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How to be career-ready: 5 tips for new graduates hitting the job market

Male shaking hands with his new employer

As your graduation approaches and your job search ramps up, you are likely preparing for your job search. Your attention will soon turn to fine-tuning your next steps: polishing your job market communications, expanding your networking, searching for openings and honing your messaging. 

Here are 5 specific steps that Harriette Royer, the Warner School's career services professional, encourages you to invest in to accelerate your transition: 

  1. Grow your professional network. Networking is one of the most important first steps. Network both in person and online. Get to know potential colleagues in your field. Cultivate friendships. Explore collaborations and shared interests. Grow and expand your circle by using virtual collaboration tools such as the University’s Meliora Collective and the Warner School’s LinkedIn page to connect with alumni, recruiters, peers, faculty, staff, and friends.
  2. Research your field.  Invest the time to research prospective employers and interviewers. Doing your research before you write a cover letter or accept an interview makes you a more informed —  and compelling — candidate. 
  3. Weave in storytelling. Throughout the career search process — from your resume and cover letter to your interview — you will have to tell stories about yourself and your experiences. The key to effective storytelling is claiming your core messages and promoting them consistently throughout your job search process. 
  4. Hone your communication skills. Quality communications — oral, written and listening — are important in understanding questions and conveying your ideas in a clear, concise manner. 
  5. Access resources. Take advantage of the Warner School's and University of Rochester's rich human and digital resources to complement your network resources. Faculty members, peers, site supervisors, the Career Service Office, and career mentors can provide encouragement, advice and guidance on navigating your specific field. Additionally, they may know of a position opening or connect you to a colleague with an opportunity. 

Bonus Tip: Career Services support offered at Warner does not end once your diploma is awarded. As an alum, you can tap into the Warner School’s Career Services support post-graduation. Whether it’s a resume/CV/cover letter review, interview strategy or offer negotiation, connect with Harriette Royer for a 1:1 consultation at