I’m a New Graduate a.k.a. “Fresh Meat”

What all new Grads should know when job hunting . aleesa-j-0209


The holidays are over, spring break is gone and graduation is here.  Now you need to find a j-o-b.  You’re no longer on Mom and Dad’s gravy train and you must fend for yourself.  No more waiting tables at the local watering hole, it’s time to put your new, freshly-minted degree to good use!  How do you get that foot out the door and into the real world?

 When job hunting, remember to use all of your resources including your academic advisors and professors.  Although you may be reluctant to ask the dreaded professor who lectured and tested you for months on end for job suggestions, they can be a valuable resource for your job search.  Not only are they skilled professionals in certain fields, they are often contacted by large networks of peers and colleagues offering opportunities for students.  Plus you may get a great letter of recommendation and the opportunity to use them as a reference.

Take advantage of job boards such as www.workintexas.com, job fairs, your own network of family, friends and relatives, local career offices, employment counselors and specific company websites.  If there is a company that you aspire to work for one day, research their website for internship opportunities or training programs that will help get your foot in the door.  Ask questions and inquire about what the necessary requirements are for the position.  Chances are your eagerness will put you one step ahead of the game.

Five things that employers will look for when hiring new graduates: 

  1. Relevant experience – Is the candidate’s resume up to date with related skills for the position?
  2. Professionalism – Is the candidate prepared for the interview and dressed appropriately?  Will the candidate fit in with the company culture?
  3. Education – Did the candidate achieve the necessary amount of education for the job and is the field of study related to the position of interest?
  4. Enthusiasm – Does the candidate display a willing and ready to learn attitude?  Did the candidate ask questions about the job or company?  Is he or she eager to work?

How does a new graduate impress a hiring manager?  Demonstrate experience.  I’m not talking about serving chicken wings and pitchers of beer….I’m talking about relevant experience – including internships, volunteer activities, certifications and skills.  Even if you don’t have enough on the job experience, you can display your accomplishments on your resume in different ways.  Consider using a functional resume to highlight your skills and accomplishments.  Hiring managers will not expect you to have all of the knowledge or skills since you are fresh out of school, they are looking for effort and motivation.  Employers view new grads as a fresh opportunity for training.  If you are ready to learn employers are more willing to hire you.

Have any questions, remarks or recommendations?  Participate in this blog and leave your comments!

Aleesa Janssen is the Hospitality Staffing Specialist for Workforce Solutions in the Houston/Galveston region. She is a trained chef and has over eleven years of experience in the hospitality industry.

3 Responses to “I’m a New Graduate a.k.a. “Fresh Meat””


  1. 1 Blogforce May 18, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Absolutely sending a thank you note is fantastic advice. Not only is this a great technique to show your appreciation for their time, it’s also a nice follow up for the interview to express your true interest in that particular job. Hopefully, it will give the job seeker a slight edge on the interview competition (especially in today’s economy) at any age or stage in their career. You are never too old or too young to show gratitude. Thanks for commenting! – Aleesa

  2. 2 Becky May 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I am in the process of trying to help my niece find a job… she just graduated in Family Child Human Development. It’s rough trying to find something, so I do appreciate this advice. Susan Kennedy and Karen Baker have recently came out with a great book titled, “The Job Coach for Young Professionals” to help those looking for job placement. There is one thing that we learned after reading the book, always send a thank you note to the employer the day after your interview (something I didn’t know). The problem now is just trying to find places that are hiring! Persistence I guess. Thanks again.

  3. 3 Danny Z. May 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Aleesa –

    Great info for new grads! I think we cannot understate how important it is to DEMONSTRATE enthusiasm for a position by properly researching and articulating your knowledge of a company and the position in which you’re interested. Thank you!

    Your Fellow Blogger – Danny


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