I don't know about you, but as a college student, I fear the future. With little to no professional experience right out of college, what are we supposed to do to be the best candidate? Hopefully, by the end of this post, you will learn tips and tricks to develop your professional skills and land the job before you even get your diploma—or shortly after.
How can we remain professional in a casual world? Professionalism is more important than ever in our fast-paced world, and sometimes I even ask myself how I can keep up.
In today's world, it can be difficult to remain professional with aspects of non-professionalism creeping into the workplace. From edgy memes to political banter in the office, it has become clear, now more so than ever, that maintaining professionalism is no longer just “wearing this or saying that.” Maybe it never has meant those things, but I digress. Presenting yourself as professionally as possible is paramount in landing your dream job and once you’ve landed the job, keeping it.
• When thinking of a professional a suit would seem synonymous, however, the world of the professional is not as simple as wearing a suit into the office every day. One would think that we need to spend a high dollar amount to look professional, however, that is completely untrue. The brand does not matter so much as the matching of your peers. There are plenty of affordable brands out there that can have you looking professional in no time at all.
• Try to match the clothes you're wearing on a daily basis. This can also tie back into the previous point of budgeting. If you’re on a limited budget perhaps stick to neutral colors that can be mixed and matched for a variety of outfits with only a limited number of options. For men remember your belt should match your shoes. Also, avoid white socks and black shoes if possible.
• Dressing the part is just as important when going through the motions of an interview process. Just think of it as another way you could possibly separate yourself. Just think perhaps maybe the other candidates had a more impressive college G.P.A, but your professional tone and dress could be the difference in making a unique first impression. For more tips on dressing the part check out this OFJS article: The Difference Between Business Casual and Business Professional for Men.
• Starting the morning off right is a great way to begin your day as professionally as possible. Try to get a light 15-minute wake-up period before you get into working even if you’re working from home. Also, try to start your day off with a solid and healthy breakfast to keep your energy level high.
• If you’re feeling overwhelmed from work try taking meditative breaks, especially if you’re working from home. These breaks can help you alleviate the daily stresses of working all day long. It is important for a professional to get breaks!
• The importance of sleep cannot be understated. The better rested you are, the better you will likely produce in your career. 8 hours of sleep is obviously the optimum amount, but 7 hours can help take you to the next level.
• It is important to remember when using email in the workplace you’re not texting a friend. This is your place of work, so it is important to communicate in emails in an effective and professional manner. Things that may seem obvious in hindsight are often neglected in professional email mistakes. Make sure to send it to the right person for example. There are many fantastic resources on writing professionally on ourfirstjobsearch.com, but this article really stuck out to me: 8 Tips to Take Your Emails to The Next Level.
• Try to have a professional contact page like LinkedIn for yourself as a way for potential employers and clients to reach you. There are many fantastic resources for building a LinkedIn profile on the ourfirstjobsearch.com site but one stuck out to me in particular: Tips For Creating A Professional LinkedIn Profile.
When Things Don’t Go as Planned
The interview for the perfect job did not end well. Let’s make the next perfect offer your last with these interview tips. It is important to remember that interviews aren’t just a chance to figure out if you are a good fit for a company, but a chance for you to find out if the company is a good fit for you.