGAIN, be mindful of what you post on your Social Media, read this:
    Fired for a Facebook Post Before Your First Day on the Job
Connect with me on Social Media. I’m always putting tips out there that you can use! (See Widgets at the VERY bottom of the Page for each Platform)
Disclaimer: I’m not a Career Consultant. If you’re a student, please visit your Career Office at your College or your Advisor for career advice. These tips are just plain common sense and/or pet peeves that I see as a Social Media Marketing consultant.

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