If you’ve recently graduated from college, you’re no stranger to advice. From friends and relatives to professors and advisors, everyone has an opinion on how you should go about venturing into the working world and finding your first job. It’s a lot to take in, and not all suggestions are created equal.
But the three outlined by Adobe SVP of people and places Donna Morris in a recent Fortune post titled “3 Tips for Graduates Looking to Land Their First Job” are well worth considering. While Morris admits that things have changed a lot since she graduated from Carleton University in the ’80s, she says certain skills stand the test of time. One is the ability to “show diligence and intellectual curiosity.” In other words, “do your homework” before going in for a job interview and ask questions that prove you’ve thought a lot about the work, the company, and the industry.
“I’m always impressed by candidates who have a thoughtful point of view and are eager to learn more,” Morris writes.
Her next tip is an especially good one for new grads lacking professional experience: “Demonstrate your work ethic.” This doesn’t mean trying to explain why a recent summer gig lifeguarding or flipping burgers qualifies you for, say, the entry-level sales job you’re now seeking. Instead, talk about “the breadth of activities you juggled successfully in college.” Did you play a sport, work a part-time job, and volunteer? Show how multi-dimensional you are by proving that you can manage your time effectively and prioritize when necessary.
Lastly, Morris urges new grads to “be open to the unexpected.” You may have an end goal in mind, but there’s no single path to get there. By allowing for detours and considering opportunities that aren’t “exactly what you imagined,” you just might find the job of your dreams.