5 Tech Tips to Make You Look Like a Boss after Graduation

By Juliana Kenny June 08, 2012

So you just graduated from college and you need to find a job, preferably one that doesn’t involve cleaning out Coolatta machines and/or taking tickets at a carnival. Part of the process of becoming a boss is having the tools of a boss. (Bosses don’t get where they need to go without some technological help, right?) We’ve got the list of what you need and what you don’t need to move forward with your career.

Connectivity is expected of young professionals in this day and age. Unless you are pursuing a career in cheese-making, you need to stay connected to the Internet, your email, any text messages, and social media accordingly. Getting answers quickly is a valued skill amongst employers. The quicker you can do that, the more valuable you will appear, and what else was Google made for anyway?

You probably need a smartphone. Your mom told you that you don’t, and one-quarter of your friends don’t have one, but whipping out your flip feature phone that has a SIM card duct-taped to the back while in the presence of someone for whom you want to work is not a good idea. Believe it or not, employers will judge based on how advanced your phone is. They see it as a sign of awareness, modernity, and connectivity. So if you’re that girl that swore she’d duct-tape her feature phone together until the apocalypse arrives, think again. It’s not that cool anymore.

Leave the sparkly cases and bumper-stickered laptops at home. If that means having two of everything, so be it. Be warned, it doesn’t matter how many Ann Taylor black crop jackets you wear or how many Brooks Brothers ties you own, if you show up to an interview with a bedazzled iPhone or a tablet with ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ emblazoned everywhere, your intended seriousness is compromised. Employers don’t want to hire kids still obsessed with Hello Kitty in the bodies of 23-year olds. They want to hire actual 23-year olds.

No Bluetooth headsets. This is a generational thing. If, for some odd reason, you developed a penchant for walking around your campus with a Bluetooth headset attached to your face, please cease and desist this practice immediately. Brian Brennan, technical lead and plumber for Mozilla, interviews and hires developers. He told TechZone360 that the presence of a Bluetooth headset would negatively affect his view of the potential hire. They are unnecessary for recently-graduated folk, and are seen as pretentious on the ears of people younger than 28 or those who are not already CEOs of major corporations.

Be mindful of the technology you bring relative to the company for which you interview. This point is particularly relevant for those looking to work in a tech-related field. Brennan hires developers, and so notes how familiar that person will be with devices and platforms Mozilla uses. “I'll notice if someone's not using a Mac just because that's become the de facto standard for developers these days. We still occasionally get Linux users, but getting a Web developer who prefers to develop on Windows is pretty rare,” said Brennan.

Know what your devices do. There is nothing sillier than a person unfamiliar with how to operate their own devices. (Well, maybe a few things are sillier, but not many!) You don’t have to know every secret of your iPad, but you should know the basic ins and outs. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with platforms that you do not regularly use. If you use iOS-based devices, spend a little time with Android, and vice versa. The multi-platform-versed person has a natural advantage in 2012 as the breadth of platforms and services available to you and your future employers grows by the day.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

TechZone360 Managing Editor

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