Think of this as your self help guide to getting your professional life together. The landscape of the workforce has shifted dramatically, which for someone like me entering the market can cause some stress. Long gone are the days when the majority of the employees stay with one employer for their entire career. Even with life's chaotic moments, there's no excuse on letting your professional life slip. Investing in yourself, especially when it comes to furthering your professional life, is incredibly important whether you're a student, a recent grad, or already part of the workforce. I've listed some of my favorite tips to keeping my professionally life in order. I hope they help you too!
Invest in a Power Suit
Your first impression counts as much during your interview as it does during a date. I find it extremely beneficial to have a go-to professional outfit ready to go when you land an interview. Mine is comprised of three categories- a three piece suit (blazer, blouse, and pants), accessories (nice shoes, simply jewelry), and a professional bag that is large enough to hold copies of your resumes. If you want some examples for what to wear to any kind of interview or meeting, check out my post here.
Create a Killer Cover Letter and Your Memorize Your Elevator Pitch
While cover letters aren't a necessity for every job, they can help you stand out by communicating your skills for a specific role. Keep it short and sweet, and always send it with your resume to back your credentials. This could take maybe 30 minutes but can help your chances in standing out to a hiring manager or recruiter.
That being said, being able to communicate what you offer doesn't stop on paper. You should be able to communicate what you do and what you're looking for in less than a minute. Keep these ideas in mind when creating yours:
Keep it brief
Explain your skill set
Mention your goals
Hand out your business card or resume
Here's an example of an elevator pitch:
"Hi, I'm Madeline Sepcic and I'm graduating in May 2019 with a degree in logistics and supply chain management. I've completed two internships and most recently helped L'Oreal over the summer by creating transportation consolidation solutions through my analyses. My efforts in inventory distribution were even discussed with one of L'Oreal's largest customers. Now, I'm looking to begin my career in Dallas with a company that I can continue delivering efficient solutions. Here's my resume, I'd love to be considered for a supply chain position with your company."
Get a Professional Headshot
This goes back to first impressions. Having a professional headshot makes your LinkedIn profile look complete. You don't need to spend a bunch of money on this either. All you need is a simple background, a suit, good lighting, and a smile. Speaking of first impressions, make sure your email address is professional.
Go to Office Hours or Network With Your Company
Take advantage of your network by expanding it through your college or within your company. Professors are excellent resources for references for jobs and often have worked for companies within their class's industry. If you’re already working, keep in mind that the business world is smaller than you think. Stay connected through LinkedIn, coworkers are great for reccommendations and referrals.
I hope that you found these tips helpful. Good luck!