This is the concise form of Panel Discussion with Young Alumni in the Second Career Perspectives and Networking Conference, held in University at Buffalo, 04/08/2016.
Things to look out for in your first job >
Believe in yourself.
Estimate what are the skills that you have.
Most places will train you.
Most jobs try to know how is your thinking and approach for a problem.
Once you are in a job , or offered a job, Identify where you are in. Is it truly where you want to be.
Always assess the potential ability to learn or earn money. Take a step back and try to understand.
Grab the opportunity that you really want. Then there is no stress attached to it and you will enjoy your career path.
There is no way to know everything you have to do. Do not be afraid to fail. Take your experience as learning steps. Make sure you learn continuously, learn from your job.
Do not be afraid to learn on superiors. There may be questions about priority. Feel free to say no. When you are in doubt don’t be afraid to get the authority with higher vision to set priority for you.
Having too many deadlines and projects with low completion rate is not the kind of reputation that you want to carry with you. Make sure you get the right people to contribute to your work.
Make sure you add education and skills to your profile from every professional experience you get.
What happens when you are searching for a job >
If you have the talent that company is looking for then you have the ball in your court, don’t be afraid to leverage on that.
Evolve yourself into something social.
Resume gets you to door. Conversation keeps you in the room.
Thinks that you talk about in interview >
Networking is huge. Network as much as you can. Every person you meet puts you in a larger web where you can reach out to anyone in it.
What you bring to the table is crucial. Pitching your part is important. Practice your 30 seconds pitch.
Demonstrate aptitude and passion in interviews.
Companies look for not young but young minded people.
Take control and ownership of assigned task. Find time and drive it forward. If there is a bad employee in your team, good employees will be sick of that one bad employee. Learn to work with all kinds of people. And come up with solutions that your business needs. Interpersonal skills are often big in working.
Tell a story about your passion based on your resume. Resume is your roadmap. Expand on your resume.
Communication skills need to be demonstrated in the interview conversation. It cannot really come out of your resume. How do you communicate about your passion about something you have done? May be you talk loud, or express it. Whatever it is. if you are truly passionate about it then you love what you are going to talk about.
Just show it. Be that guy!
Put hobbies that are really interesting.
Research about your company. You cannot send the same resume to 30 different company. Make connections through resume and then try to show your passion by building on the story from resume.
On Cover Letter
Cover Letter should be very focused to the company. Not the things that you would like to put as hobbies.
Most of the panelists did not have cover letter but the resume had a hook to sell the self.
You are trying to put a price on your labour. Check out some websites. If it is your first job, then you probably do not want to negotiate too much. If you are bringing lot of skills that they need then you can leverage on that, because you have room for expansion. Education is things that you retain, bring to your job and develop yourself. So, have an honest conversation with the HR.
Salary negotiation is very difficult. Larger companies usually offer less.
Too many companies rely on salary.com and glassdoor.com. But there is a difference. So it is a tough negotiation. If you truly like the job, then may be you can ask for the number you have in head.
Negotiate on graduate school reimbursement, vacation, phone bill reimbursement. All these ancillary things could be negotiated.
Have a number in head.
Give them that.
Be able to back up your number. By telling them here is what I make, here is the cost of living adjustment. They know that you are being honest, when you can justify and give your number.
“I don’t want to be looking for a job for a long time” is a tactical way to negotiate on salary.
It is difficult to know your value. But you should know what you are worth.
In today’s world health insurance is huge. So, see if the company offers good health insurance coverage which could be as beneficial compared to another offer with lower insurance coverage but higher salary.
PS: Thanks to Amit Narayanan for inspiration