5 Things You Should Do Before Graduating
Graduating college can be scary. It’s exciting for most, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to continue to pursue a graduate degree and stay in school forever. For the 99.99% of people who don’t want to go to school until the day they die, I have some tips. Unless you have a professor or mentor who is going to walk you through life post-school, it all falls on you. It’s up to you to find revamp your resume, build a network, and begin your first “must-have a degree” job.
I have some advice. Warning: I’m not a professional recruiter or have ever worked in the field of HR. This advice is coming from a girl who had little to no professional connections. I’m still learning the ropes.
- Intern somewhere and everywhere. If I could go back, I wish I would have interned at least one semester each school year. Totaling up to 4 internships by the end of your bachelor’s degree. If you go above and beyond, maybe interning each semester is feasible. Most of us work, intern, and go to school. A good alternative would be summer internships. Some may be paid and some may not be. None of my internships were paid, but luckily for you, a ton of companies (from what I hear) are beginning to pay interns. I applied for a ton of internships and was lucky enough to score an internship at a radio station where my mom works. After that, I interned at a magazine during my last semester in college. You will always end up learning from an internship, and it looks so good on your resume.
- Use Canva to build your resume. Canva will change your resume from looking like a Motel 6 to a Ritz-Carlton. If you need help wordsmithing your resume, I would suggest reaching out to a resume reviewer or copy editor to look over it. Most universities have a career center where they can look over your resume, or hunt someone down in the English department.
- Create a LinkedIn account. It’s a great way to keep up with industry news, job hunt, and build your professional network. I will say this though, don’t mass add anyone you don’t actually know. If you’ve never even had a conversation with the person, don’t connect with them. LinkedIn is your online resume. Find influencers you look up to and follow them. I find LinkedIn to be such a useful resource.
- Network. There is most likely an event on Facebook promoting a networking event in a city near you. Go to a couple of them. If you don’t like going by yourself, as a friend or a family member to join you. Also, I suggest joining a community with similar interests (job wise or to yours. I’ve joined several online communities in the Dallas area. Facebook is typically where you will find groups like this.
- Learn a new skill. I would suggest learning a skill that doesn’t relate much to the degree you’re earning. For example, I graduated with a B.A. in English. However, I picked up photography, video/photo editing and baking. I’m also going to start learning how to code (Thanks, Johnathon and CodeAcademy). You may find a new passion or even a different option, career-wise, that you never expected.
Learning shouldn’t end when you’re done with school. I encourage you to continuously develop yourself professionally and personally. This week I will be recording a video and chat about how I was able to score a job after graduating with little to no professional connections. Remember, it’s ok to change your career path. What you choose to do after graduating should make you happy and fulfill you, or at least be a stepping stone to that.
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