Job Seeker Tips & Hiring Advice from the Pros

Whether you’re an employer looking to hire or a job seeker searching for the perfect fit, Whitman Associates, Inc. can help meet your needs. We’re experts at connecting quality candidates to employers in a variety of industries, and we have tons of advice and guidance to help you during the job search or staffing process. Explore by category to find job seeker tips, management direction, hiring advice, staffing recommendations and more.

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Resume Writing Tips and Tricks

Your resume should evolve as frequently as your career does, so you should constantly be improving and editing it while on the job hunt. To help, here are some of our top resume writing tips to keep in mind when you next update your resume.

Resume Writing Tips

Contact Information

Our top resume writing tip may seem like a no-brainer, but ALWAYS include your contact information on your resume. An email address and phone number at minimum are a must on your resume. Feel free to include the address to your LinkedIn profile if you use LinkedIn regularly. You don’t need to include your full address on your resume, but it can be helpful to list your city so that hiring managers know you are in the area. By omitting contact information when building your resume, you are inadvertently making yourself inaccessible to employers and recruiters that you want to hear back from.

In the same vein, your phone number should be on your resume, so be sure that your voicemail is set up and that you can receive messages. While you may not leave voicemails yourself, hiring managers will. When employers receive the “mailbox not set up” or “mailbox is full” this signals to them that you don’t really care if you find work or not. Also, be sure to check any message that’s left before returning the call, they may have given you information or instructions in the voicemail, by not listening to it you’re making them repeat themselves, and indicating that perhaps you don’t follow instructions.

Formatting Tips

Another tip is to send a Word document or PDF version of your resume if possible. Employers will most likely not be able to open a resume if it’s sent as a Google Doc, and Google Docs makes it super easy to download your resume in multiple different file formats. Also, don’t send a jpeg or photo of your resume, you should have an electronic copy that you can email.

Gmail Dashboard

Additional tips are to keep your font consistent. Don’t use more than two fonts maximum, and keep their usage consistent throughout, ie. one font for headings and another for the body. More fonts than that can be distracting and perhaps unprofessional. Additionally, it is best to write out your resume, and not to send out an Indeed or LinkedIn style prefilled resume. These inevitably have formatting issues when they are transmitting or emailed outside of those platforms. Also, this tells your potential employer that you did not spend much time on your resume.

Our last resume formatting tip is not to worry if your resume is longer than one page. The “one-page resume” rule is antiquated, if you’ve held a number of jobs, a two page resume is perfectly fine. If your resume exceeds three pages, you likely have information on there that is not relevant to the role that you are applying for, and can actually end up hiding the skills and experiences you are trying to highlight.

Employment History and Education

When building your resume, organize the responsibilities within your job descriptions in order of importance and significance. If managing your company’s social media pages was your biggest responsibility, list that first. If you only spent about 5% of your time answering phones, list that last. You want to make sure that the employer can quickly understand the functions of your previous roles and the work you did there.

Along with each job title, be sure to list your months of employment along with the years. Employers want to be able to easily comprehend your work history and spot any employment gaps on your resume. If you don’t list the months, they might think you are trying to hide something, or assume a gap in your resume where there wasn’t one.

Another tip is to remember to include the company name, and location of that company, along with your job title on your resume. You might have worked for a chain, such as CVS or Starbucks, or alternatively, you could have worked for a small company in your hometown. The location provides important contextual information about your job.

With that said, it’s also critical to list the location of where you received your degree(s). Whenever you list a degree on your resume, be sure to include the name and location of the institution where you received that degree.

Send out your resume!

Of course, the whole point of sharing these resume tips and tricks is to ensure you are building a quality resume that will help you secure a job. At Whitman Associates, we see hundreds of resumes a week, and want to share our tips with you. We work with many job seekers, some looking for temp opportunities to get their foot in the door, and others that are looking for their next permanent role. To get started on the search for your next role, send your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com.

4 Ways to Learn QuickBooks Online

Looking for a job in accounting? Then you’re probably going to need QuickBooks. Whether you’re already well-versed in accounting or you’re just starting out, it makes sense to know how to use the most popular bookkeeping software. The good news is that you can learn QuickBooks bookkeeping online—without needing a specialized degree.

Tax withholding form and a coffee cup

Why is QuickBooks Important?

Before jumping into the details of how to learn QuickBooks online, it’s important to recognize why it’s advantageous to do so. The numbers tell the story: QuickBooks has 30 years of experience at the top of the industry with millions of businesses relying on the software. When you learn QuickBooks bookkeeping, you’re plugging into a massive network of accountants, small businesses, and individuals. 

Demonstrating a good understanding of QuickBooks is likely both the easiest and the best way to establish yourself as a knowledgeable prospective or current accountant. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get work as an accountant, but don’t know how to use QuickBooks, your job-seeking experience may be a long road. Now that you understand why QuickBooks is important, let’s go over four principles for how to learn QuickBooks online.

#1: Do Your Own Accounting with QuickBooks

The fastest way to learn QuickBooks is to use it! Explore the different functionalities of this important online tool with your own accounting needs. You can use QuickBooks to organize, prepare, and file your own personal tax returns. Especially if you do some odd jobs or freelance work on the side, you can discover many of the intuitive and useful features of QuickBooks on your own.

QuickBooks offers a free trial online, so even if you don’t plan to use it long-term for your personal accounting, you can give yourself a quick crash course. Practice makes perfect, and it’s best to jump in as soon as possible.

#2: Use the Provided Help Resources

Another great way to learn QuickBooks is to use the resources available directly from the source. Intuit, the parent company for QuickBooks, provides a variety of help resources that are accessible for you as a prospective or active user of the software. Inuit recognizes that many people look for how to learn QuickBooks online, so they provide that service as information that is easy to find. 

All QuickBooks online plans include a network of dedicated support, with expert agents that can help. QuickBooks Online for accountants includes advisory training with self-paced lessons. You’ll find plenty of help in a huge library of resources and webinars.

#3: Follow Online Tutorials

Intuit’s bookkeeping resources are great, but you may also find it helpful to get outside support. There are a variety of free or low-cost online tutorials available covering everything from basic onboarding to advanced nuances of QuickBooks. You can find the right fit for you with some quick Internet searches. Check out options like Udemy, Simon Sez IT, Fit Small Business, and more. You may prefer a service that walks you through step by step or one that provides you with learning you can complete on an as-needed basis at your own pace.

There are plenty of online tutorials and guides covering how to learn QuickBooks that do have a higher cost attached, which you are welcome to pursue if you find that level of support necessary. However, with so many resources available that have no or only a small cost, make sure you really need the extra layer before committing to the higher price tag.

#4: Watch Example Videos 

Not everyone learns best by reading. Especially if you’re having trouble understanding a help article, you can search on YouTube to likely find an explainer. Hector Garcia and BookkeepingMaster are two of the most popular and well-recognized YouTube channel sources for this type of service.

Seeing people use QuickBooks in action is a valuable exercise for you to engage in as you learn QuickBooks bookkeeping. Watching the specific tactics used to get through a challenge will help you apply not just those strategies but also that type of thinking to your own bookkeeping practices. Soon, someone will ask you how to learn QuickBooks!

Man using a calculator

Get Started with Whitman Associates

Of course, the whole reason you learn QuickBooks is to land a job. You don’t have to have Quickbooks mastered to jumpstart your work in accounting or an accounting-related field. Find temp opportunities that will get your foot in the door. Send your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com for the next step in your career journey.

Professional Networking on Social Media

Is Your Personal Account Really Separate from Your Professional Life?

It’s no secret that we live in the digital age. Well over half of the global population has a presence on social media, but many people believe that using social media professionally is totally separate from scrolling through your personal feed at home. For serious job seekers, though, social media for professional networking intersects with personal usage all the time.

A phone screen showing a few social media apps

Searchable Social Media Presence(s)

Even when you have your personal account set to private, certain pieces of data are still viewable. This includes your profile picture, how many posts you have, and how many accounts you follow. You—and potential employers—can tell a lot from a simple search.

In an article well before the pandemic, Forbes explained that “social media is a key player in the job search process today,” and “more than a third of all employers utilize these sites in their hiring process.” We can expect percentages to be much higher now, as employers and job seekers alike have grown more used to conducting business online and using social media professionally. The application of social media for professional networking is a common, even expected, facet of the workforce.

Employers commonly browse the social media of prospective employees, evaluating character and personality. This includes aspects such as whether the job seeker:

  • Maintains a standard of professionalism, including politeness and respect. For instance, a hiring manager may rule out a candidate if they see them make derogatory comments on Twitter. It’s best to always keep in mind that your social media is for professional networking, even when you think it’s a personal rant.
  • Seems like a good fit for the company culture. Companies often use social media as a tool for evaluating candidates’ behavior and preferences.
  • Has the qualifications appropriate for the position. Resume truth distortion is usually easy to spot through a quick social media search. Your presence on social media typically represents your actual employment and education history.
  • Demonstrates a genuine interest in and passion for their field. For example, a publishing company looking to hire a new marketing specialist will probably love seeing a candidate who has a clearly cultivated presence on Instagram where they review books.
A smiling woman seated at a table holding a notebook

Be The Best Version of Yourself

When considering your personal and professional social media, it’s most important to still be yourself online. When you try too hard to use social media professionally, perhaps liking every post from your dream employer, you may end up coming across as inauthentic.
Posting personal updates and pictures shows off your personality, but it’s best to consider a broad audience. The “Grandma Rule” is a good principle. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, don’t post it. Even if you have separate accounts, you probably have friends and family members following your professional account, or colleagues and classmates following your personal account. It’s best to assume that your coworkers will see your posts to err on the side of safety and professionalism.

The Connectivity of Social Media

It’s called social media for a reason. It’s fun to browse on TikTok or scroll through an Instagram feed, but even these platforms aren’t just or primarily for entertainment: social media is for professional networking. While LinkedIn is traditionally associated with networking, there are so many other ways to connect with peers, past employment sources, prospective colleagues and employers, and more. Connections across various social media presences often bridge the gap between personal and professional. Now, more than ever, we discover networking opportunities through our personal social media. 

Smart job seekers will maintain an active presence on social media, cultivating their participation to be both authentic and impressive. You can be the one to link others to prospective opportunities, like connecting a colleague with your own personal contacts, and see the same energy and benefit come back around to you. Through social media, you can make connections with people you would never otherwise know. There’s a potential opportunity for you to find your dream job through social media connections.

Use Social Media to Your Career Advantage

In conclusion, seeing your personal and professional social media presences as totally separate will not serve you well. Professional behavior matters everywhere. When you understand the intersection of personal and professional social media, you can use your presence on these platforms to your career advantage. Professional networking on social media is generally expected now, so don’t be afraid to try it.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, let Whitman Associates help you. We have contacts we would love to share with you. Simply email your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com to get started.

Advice for Remote Interviews

If you are actively interviewing for jobs, part of the process is being prepared for remote interviews as well as in-person interviews. With online interviews being commonplace since 2020, there is no longer an excuse for not knowing how various web conferencing platforms work. It is your responsibility to be able to utilize the client’s chosen app for an online interview and have it functional ahead of time. The company you’re applying to most likely has a specific one they use for all their internal and external collaboration.

There are lots of different applications for online interviews; some major ones include Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, and Skype. You do not need to create an account for each of these apps as you will receive an invite provided by the company holding the interview.

Online interview app icons

Whitman Associates will assist any of our candidates with a trial run of the client’s application platform so that you may prepare the collaboration tools in advance. We want our candidates to focus on the interview when the time comes and not be frustrated by the tools. There are a myriad of video chat interview tips that exist online on preparing for phone and remote interviews, but here are some key points:

Choose the right environment for your remote interview

Your background on an online interview is important. Bright lights from windows behind you can cause video of your face to be dark. You certainly don’t want the background to showcase clutter, or personal spaces such as your bed or bathroom. It is best to sit in front of a blank wall or wall with minimal graphic distractions. You don’t need a fancy ring light, but you may need to turn on a light somewhere else in the room to insure your face is well lit.

The audio is critically important. Many people will tolerate bad video to a certain extent, but clipping audio and background noises make it impossible for you to convey important responses. You need to make sure the environment is free from background noises (mowers, air conditioners, bathroom showers, construction, etc.). Find a quiet room where the background noise is minimal. Having background noises will distract from your responses does not make a good impression.

Pick the best device for an online interview

Man and woman on video interview

The device you use for your online interview is very important. It is best to use a device with all the tools integrated such as a laptop, tablet, or phone. If you are using a desktop, you need to make sure all the external components work well together and within the application you are going to be using. A critical video chat interview tip to keep in mind is that your device may need to download a plugin or grant permissions to the application in order to interact with the microphone, video, and speakers.

The integrated microphone of a laptop, tablet, or phone may be sufficient; however, it is best to use a Bluetooth or wired headset. This will allow your voice to be clear, enable your hands to be free, and allow the camera to be placed at a distance from your face.

It is important to set the phone, tablet, or laptop down on a fixed surface such that it is not moving. It is incredibly distracting during remote interviews for the camera to be wobbling and not stationary while you’re trying to explain how you can contribute to the success of the organization.

If you need reference material (your resume, notes, or the company’s website), make sure this material is positioned directly above or below the camera. The client is interested in making eye contact and trying to get to know you as much as they can via video interview.

When taking notes, place your notepad directly below the camera so that the client can see that you are writing information down. It’s best to avoid typing your notes during your interview as the keyboard noise can be distracting and may lead the interviewer to think you’re doing something other than listening to their pitch – they are trying to convey how great their company is.

Be prepared!

There are many guides available describing how to prepare for an interview. A phone call, video chat, or remote interview is just as important as an in-person interview. In fact, it is more difficult to convey body language and capture voice inflections that might indicate your excitement for working with the company. Your goal is to make the next step or interview happen and to get that job offer.

4 Tips to Get an Entry-Level Legal Assistant Job

Thought about entering the legal field but don’t know how to begin? Whether you’ve studied for law school your whole life or your professional experience amounts to watching Legally Blonde a few times, you might be surprised at the opportunities available to you as a legal assistant. Washington, D.C. and other major metropolitan areas are ideal markets for entry-level legal assistant jobs. Being a legal assistant is different from being a paralegal, but you will still provide invaluable support to attorneys while gaining experience in the field. Here are our tips on how to land this great position.

A man dressed in a suit with a watch

What is an entry-level legal assistant?

Before explaining how to get an entry-level legal assistant job, let’s start with clarity on what it is—and what it isn’t. Although every law office or agency has its own regulations and expectations, there are some general guidelines when it comes to this type of position.

Legal assistants should be able to:

  • Organize files for the office
  • Compile facts for cases
  • Follow up on details relating to specific clients or interactions
  • Handle client or witness communication
  • Conduct research
  • File legal documents in court
  • Draft documents for litigation
  • Process, prepare, sort or proof legal documents
  • Maintain client files and information

Essentially, this position assists the lawyer. An entry-level legal assistant job will involve all varieties of legal work in a supporting capacity. They act primarily as case managers, although some legal assistants also function as legal secretaries. Although they work alongside lawyers, they do not have the same authority over the legal documents and presentations.

How is a legal assistant different from a paralegal?

Legal secretaries serve on the administrative side, performing duties such as greeting clients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and maintaining the calendar. Legal assistants can also fill these secretarial roles while supporting the lawyer in other ways from investigating to writing. Paralegals perform more in-depth preparatory work and function more similarly to an attorney. For example, a legal secretary might type minutes, while a legal assistant might prepare the case brief and the paralegal could work to develop the ruling with the lawyer directly.

Before applying, you can explore more details about these different job categories so you can determine where specifically you feel best suited.

Tip #1: Demonstrate effective communication skills

If you want to get an entry-level legal assistant job, you need to show that you know how to communicate effectively. Whether you’re managing the lawyers’ schedules, compiling facts for cases or drafting documents for litigation, you must get your point across clearly and effectively. 

Many individual lawyers or larger legal institutions are more than happy to train entry-level workers on the minutiae of their processes and applicable laws, but they need the employees to come in already knowing how to express themselves in appropriate and precise language. 

You can demonstrate your effective communication skills in your resume and interview. Legal assistants are often the ones to handle communication with clients and witnesses, as well as to facilitate communication across the office, so it’s imperative that you show you could fill that role.

Tip #2: Highlight the experience you do have

Yes, we’re talking about an entry-level legal assistant job, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going in with nothing. Don’t worry if you don’t specifically have a legal background. You will have other experiences or traits that can make you a good fit for the position, so make those aspects of your application clear. Maybe demonstrate how you’ve already managed large schedules in the past or that in your schooling you served in an administrative capacity or leadership position for an extracurricular group. 

An office organizer with bright papers and highlighters

Tip #3: Express a willingness to learn

When it comes to entry-level legal assistant jobs, it’s important to recognize having the right attitude matters more than knowing the ins and outs of the law. Legal expertise is appreciated but unnecessary when you’re just starting out. Teachability, however, is required. 

In our experience in Washington, D.C., most entry-level legal assistant jobs require an eagerness to benefit from the law firm’s expertise. Present yourself as a competent communicator ready to learn how the lawyer wants things done rather than showing up as a legal expert already entrenched in a specific structure and process. 

Tip #4: Go through the experts

Once you’ve polished your resume and prepared for your interview by demonstrating effective communication skills, highlighting the experience you do have, and expressing a willingness to learn, it’s time to land that entry-level legal assistant job. You can go through the job search yourself and play the waiting game, but it’s easier, less stressful, and more effective to go through the experts. 
At Whitman Associates, Inc., we are celebrating 50 years of providing expert staffing in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. Start by emailing your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com to see what doors can open for you.

What to Expect from Entry-Level Administrative Assistant Jobs

Are you looking for a versatile job position that provides opportunities for growth and training? Working as an administrative assistant can be a challenging yet rewarding pathway, and many companies are hiring now in this position. Here’s our guide about what to expect from entry-level administrative assistant jobs.

A male administrative assistant writing notes while working on the computer

What do administrative assistants do?

“Administrative assistant” is a fairly vague job title. This position often acts as a “catch-all” for a variety of internal and customer-facing tasks. Broadly, administrative assistants control the office efficiency. They are responsible for ensuring operations run smoothly. This can involve:

  • Answering and directing phone calls and emails
  • Organizing and scheduling meetings
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Assisting with special projects
  • Producing and distributing correspondence
  • Greeting customers or clients
  • Booking travel arrangements

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is a perfect market for this role with so many private businesses, consulting firms and government contractors needing entry-level administrative assistants to ensure jobs are completed on time. While some of these descriptions sound more like a secretary or receptionist, there are some distinctions in those titles.

How is an entry level administrative assistant job different from a secretary or receptionist?

In general, receptionists serve as the first point of contact for an office, secretaries do clerical work and administrative assistants keep the office running smoothly. All of these job categories overlap and work together. In some offices, being an administrative assistant will look very similar to the role of a secretary or receptionist. Other times, often in larger companies, administrative assistants are more of efficiency specialists, like project managers, who oversee and ensure that overall work operations flow smoothly.

For example, rather than directly manning the phones, an administrative assistant may provide a receptionist with a flow chart of how to more effectively direct calls. Working an entry-level administrative assistant job could, in that context, also include serving as a go-between for the receptionist and the higher levels of leadership in the office. 

When applying for an administrative assistant job in Washington, D.C. or the surrounding area, it’s important to understand the industry, company structure and work culture. Depending on the company’s needs, the role may look different from one place to the next. Many companies look for candidates with a willingness to adapt and take on new responsibilities.

A desk with a computer, keyboard, phone and office supplies

Making your own system within the established structure

Administrative assistants work in a delicate balance. The position can be one of the most versatile in an office because there are so many administrative tasks that need to get done. Often managers will expect administrative assistants to bring their own ideas and systems to fit within the established structure.

For example, maybe the traditional protocol is that the administrative assistant will make calls to confirm the next day’s appointments. The administrative assistant may have the freedom to make notes in a client’s file or update calendar meetings in a manner that they find most efficient and helpful for the senior staff. Managers often appreciate assertive, independent assistants who can complete core tasks without asking too many questions.

Day-to-day management with a broad perspective

To be successful in an entry-level administrative assistant job, prospective candidates have to recognize that they will be responsible both for the fine details of the day-to-day office management and the larger picture of the company’s goals and objectives. A detail-oriented mindset and the ability to concisely summarize key takeaways are both important.

Administrative assistants often deal with putting out lots of little “fires” that pop up throughout the natural workday, but they need to maintain a broad perspective so urgent tasks don’t replace the important components of the role. Fast-paced markets like Washington, D.C. expect administrative assistants to keep up with action items and prioritize effectively, even in an entry-level job.

Serve as an assistant, not a manager

While administrative assistants do track and monitor efficiency, ultimately this is a supportive role rather than leadership. This means that administrative assistants work directly under some sort of higher management or leadership in the office. Administrative assistants will typically not have to make the tough calls themselves.

Administrative assistants have a specific hierarchical place in the company that may vary depending on the industry, company size and other factors. Regardless of the specific structure, administrative assistants typically work very closely with the leadership they work to assist. In this role, you could expect plenty of formal and informal meetings and check-ins with one or several leadership personnel at the office.

Get a specific snapshot of your possibilities

Each administrative assistant position looks a little different. If you have the related skills of multitasking, prioritizing, organizing, and making sure others stay on task, an administrative assistant job could be a great fit for you. Whitman Associates, Inc. helps place candidates in entry-level administrative assistant jobs in Washington, D.C.  and the surrounding area. We have more than 50 years of expert staffing experience. When you’re ready to start your new career path, send your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com. We’ll provide a specific snapshot of your possibilities as an administrative assistant.

WMATA Metro Commuter Tips

If you are one of the thousands who commutes via Washington D.C. public transportation, learn how to make your commute easier, safer, and all around more enjoyable by following the tips below:

dc metro station

1. Stand right, walk left

This rule of thumb applies to riding the escalators. If you are standing, stand to the right, this leaves the left side open for walking passengers to pass by you unobstructed.

2. Load your SmartTrip Card onto your phone

Don’t worry about keeping track of your WMATA metro card, just tap your phone for metro or bus fare!

3. If you’re using a physical SmartTrip, keep it handy

While you want to keep your SmartTrip card somewhere safe, you also want to have it easily accessible so that you don’t have to hunt through your entire purse or wallet to find it when exiting the metro.

4. Wear comfortable shoes

Commuting via Washington D.C. public transportation typically means that you will have to do a bit of walking to get to and from the station, so wear comfortable shoes and bring your work shoes in a separate bag if necessary.

5. Be considerate of priority seating

On both WMATA metro and buses there are seats reserved for the elderly, disabled, or pregnant. Be a conscientious commuter and be sure to free up those seats if someone needs them.

6. Hold onto your bags at all times

Holding onto your bags will not only protect you from theft, but it’s also considerate for other passengers to keep your bags off the floor and seats.

7. Report any suspicious behavior or unattended bags

WMATA Metro police request that passengers report any suspicious behavior or unattended bags they notice to a uniformed metro worker or police officer. This action will help keep you and other riders safe while on the metro.

8. Plan your trips ahead of time

If you are a daily commuter, you probably know what time your train arrives every morning, but it’s always a good idea to check for any delays or alerts before you leave the house to avoid any interruptions to your routine.

The 6 Best Jobs For College Grads With No Experience

Finding a job just after graduation can feel challenging if you have no internships or prior professional experience. You’re often competing against people with a fuller resume and years of work experience behind them. It’s very easy to feel like you’re caught up in a catch-22 situation where you need work experience to find work.  

However, the fact is that there are numerous opportunities open to people with minimal or no experience. There have to be, or else no one would ever be able to build a career. Plenty of companies out there make it a point to take in entry-level candidates for job categories that are a perfect fit for recent graduates.

What’s more, they’re not necessarily stingy with the pay either. We often have the stereotype of a broke twenty-something, but some of the best jobs for college grads with no experience provide fair compensation for candidates with the right skills and commitment. Here are some of the roles you can look into if you’re in the middle of finding a job after graduation:

  1. Salesperson

Sales jobs often get a bad rap, but they’re a great way to build vital skills that will be invaluable to you later on in your career. They can help you get over a fear of talking to people, develop your soft skills, and teach you how to deal with rejection. It also makes you a good listener and an effective communicator in any situation. 

It’s one of the best jobs for college grads with no experience because most companies out there need salespersons to sell their products and services. Not all sales deals happen at the same level, but the skill sets involved are the same. Moreover, salespersons are on the ‘frontlines’ so to speak. They’re the ones interacting with the customers every day and they often have a better understanding of their pain points, industry dynamics, and the pros and cons of the company’s products. This is knowledge you can use to make a lateral shift into other company departments, such as marketing or product development.  

  1. Data Analyst

It’s one of the best jobs for college grads with no experience because data analysts are ubiquitous. Everyone from financial service companies to consumer goods manufacturers, healthcare organizations, and hospitality companies need them.  

A data analyst interprets and structures data into information that a business can use. Responsibilities include collecting, interpreting, and organizing the data and then analyzing the results to pull business insights. It’s ideal for people with a head for numbers, but it’s also a job that requires creativity and business acumen. The way you present your data and how compelling your insights are can make a big difference to your business. With the right company, it can be one of the best paying jobs for college grads with no experience. 

  1. Real Estate Agent and Broker

Property management can be a rewarding career even if you’re an entry-level candidate finding a job right after graduation. In most cases, all you need is a high school diploma and a state broker’s license to get started. You might have to put in a little bit of time prepping for the real estate exam that gets you your license, but it certainly doesn’t dissuade the millions of Americans who opt to try their hand at real estate. 

If you’re personable and willing to work hard, it’s one of the best jobs for a college grad with no experience. In a recent survey, 85% of real estate agents said they were happy with their career choice and 71% of them were attracted to the earning potential of the job. 

  1. Project Manager

A quality project manager can be an indispensable commodity for a business. From troubleshooting problems to clearing bottlenecks and ensuring cross-functional communication, a project manager is a vital cog in the enterprise machinery. As with many of the other best jobs for college grads with no experience, project management can teach you a range of skills, such as diplomacy, risk management, communication, and more. 

Moreover, it’s often something that requires a learning curve even for experienced candidates. In most cases, project managers have to adapt to the processes, structure, and dynamics of the company in question, which makes it ideal for candidates to find a job after graduation.

  1. Nonprofit Assistant

Nonprofit organizations often have limited budgets, which means that this may not be the most high-paying job right out of the gate. However, these organizations often look for commitment and a willingness to work hard more than anything else. If there’s a cause you particularly identify with and feel you can contribute to, this might be one of the best jobs for you, even as a college grad with no experience. 

It’s also a chance to meet a lot of different people and get some real life experience under your belt, which is always going to stand you in good stead later on. There are lots of different kinds of nonprofits to choose from, including public health advocacies to legal aid offices, social rights groups, and diplomacy nonprofits.

  1. Client Relations

Managing client experience is a very important function for any business. Everyone from IT firms to consultancies, marketing agencies, and more employ people to manage client relationships. As jobs for college grads with no experience go, it’s one of the best ones out there. All you need is a positive attitude and a nimble mindset to succeed. 

Unlike sales, you don’t have to worry about bringing in new clients and meeting quarterly targets. Client relations is more about maintaining existing relationships and ensuring compliance with contractual agreements. In this role, you’re often the primary point of contact for the client, a supplier and partner interface, and bridge to service-level teams in your company. 

It’s a myth that the best jobs are off-limits for college grads with no experience. Finding a good job after graduation is all about identifying your priorities. What are you really after? Higher pay? A relaxed lifestyle? Experience in a specific industry? With a targeted approach you can find a job that both fulfills your goals and offers you professional exposure. 

At Whitman Associates, we’re proud to serve as the go-to staffing experts in the D.C. area. If you’re a recent graduate, don’t hesitate to email your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com. Check out some of the best jobs for college grads with no experience on our job listings page. Browse through our career advice for entry-level and experienced professionals in the job market.

Interview Prep and Tips

While every interview situation is different, we have created an ultimate interview prep guide to help you learn how to prep for an interview and will increase your chances of impressing the hiring manager and successfully landing a job offer.
Women interviewing

  • One of the first interview tips is to always arrive on time. Plan to arrive ten minutes early for your interview. Potential employers will assume you have bad time management skills if you are late for a scheduled interview. This is almost more important with video interviews. If you have no commute or traffic, being late is inexcusable. Don’t forget to test out a video link prior to your interview, so there won’t be any technical difficulties to hold you up.
  • Talk positively about your former employer. Talking positively about a former employer will show loyalty and respect, which are both traits employers look for in potential candidates. If you didn’t have the best experience at your previous job, a good way to interview prep is to talk about the positive aspects, and frame any downsides in a respectful manner.
  • Another way to nail your interview prep is not to forget to bring a few copies of your resume with you. Even if you are not asked to bring a resume with you, you should always have a few copies on hand just in case you need them. If you are on a video interview, be sure to have your most up to date resume ready to share via email.
  • In interviews, you should avoid oversharing personal information. While it’s important to share your work experience and skills in detail, you should avoid talking too much about your personal life and opinions.
  • Another first interview tip is to get your interviewer’s contact information so you can follow-up. It’s always a good idea to follow-up after an interview with a note thanking them for their time and consideration. Be sure to get the hiring manager’s business card, LinkedIn or email.

two women job interview

  • You should make consistent eye contact with your interviewer. Displaying confident body language and making eye contact will help you further engage with the interviewer.
  • Avoid wearing a lot of cologne or perfume. As in-person interviews are on the rise again, you don’t want to aggravate your interviewer’s allergies or distract them with an overabundant fragrance.
  • It’s important to present yourself appropriately. This includes everything from dressing professionally for an interview, to choosing a neutral virtual background and good lighting for a video interview. Being dressed inappropriately or having your background be a distraction is one way to discount yourself from consideration.
  • Don’t be shy about conveying your interest in the company and position. Although you know you’re interested in the job, you have to convince the hiring manager. Potential employers want to see just how dedicated you are to working for them. Be sure to do your interview prep by researching the company, so that you can speak with confidence.
  • Avoid chewing gum, snacking, food or other distractions. Chewing gum during an interview is rude, and it can be distracting.
  • Our last piece of advice on how to prep for an interview is to remember to turn off your cell phone. You don’t want your phone ringing in the middle of an interview, so make sure you turn it off before the interview begins. Even silenced cell phones can vibrate or make noise, so turn your cell all the way off to avoid any unwanted distractions.

5 Common Resume Mistakes

Having a great resume is key to being successful in your job search. Your resume is typically the first impression an employer has of you, so it’s important that it properly represents you. To help, we’ve listed 5 common resume mistakes that job hunters make.

Pause breath resume tiles

1. Spelling and grammar mistakes

  • The most common resume mistakes are errors in spelling and grammar. Errors like this are easiest way to get your resume rejected because employers are likely to assume you are careless or sloppy in your work.
  • Make sure to edit your resume several times before submitting it. It also helps to have someone else read it over, a new set of eyes are more likely to pick up on any small resume mistakes.

2. Length

  • While it’s important that your resume is not excessively long, you should not exclude relevant work experience just to fit everything on one page. You don’t want a potential employer to discount you because you left off relevant experience.
  • At the same time, you don’t need to include every position you’ve had since the beginning of your career. Some of your past jobs might not be relevant to the current position you are applying for. Feel free to leave off the coffee bar you worked at through grad school if you have more relevant experience to include.
  • You also want to avoid having too short of a resume. If you are a recent college grad or just out of high school and have only worked at one or two positions, try to expand upon your responsibilities to lengthen your work history. Also, you can include extracurricular activities you participated in if the experience you gained seems relevant to your career.

3. Too much personal information

  • Employers are going to hire you based on your work experience, not on your favorite hobbies. It is a common resume mistake to have a “Personal Interests” category. In a job interview, if your interviewer mentions their love of volleyball, then that would be an appropriate time to mention you share the same interest.
  • It’s not necessary to mention your marital status or children on your resume. Again, a potential employer is only interested in your professional background.
  • Don’t include your picture on your resume. The exception is if you are applying for an acting or modeling role.

Writing a resume

4. Too busy

  • Another common resume mistake is using more than two fonts. Keep it simple, so that an employer’s eye can easily follow your work history down the page. There is no need to go crazy with bold and italicized fonts in different colors.
  • Avoid using borders and underlines to separate sections on your resume. As long as you have everything labeled appropriately, an employer will be able to understand it.

5. Missing critical information

  • Make sure the header of your resume includes your full name, phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile or your address. If an employer doesn’t have your contact information, they won’t be able to reach you to set up an interview or offer you a job.
  • Always list the month and year you started and finished each position on your resume. Job seekers avoid adding dates to their work history for various reasons, but this is a huge resume mistake! Omitting dates makes employers feel that you are hiding something.
  • List the appropriate job title for each of your positions. New employers will most likely get employment verifications on your work history, so it’s important you have all the correct information. If there is a discrepancy with your job title or dates of employment, your new employer will be suspicious.
  • Lastly, one of the biggest common resume mistakes is leaving off software or programs that you’ve used. Be sure to list these, especially since an employer may be screening resumes electronically, and you don’t want to be overlooked because of what you left out.

Keep these five easily avoidable resume mistakes on hand next time you update your resume and you’ll be sure to land a great job in no time!

Your Trusted Source

The expert staff at WAI is dedicated to serving the professional community in metro D.C. and the greater DMV area. We’re proud to offer support in the form of education, guidance and full-service staffing solutions for both employers and job seekers. Explore job seeker tips, staffing guidance and the other categories above, or simply browse the recent links. You’ll find curated information written by our in-house staff, as well as article roundups from trusted external sources. For more information about our services, review our FAQs or contact our team.

Team up with Whitman Associates

If you’re an employer or job seeker ready to take the next step, partner with WAI. We work closely with our clients and candidates to understand each company or individual’s unique needs and circumstances. Thanks to this attention to detail and our extensive vetting process, we are able to connect highly qualified candidates with positions that match their expertise and experience. If you need to fill a permanent or temporary position, fill out our staffing request form, and a member of our team will contact you shortly. If you are a job seeker, browse our job listings and email us your resume, and we’ll do our best to match you with the perfect position.