Moving from Graduation Stage to Gainful Employment

by Joe Lavelle on June 5, 2012

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‘Tis the season for graduations.  Across the country, around two million men and women are donning their caps and gowns, filing into crowded auditoriums and football stadiums, and marking the transition from a life of being a student to (hopefully) a member of our country’s work force.  Maybe you have attended one or more of these ceremonies this month and I hope, for your sake, that you were not sitting next to the inevitable guy with the airhorn.

As these new graduates navigate their way through the job-seeking process, there are some common pitfalls that trap their peers that they would be wise to avoid.

In a recent article posted by Eve Tahmincioglu, who has her own career blog at, she shares a study done by The Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania.  As part of the research, human resource managers reported the most common mistakes by graduates are inappropriate interview attire and being late for the interview.

While you may have gotten away with wearing your pajamas to that 8:00am class every week, it’s time to invest in a business suit now that the time has come to meet your potential boss.  First impressions are critical and you may blow you chance at consideration before you even say a word if you aren’t dressed the part.  But, even the best designer suit with the perfect power tie will not help if you walk through the door late.  Don’t just be on time, be early.  To do otherwise shows a lack of respect and sends the message that you do not value the other person’s time.

The writer goes on to share some other important tips for those entering the job market.  For example, leave your parents out of the process.  They should not be making phone calls for you or negotiating your salary.  And, those pictures on Facebook from your wild spring break trip to Florida?  Take them down.

If you have the opportunity to hire people at part of your job, what are some of the mistakes you see being made by recent college graduates?  Or, on the other hand, what have you seen from this class of students that has really impressed you?

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