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4 Ways College Grads Can Make a Lasting Impression on Employers

Lindsay Olson

If you recently graduated, you're probably aware that you're going to have to do something different to stand out from all the other job candidates you'll compete against. What you lack in experience you'll have to make up for in innovation.

Prezi is a presentation tool that has changed the way we view and create presentations. Peter Arvai, CEO and co-founder, offers the following tips for how new grads may use Prezi to get the attention of hiring managers:

1. Seek an alternative to the traditional résumé. Job seekers and human resources managers alike are over-saturated with the standard Microsoft Word template résumé. With more easy-to-use tech and design tools accessible to professionals, we're starting to see more interesting alternatives to the paper résumé.

Prezi, which was originally adopted by people sick of PowerPoint presentations, is now adopted by job seekers using it to create "prezumés." Part presentation, part social profile, these visual and interactive résumés are getting the attention of employers.

When Michael Dwyer was invited for an interview for a teaching position at Arcadia University, a small private university located outside Philadelphia, he used Prezi to present his job history. Now, he's the assistant professor of media and communications at the school.

Prezi can be used for more than just résumés: After Nicole Plati had an interview with the public relations firm Borders + Gratehouse, she used the site to send a thank-you note and reiterate her interest in the company. The note helped her receive an offer with the firm.

2. Don't just tell your job history. We've been trained to focus on where we've worked and what we've done in our résumés and LinkedIn profiles, but another way to stand out is to tell your unique story. Who you are is as important to employers as what you've done, especially if you have little job experience. After all, if you're hired, you'll need to mesh with the company culture.

The prezumés, as well as tools like About.me, provide you the opportunity to share more of your personality than you could with a standard résumé. Charity Temple is a multimedia producer and freelancer designer. In addition to providing all the expected info about her job history in her prezumé, Temple also included a few images and details about what she does in her spare time. Making paper models and traveling might not relate to the job she wants, but it gives employers a better sense of her personality, making her more affable and appealing as a job candidate.

3. Be active on Twitter. If you've used Twitter for fun, now is the time to take a more professional approach. Arvai says: "A professional and well-rounded social media presence gives potential employers greater insights into your personality and interests outside of the workplace."

Find companies you admire or would love to work for, and follow and retweet what they're sharing on Twitter. Also follow companies in your industry so that you stay well-informed on your field. Be aware of what you're posting, and keep it professional. Don't post anything you wouldn't want a potential employer to see.

4. Get Linked. You have a LinkedIn profile to show off your professional experience, but you can also use it to subscribe to company updates for the employers for which you're interested in working. This can keep you informed on what's happening at the company - and allows you to show that you're on top of the company's news when you go in for an interview.

You can also connect with people who work at those companies to build your network. Don't make a blatant plea for a job, but as you build the relationship, you can let them know you'd love to work for their company, and ask if they have advice on getting hired.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.

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