Advice to 2013 Grads from HR [Video Bonus!]

Tim Sackett Candidate Pool, Coaching, College Recruiting, Generations, Good HR, HR, Interviewing, Job Market, Job Seeker Advice, Leadership, Onboarding, Performance, Personal Brand, Recruiting, Resumes, SHRM, Sourcing, Tim Sackett, Trench HR

It’s that time of year when college and universities around the world will release onto us the great minds of the 2013 graduate class.  This always makes me think of the popular advice – Wear Sunscreen:

While this advice might be from 1999 – it still rings true today – but like everything else in the world this can be added to and expanded.  Here are my additions to the advice above for the 2013 grads from an HR Pro – listen up:

– Don’t buy into the fact that a paper resume is no longer needed.  Most people who are making hiring decisions are old – they like paper to hold onto while they asked you pointless questions that will tell them nothing about what you can do as an entry level candidate, it makes them feel comfortable.  White paper and black ink – don’t get creative – old people don’t like creative.

– Have a story when interviewing.  In almost every single interview process you’ll get a moment to tell your story.  People will hire your story, not your skills – because you don’t have any skills, but you might have a story.

– Over dress for your interview.  While you might feel out of place to their business casual, it shows people that you care about your appearance and that you’re trying to get this job.  They’ll laugh about you after, but they also appreciate the effort.  Don’t wear your Dad’s suit – that’s tacky – unless your Dad has extraordinary taste and wears your size.

– Don’t go to work if you’re not ready to go to work.  You can be young and poor only once in your life.  Then you get older.  Being older and poor, sucks.  Being young and poor is like being in college without classes.

– Big companies are cool for your resume, but do very little to teach you anything about running a business.  A small company will let you do more than you should.  Both experiences are valuable – don’t think one is more important than the other.  Too many new grads think big firm experience is key to success and crap on smaller companies – those people miss out and what it really takes to be an executive in the future.

–  If someone at your first job offers you a chance to get together after work as friends (drinks, softball, coffee, movie, etc.), do it – unless they’re creepy.  Having strong work relationships will move you forward in your career faster than your skills will.

–  Learn how to drink in moderation.  You’re not in college anymore and when you drink with work associates you need to be able to have a drink or two and be good.  Don’t become the office story about what not to do.  If you do by chance do this – find another job – you will never outlive this story.

– Don’t be the weird person in your office.  How do you know if you’re the weird person?  Do others invite you to lunch, or do you invite yourself?  Do people stop by your cube, or are you always stopping by everyone’s cube?  Corporate success depends on your ability to fit into the culture.  Companies like inclusion, as long as you fit into the ‘inclusion’ they’ve decided for their organization.

Good Luck 2013 Grads!

Tim Sackett
If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.