Workplace Tips for New Graduates

Congratulations! You have accomplished something you worked long and hard for — You graduated!

graduate-happyYou have your degree, and no one can take it away from you. Earning a degree is an achievement that you should be proud of.

Now that school is behind you (for now …), it’s time to look to look for a paid internship or entry-level job in your field.  Are you ready for the workplace? Continue reading


Get Your GED For Free in Minnesota

Graduation cap and diplomaThe General Educational Development (GED) is a high school diploma equivalent that has lifelong benefits that include helping Minnesota WorkForce Center customers and other job seekers to be eligible for better, higher-paying jobs or start a pathway to a new career.

The GED tests usually cost $120. Now through the end of June 2016, GED testing is available at no cost to eligible Minnesotans. Check out the links below for more information:

MN Department of Education link with information about the free GED

Minnesota Public Radio news blog

Q&A: Job Or Grad School?

If you have a job search question, contact DeniseMpls on Facebook.


I read your blog and want advice from you.

youngmenI graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in finance. I do not have any work experience. I am thinking of doing a Master’s program in finance, which starts this fall.

I am confused if I should get my Master’s now, or should I wait and look for work? Will it be appropriate to do a Master’s program without any job experience?

Could you please help me out, as I am confused and unable to make a decision.

If your goal is to find work in finance, then apply for jobs now. If your goal is to get an advanced degree, then go back to school.

As long as a job candidate has the minimum education requirements (a bachelor’s degree, for example), it is better to get some type of work experience instead of immediately entering a graduate program.

Employers want to hire people who have demonstrated they know how to do the work in real-world settings, not just showing academic experience.

If you are still not sure about your choice, talk to people currently working in finance. Do an informational interview with one or a few professionals in your career area to find out what skills and education employers expect from entry-level workers.

When you are ready to create your resume or portfolio, show the skills and experience that demonstrate you know how to do the work.

Emphasize your:

  • skills gained in part time or summer jobs
  • internships
  • class projects based on real-world scenarios
  • volunteer experience
  • any leadership positions

You also want to highlight any situations where you used skills related to your career field. For example, did you serve as treasurer for a student club?

Still not sure? Here are a few other blog articles I wrote on the topic:

Keep looking up,

4 Career Starters for College Students

It doesn’t matter if you are still in school, unemployed, in a job you hate, or like the job you have. Everyone can do simple things to help them earn more money, find stable employment, or be happier in their job.

November is National Career Development Month, which is a great time to plan your next career move. What have you done this month to increase your network, build your skills, or prep for a job search?

USA Today: College listed 25 ways to get ahead. Check out this article for good tips to start or advance your career. A few activities writer Billie Streufert recommends:

  • Enrich your network. Join LinkedIn or update your profile. Reconnect with your previous supervisors. Staying in touch will help you secure future references, and maintaining those relationships will potentially provide job leads.
  • Complete a career inventory to identify the top occupations that match your interests. Speak with your college career center to learn more about these resources.
  • Talk with friends and family about their own professional journey. Inquire about the process they utilized to select their careers and achieve their goals. You might be surprised to discover a shared experience or a helpful technique.
  • Volunteer. You’ll not only give back to the community, but you will also gain valuable job skills and confirm your career interests.

To see all of Streufert’s tips, read November is National Career Development Month: Here are 25 ways to get ahead.

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