7 Tips For The Soon-To-Be Graduate
“I only have a month left before I graduate and I have no plans for the next step in my life. No job lined up and no idea how to move forward.”
Sadly this sentiment is felt by many college students about to graduate. Graduation is a scary step into the adult world. Gone are the days of financial aid supplementing income and gone are the days of having a schedule planned out by classes needed for graduation. For the first time in at least four years many students are making the realization that their future is no longer determined by trying to get in the classes that are on their degree track. Instead it is up to the students to figure out how to combine the knowledge they have gained in their degree and find a job. What do they do now? Here are 7 tips to help students about to graduate.
- One thing that is essential is for students who are uncertain about what to do with their degree is to contact their college’s career development department or alumni department. Individuals in these departments are paid to help students and recent graduates succeed after they get their degree. They can help students discover good job fields that involve their degree of choice.
- Going to the career development or alumni departments will also give students and alumnae access to the school’s alumni network and job posting networks. A lot of schools have partnerships with surrounding businesses that will give them leads on jobs. Some alumnae will also post job listings for other alumnae because they want to see their fellow graduates find success. These departments are also more than willing to help students and recent graduates work on creating and polishing resumes. Having a professional resume goes a long way in getting noticed by companies.
- It is never too late to get an internship; even when students are just a month away from graduation or freshly graduated. Students gain the ability to sample the work a possible career option entails during internships. Internships can open the door to a permanent position as well as gain needed experience and contacts for students. While looking for an internship it is always important to ask during the interview if there is potential for full time work should the internship go well.
- Get involved online with professional websites, notably LinkedIn. Being a part of a professionally oriented social media website will let students about to graduate display their resume, skills, and qualifications online. It is also a place where coworkers and references can speak of their experiences with the student and about the student’s work ethic. Job opportunities can also be found through connections. A large chunk of the jobs out there are never actually advertised. Reaching out to one’s network or collaborating with professionals will result in face-time with real people which will open doors.
- Join online job search websites and staffing websites. Job search websites can make job-hunting a lot easier and help narrow down job postings to positions that relate to the student’s degree and experience. Students should submit their resumes to the jobs and positions that their experience and/or degree matches. Staffing websites are also beneficial for finding temporary positions and gaining experience in potentially diverse environments. Temporary work can also lead to a full time position if the company decides the student doing the temporary work fits in with the company and works efficiently.
- After submitting several resumes it is time to practice interviews. Students should prepare potential questions companies may ask such as “What makes you more qualified for this position?” “Describe a situation where you had to overcome adversity in the workplace or in one of your classes.” “Where do you see yourself in 5 and again in 10 years?” The more questions one can think up, the better prepared the student can be with potential answers. Being prepared for an interview will help decrease nerves and make it easier to answer the questions intelligently. Want to really condition yourself? Imagine being asked some of the toughest interview questions out there.
- Be calm and don’t expect miracles after one interview. Expect to go on a lot of interviews and to see a lot of rejections. Determination and remaining positive will go a long way in finding the right job. Never abandon your search before you find what you’re looking for and certainly don’t abandon it early-on.