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Preparing For Life After Graduation

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Autor:  anton  26 December 2010
Tags:  Preparing,  Graduation
Words: 2711   |   Pages: 11
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Well graduation is fast approaching and now is the time to begin preparing yourself for the job search. When you decided on your individual curriculum you took the first step on your professional journey. While recreating yourself as a nurse, teacher or whatever field your degree is in, you were gathering information about your various practices and career environments. Now is the time to make the transition from college life to professional life.

Most college graduates have a misconception about graduating and getting their diploma. They falsely believe that the diploma in itself will speak for them, when the truth is "you" are what is going to make or break you in the process of finding and having a successful professional career. Being prepared and knowing what to expect will help you to achieve and be successful in your professional career.


On June 22, 2006 Dr. James A. Ellzy Professor at Tennessee State University, College of Business assigned us this informational report due on June 29, 2006, which he extended to Monday July 3, 2006. This report is to contain four factors/topics: 1) Ethics, 2) Resume, Interviewing and Follow-up, 3) Professional Dress, 4) Business Ethics. Each factor/topic is to contain 3 sub factors/subtopics. Each sub factor/subtopic is to contain at least 3 difference sources.

Purpose, Scope and Limitations

The purpose of this research report was to supply new college graduates with the tools and knowledge that can help lead to a successful professional career. This report will give you the tools that you need to perhaps get you in the door, but being prepared and knowing what is expected of you can mean the difference between being offered the position or not. It is all up to youВ—do you have what it takes?


Sources and Methods

In preparing this research report a variety of books, magazines and internet resources were utilized. All materials used were targeted toward the main factors/topics of this report.

Report Organization

This research report will help to prepare new college graduates as they begin the journey of going from college life to a professional life. They will learn the importance of a good resume, correct interviewing techniques and the tools to help them have a successful professional career once they are hired.


What is a resume? What is its purpose? What can it do for you? After all it's just a piece of paper; or is it? In the following subtopics I will attempt to answer these questions along with interview techniques, and tips on follow-up. The resume subtopic will help you create the single most important piece of paper that you may ever create about yourself. It could mean the difference between getting the interview and being rejected because of something you did or did not include in your resume. The interview subtopic will attempt to give you the tools needed to have a successful interview that will lead to a job offer. The follow-up subtopic will give you tips on sending out thank-you letters after your interview.

Purpose of a Resume

What is the purpose of a resume, you may ask. Let's face it, "the number one purpose of a resume is to win an interview." "Your resume is your passport to the interview, the first impression you make and the most important document in your job search. It can open the doors to a successful career."

According to the head hunters, "Human resource managers spend an average of less than a minute scanning a resume. For this reason, your resume should stand out in a professional way and say to the reader that you deserve an interview."

Interviewing With Success

Your resume worked and the job search was successful, and now you have an interview. It could very well be the most important hour of your professional career. "The job interview is the precious period in which you are sized up by a powerful person who may well decide whether or not you get the position you want. You can prepare for the interview just as you do for many other tests and enhance your chances of winning an offer." "Concentrating on your five best strengths will help you focus during the interview and will make it easier for them to remember you. You can begin before the interview by identifying your five key strengths and matching them up with the job requirements. Once you've done that, determine ways to bring up these matches during the interview." It has been proven that "People who consistently succeed at interviews are those who take the time to prepare their own answers rather than simply using answers they have read or heard elsewhere, if you fail to establish rapport and trust, it is highly unlikely that you will get the jobВ—no matter how technically brilliant your answers are."

Tips for Follow-Up

Wonderful! Your resume worked, you've had the interview and now you wait anxiously by the phone. So what can you do to keep from driving yourself and you whole family nuts during this time? According to the experts you should send out thank you notes within 24 hours of the interview. "It enables you to sell yourself further by demonstrating your professionalism, your understanding of business procedures, your communications skills and your continued enthusiasm for the job. Prospective employers are looking for that spark, the energy indication that you really want this position." Remember to write to every executive that you meet. "If you interview with more than one person at a company, send each a customized thank-you, recommends Dean Fechner, senior manager, U.S. recruiting, at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc."

"Immediately after the interview, it is essential to write down particulars. Include the details of the job description as described by the interviewer; details regarding the company and department in which you would be working and any skills for which you felt the interviewer had a concern."


What does professional dress mean? For some it means a three piece suit, for some professional dress is casual and for others it could be jeans and a t-shirt. In Job hunting, first impressions are critical. Don't forget you are marketing a productВ—yourselfВ—to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you, is your attire. Appearance can mean the difference in getting or not getting a job offer.

Dressing for the Interview

"Well, your resume worked and now you have an appointment for the all important job interview. You have done your homework. You are confident that you can answer anything the interviewer throws at you. Finally the big day arrives and the final important choice must be made. What should you wear?" "Before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you are dressed." "Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is, of course, that you are judged. Throughout the entire job-seeking process employers use short-cutsВ—heuristics or rules of thumbВ–to save time. With cover letters it's the opening paragraph and a quick scan of your qualifications. With resumes, it is a quick scan of your accomplishments. With the job interview, it's how you're dressed that sets the tone of the interview."

Interview Dress Tips for Women

В• "Always wear a solid navy-blue or medium-to-dark-gray business suite, with a solid-white, long-sleeve, no-frills dress blouse; no dresses.

В• Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)

В• Wear low-heeled, conservative dress shoes that are color coordinated with you outfit.

В• No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead

В• If you wear nail polish use clear or a conservative color

В• Apply makeup sparingly and avoid unusual or bright colors (it should not be noticeable)

В• No more than one ring on each hand

В• If you wear earrings, wear small, conservative ones, and one set only

В• Minimal perfume or cologne"

Interview Dress Tips for Men

В• "Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern

В• Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best)

В• Dark socks (black is best)

В• Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews

В• No beards (unless you are interviewing for a job as a lumberjack!)

В• Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed

В• No rings other than wedding ring or college ring

В• No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out)"


What is business etiquette and what does it mean to you in your professional career? Business etiquette is made up of significantly more important things than knowing which fork to use at lunch with a client.

Benefits of Professional Etiquette

"As your career progresses, you develop skills which are respected and expectedВ—professional etiquette! Professional etiquette builds leadership, quality, business and careers. Without etiquette, you limit your potential, risk your image, and jeopardize relationships that are fundamental to business success." "People may feel that if you can't be trusted not to embarrass yourself in business and social situations, you may lack the self-control necessary to be good at what you do. Etiquette is about presenting yourself with the kind of polish that shows you can be taken seriously." "Proper business etiquette goes beyond using the right fork at lunch meeting; it is also about developing effective people skills. Here are several areas to consider:

В• A proper handshake: make eye contact and offer a warm, sincere smile. Wrap your hand around the other person's hand with a firm grip.

В• A man should stand when a woman comes to or leaves the table

В• Returning phone calls and e-mails: Respond within 24 hours, by the close of the next business day.

В• Voice mail messages: Always include your phone number, slowly reciting the digits.

"Little things don't mean a lot, they mean everything. Behaviors that go against kindness, logic and efficiency get in the way of good business and annoy people who will see you as less competent."

Basics of Office Etiquette

How does office etiquette differ from business etiquette? "Office etiquette is the set of written and unwritten rules of conduct that makes an office run smoothly. Office etiquette is different from Business Etiquette in that office etiquette usually applies to interacting with coworkers whereas Business Etiquette is for interacting with external contacts such as customers and suppliers." "The most important thing to remember is to be courteous and thoughtful to the people around you, regardless of the situation. Consider other people's feelings, stick to your convictions as diplomatically as possible. Apologize when you step on toes." The best advice I found is "When in doubt about the appropriateness of an action, ask yourself what it would be like if everyone behaved that way, and act accordingly."

Telephone Etiquette Skills

Have you ever stopped to think that "Whenever an employee answers a telephone, he or she represents the employer? To the person on the other end of the line, each of us represents Xyz Company. We may be the initial contact or only contact a person has with the company." Even if your office has a superb receptionist, there will be many times when you or other staff will answer the phone. Anyone who answers or uses the phone can maximize the telephone's powerful potential.

В• "Don't be too busy to be nice. Being busy does not give you carte blanche to be rude.

В• Answer the phone with the name of your company and your name.

В• Avoid, "emotional leakage." If you are in a bad mood take a deep breath and regain your professional composure before you pickup the phone.

В• SmileВ—this applies to everyone in the office

В• We are customers to each other. Treat internal calls as well as you do external calls."


So what is ethics and what does it have to do with your career? According to the dictionary ethics is one of the five major branches of philosophy, which attempts to understand the nature of morality, to distinguish that which is right from that which is wrong. Ethics in plan words means studying and analyzing right from wrong, good from bad.

Ethics in Business

"So what is business ethics? The concept has come to mean various things to various people, but generally it's coming to know what is right or wrong in the workplace and doing what's rightВ—this is in regard to effects of products/services and in relationships with stakeholders."

"Many people tend to equate ethics with their feelings. But being ethical is clearly not a matter of following one's feelings. A person following his or her feelings may recoil from doing what is right. In fact feelings frequently deviate from what is ethical." With this said who is responsible for being ethically? You are! It isn't the company, the business owner, or only your manager. It is every person in the company. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own actions, including being ethical. Considering the 3 R's will point you in the right direction. "The first "R" of business ethics is RESPECT. It is an attitude that must be applied to people, organizational resources and your environment. The second "R" of business ethics is RESPONSIBILITY. You have a responsibility to your customers, your co-workers, your organization and yourself. The third "R" of business ethics is RESULTS. Essential in attaining results is an understanding that the way results are attained are every bit as important if not more important than the ultimate goals."

Ethics for Internet

"The creation of global computer networks has given individuals the ability to communicate directly with each other, linking across national and international boundaries as easily as across the street." Ignoring the issue of ethical use of the internet won't make it go away. By devising and implementing acceptable use policies, schools, libraries and parents can deal with the situation before it becomes a problem. The internet on the other hand, knows no physical boundaries and also no moral or ethical boundaries. Anyone that gains access to the internet "Has the ability to post any kind of data, even it's false, inflammatory, pornographic or libelous. For the most part, there are no editors reviewing materials for the internet; no one is controlling the kind or quality of information that can be made available on the internet."



Brett, Pat, "Write Your Resume," in Resume Writing for Results, 2nd ed., (Belmont, California. Wadsworth Publishing Company,1993), 25

Michael Spiropoulos, Interviewing Skills That Win the Job: Simple Techniques for Answering All the Tough Questions (Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2005).


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Guidelines for Successful Interview Dress, http://www.collegegrad.com

Harvey, Jane. "Dressing for the Job Interview," CareerBuilder.com


"Know Your Product." Collegegrad.com. 25 Nov. 2005

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Telephone Etiquette: First Impressions Maximizing the Telephone's Powerful Potential, www.uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu

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Business Ethics Guidelines and Resources, George S May International Company

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Office Etiquette from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org

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