Advice to the Young Graduate Entering the Job Market

Put your documents together in advance: résumé, academic transcripts, list of references. Double and triple check your spelling.

Dress conservatively. Suit and tie for the gentlemen, dress skirt and blouse with jacket for the ladies. Make sure your garments are pressed and your shoes shined.

Personal grooming is important. Bathing beforehand is recommended. Beards should be kept trimmed short and clean. Any jewelry should be modest and inconspicuous. Consult your barber or stylist for further advice.

Prepare your pitches ahead of time. Rehearse until you can recite them from memory.

When entering the gallery floor, remember not to rush. Any display of eagerness may be mistaken for desperation.

Imagine you are a zebra who has stepped onto a field of hungry lions, who will pick off the weak and the scared first. You will learn this metaphor is more appropriate than it at first seems.

Walk with confidence as you circle the floor. Decide by your own standards which booths to approach. REMEMBER: Eye contact or a gesture does not obligate you to converse. You have what they want; let them work to lure you in.

Make several passes around the floor. That booth you passed earlier may seem to have merit a second time around; conversely, a “sure thing” may be revealed a poor decision after further consideration.

Your degree, education, and life experience mean little after this point. Your worth is measured solely in the quality of the labor you produce, but ultimately you will remain a disposable resource. Get used to it.

Remember that you are not the buyer here, you are the seller. They are purchasing your future. On some cases, quite literally.

Choose wisely. There is no refund policy once the documents are signed.

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