How to Proceed After Getting Your Degree

August 18, 2014
Congratulations, you’ve graduated!  Now is the time to really start focusing on starting a career.  Though entering the job seeking arena straight out of college can be intimidating, there are many steps you can take to help you stand out and find a great position.  Here are our tips for recent grads seeking to take that first step.

Focus on Presentation
Hopefully you took full advantage of being permitted to wear sweatpants and t-shirts to class for four or more years.  But now that you are looking for a job, it’s time to start working on your professional image. Before you begin applying for positions, make sure you have work-appropriate clothing ready for your interviews.  Some companies may mention their dress code policies before your interview so that you come dressed accordingly. Otherwise, you will need to have some basic, professional staples in your wardrobe to mix and match.  Of course, your presentation doesn’t stop there.  Often your online identity factors into your presentation just as much as your interview attire. Before you start applying, go through your public profiles and make sure they are squeaky clean for your future employers to peruse. Check out your facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles and eliminate anything that reflects badly on your professional persona.  You may even be interested in building an online portfolio that includes writing samples, information about your academic career, your resume, and links to your social media. Providing all of this information in a centralized, online location will help you stand out as a thoughtful, organized and tech savvy candidate.  And it may give the edge you need when competing against more experienced job seekers.

Customize Everything
Now that you have graduated, you probably have a few more achievements to include on your resume beyond part-time work.  If you have a limited work history, make sure you include your most impressive achievements from college.  Listing your degree, GPA, and related coursework will be helpful in giving your future employers an idea of how capable you are.  Create a general resume to use as a starting point for each resume you send out, but make custom changes tailored to each desired position. Research the company and pay close attention to the job description and requirements. Some positions may require more technical aptitude, so you should edit your resume to reflect your technical skills at the top of your list of skill sets. Other positions may require a proven history of great work ethic.  For these types of positions, be sure to include any information about clubs or volunteer work along with your work history to prove that you go above and beyond.  Cover letters should be customized as well, expressing your interest in the specific position and showing that you have taken time to research the company.

Stay Connected
The connections you make in college can sometimes be just as useful in your job search as your degree.  Stay in touch with the people who will give you a good reference down the line.   Make sure you ask for letters of recommendation now while your specific experiences with professors and mentors are still fresh in their minds. And don’t forget to set up that LinkedIn profile so you can continue networking throughout your job search.  A great recommendation can go a long way in the hiring process.

Make Goals
Unfortunately, your degree isn’t a magic ticket to immediately working your dream job.  You will most-likely need to start from the bottom in your field and work your way up. But remember to keep that end goal in sight. Continue to think about where you want to be and how you plan to get there.  The sooner you understand the next step in your career, the sooner you can start working towards it.  Understanding your goals is also an important aspect in navigating the interview process.  Many interviewers will ask you specifically about your professional goals with questions like: “Where do you see yourself in one year? Five years? Ten years?”  Make sure you know the answers.

Continue Learning
Your education isn’t over now that you’ve earned your degree.  It’s always important to keep adding to the skills that make you a desirable employee.  Don’t be idle; spend your down time while job searching to volunteer or intern for programs in your field.  You can also look into learning some general skills that are appreciated by most employers such as learning a new language or mastering commonly used computer programs.  While checking out the job market, you might find that a master’s degree or specialized certification will be necessary for obtaining your dream position, so why not start now?  That extra time and effort you spend will not only allow you to develop more marketable abilities, but will also prove that you are active in pursuing new challenges.

Be Flexible
Freedom is an asset.  If you don’t have any personal commitments keeping you from relocating or taking an unconventional schedule, keep an open mind about what you are offered.  Accepting these types of positions allow you to get your foot in the door and create a foundation for working upward within a company.  Temping is also a great option for kick-starting your career. Temporary agencies like Watson Dwyer allow you to test the waters in various positions in order to find the perfect fit.  And in the mean time you are given the opportunity to gain experience and learn new skills.  Our recruiters have solid relationships with their clients and are trusted to provide skillful candidates for open positions.  By meeting with a recruiter and talking with them about your history and employment needs, you are giving a skilled professional the tools they need to find the right position for you.  If you are interested in finding work through Watson Dwyer, you can apply online here:

Being a considerate Coworker

April 11, 2014

Most workers put a lot of thought and consideration into making sure clients, customers and vendors are pleased.  While being attentive to the needs of your external professional network is important, don’t forget to reserve some thoughtfulness for the people you share an office with every day.   Here are some tips to help you become a more considerate coworker:

Respect personal space.

It takes time to learn the personal boundaries of all of your coworkers, so show some courtesy by knoc...

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Tell Me About Yourself: The Dos and Don’ts

March 5, 2014

“So, tell me about yourself.”
After saying hello, shaking hands and maybe exchanging a few comments about the weather, you may be faced with this intimidating imperative sentence.  Sure, you know exactly what to say when someone asks you how long you were at your last job or what you studied in school, but this open-ended interview starter might leave you struggling for the right words.  Here are some basic dos and don’ts to help you navigate this crucial first impression.

Do include pe...

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3 Tips for Following Up after an Interview

February 24, 2014

You nailed the interview. Now all that’s left to do is seal the deal with a thank you note. Having proper follow up after a job interview is as imperative as the interview itself. How you follow up can signal to the interviewer just as much as your formal interview. While playing the waiting game can be an unnerving task, you must remain patient while awaiting a response. Below are some of Watson Dwyer’s tips on how to follow up after an interview.  

Write It  

After the conclusion of your ...

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Success Story: Matthew

February 6, 2014
Finding a new job can be a job in itself; nonetheless, finding the right job, can be an even more daunting task. That’s where Watson Dwyer comes in. Recently, Watson Dwyer’s Recruiting Coordinator, Alyssa Johnson, sat down with Matthew, to discuss his experience using Watson Dwyer to land his current job.

Alyssa: What prompted you to begin your job search?

Matthew: I started looking because the company I was working at was restructuring.  I had been doing Human Resources with this co...

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New Year, New You

January 17, 2014
4 Tips for Managing Your Online Identity  

As we step into a new year, it imperative that we lead with our best foot. One of the best ways we can take off is to start with our online presence. The internet is a powerful tool that can either add or detract from us. Who we are online is a part of our personal brand. A resume and online reputation fit together, such as foot and shoe do. Below are some quick tips to help manage and maximize your online identity in 2014.

1.    Google Yourself ...

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How To Party In the Office

December 27, 2013
The holidays are more than gift giving and sipping champagne, but about connecting with family, friends and coworkers.  Here are some helpful Do’s and Don’ts for any office party that you are thinking about hosting or attending for this or next holiday season.

DO: Establish a dress code

It may seem overly simple, and overly obvious, but establishing a dress code can help alleviate several mishaps. Depending upon the venue, a dress code will allow party attendees to feel comfortable in ...

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Tips for an Ecofriendly Office Move

November 22, 2013

We moved! As of last Thursday Watson Dwyer is happy to call suite 1300 our new home. The Watson Dwyer team settled into the new office last Friday. Overall the transition into our new suite ran smoothly and the team has been happily acclimating. Below are a few tips that the WD team found helpful before, during, and after the move.

Early Planning
Our move-in date was scheduled on a Thursday evening and we finished settling in on Friday; thus, allowing us to be fully operational on Monday mornin...

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4 Tips for Managing Work-Related Stress

November 1, 2013

Are you stressed out at work? More importantly, does your work stress creep into your life outside of work? You are definitely not alone. Most jobs come with some degree of stress, but the key is to find and utilize the right tools to manage your stress so you can get on with business and enjoy your life.

Here are four tips to keep your work stress from taking over:

1.    Keep it in perspective

To remember the bigger picture and keep your stress in perspective, keep track of successes and reco...

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5 Ways to Stay Organized During Your Job Search

October 24, 2013

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.’”

–Oprah Winfrey

When you’re on the hunt for your next great opportunity, it can feel like landing a job interview can rely so much on serendipity – meeting the right person at the exact right moment, running across a perfect posting while searching for something completely unrelated, or randomly running into an old friend who gives ...

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