Graduated? Seven job tips for college graduates.

3. Say goodbye to 'um,' 'ah,' and LOL

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    A Japanese job seeking student (left) takes part in an interview with executives of ImageNet Co., one of Japan's top Internet apparel retailers, after reaching the summit of the 12,388 foot Mount Fuji in Fujinomiya, west of Tokyo Aug. 24, 2005. The job interview was held atop Japan's highest mountain to make sure new employees have what it takes to scale the heights of business, the company said. Only 11 applicants out of 20 succeeded in reaching the peak. Communication skills are key to getting a job – and keeping it.
    Yuriko Nakao/Reuters/File
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It doesn’t matter how smart or qualified you are, if you can’t write, speak, and act like a professional, no one will hire you to be a professional. If you’ve never learned to communicate in a serious and capable manner, it’s going to be very difficult to get hiring managers to take you seriously as a candidate. Here are some critical tips for communicating like a pro:


  • Practice conducting conversations in an articulate and confident way.
  • Cut the words “um”, “like”, “you know”, and “ah” out of your vocabulary.
  • Do your homework. Prepare and research a company, organization, or person before you speak or write to them.
  • In written correspondence, it is never okay to use text-isms (ENUF, LOL, GR8) or other 140-character shortcuts.
  • Double-check your written work. Typos and misplaced words reflect poorly on you.
  • Follow up from all communications with written notes that show your appreciation, summarize the conversation, and suggest a next course of action.
  • Be personable. People buy people. If they like you, they are more likely to want to help, and maybe even hire you.
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