I met with a recent college graduate last week who was looking for a job. He wanted to meet and discuss whether I knew of any openings. His resume was fair, he had no real world experience and is as freshly scrubbed as one can be. But all of that went away when we sat down and talked. He was personable, polite and eager. He didn’t have any pretense. I gave him several names of people who would be willing to sit down, meet him and assist him in his search. I knew he would find something. That afternoon he e-mailed me to thank me for my time and to tell me that as he left my office he received a call from a firm he had recently interviewed with and was offered a job.
His e-mail was as kind and sincere an e-mail I have ever received. He used his personality and social awareness to overcome his thin resume. He is proof of my long held belief that I would rather hire a high school graduate with a sparkling personality than a PhD who is a jerk.
One thing he mentioned in his e-mail that struck me as particularly aware. He told me that he is still going to follow up with the people I referred. Smart.
Free advice to recent college graduates. Ask for help and thank those who give it to you. In fact one of the first things you should do is buy some stationery to use for “thank you” notes. It’s free and people will remember you for it. I promise.