You have just graduated or are about to. You are closing one part of your life and moving on to another. The first thing you will probably do after graduation is find a job. After all, that is one of the end goals you have when getting a college education. So, what are the next steps?
The first thing you are going to need is a resume. If you already have one you will want to make sure it is up-to-date. Resumes are recommended to be about one page. At the top of the page, you will want your name and contact information: email, phone number, address, etc. There is no set format for resumes and you will want to tailor them to match the job you are applying to, but here are some key things you may want to include: a career objective, your skills, the college you graduated from with GPA (if you did really well), any work/internship experience, and any awards/societies/honors/extracurricular activities you may have.
LinkedIn is a social network for working professionals. If you do not have one, you will want to create one. Not having a LinkedIn profile could hinder or hurt your job prospects. When updating or creating a LinkedIn account you will want to connect to all of your classmates and as many of your professors as you can. Do not use the generic connection invite, make it personal; let them know how you know them. See if you can get fellow classmates, or better yet professors, who would be willing to write a recommendation on LinkedIn. Lastly, try to fill out as much information as possible and use a professional profile picture.
Having an online portfolio or personal website not necessary for all career fields, but it can definitely help. It will help you stand out. It increases your online presence and visibility, as well as lets your employees see a bit of your personality. This is also where you can show off your projects, work samples, letters of recommendations, writing samples or anything else. You do not need to know HTML or CSS to have a great online profile. There are several tools such as WordPress, Weebly or Wix that can help you build and manage an online portfolio.
The cover letter is important. It states why you are applying to the job, what you can bring that would benefit the company and will show your interest. You should not reuse the same cover letter when applying to multiple jobs. Like your resume, you should adjust and tailor the cover letter to best fit the job you are applying to.
Applying for a Job
Once you have all of the above it is time to start applying to jobs. Most job applications are online and are as simple as uploading the files and submitting it. However, should you need to send any documents you can always send them via eShipNOW, which will help you save money on shipping. It can also be used to ship personal belongings to a new home if you get a job that requires you to relocate.
The Last Step – The Interview
Now here is probably the most nerve-wracking – the interview. Look up some top interview questions beforehand and start practicing what you are going to say. It also doesn’t hurt to go to the location of the interview prior to see how long the drive is and to actually locate the building. Know what you are going to wear the day prior and make sure it is professional. Lastly, relax and be honest during the interview. Do not lie just to get the job. This can cause problems down the line for not only you or your employers.
The key to finding that great job is preparation. This is why it is important to start right after or right before graduating. You can take a little breather after graduating if you can, but don’t let summer pass by without working on this. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, your are preparing to fail.”
By: Ashleigh Cue