Congratulations, you’re approaching graduation! Now the dreaded question…what’s next? Your college days are, sadly, soon to be over and it’s time to venture out into the “real world”. The pressure to find a job can seem unbearable. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone! We’ve all been there. Here are some helpful tips to set you up for success!
• It’s perfectly okay to not know exactly what you want to do!
We all struggle with the idea of leaving the comfort of college and venturing out into the “real world”. It’s scary! If you don’t really know what you want to do, that’s okay! Deciding whether you want to continue your education or go out and get a full-time job isn’t easy. Luckily for you, there are plenty of opportunities for you to figure it out. If you’re not ready for a full-time job, look for an internship or a part-time job in the field that you’re interested in. You get the feel and experience of the job without the long-term commitment and there’s always potential for it to turn into a permanent job.
• Keep your resume updated
Update update update! You never know when a job will come along that you’ll want to apply to. It saves you so much time and stress if you already have your resume (and a strong cover letter) up-to-date and ready to go. A LinkedIn profile can be a helpful resource too, for displaying your qualifications and providing you a trusted place to job search.
• Make a portfolio that you’re proud of
I cannot tell you how many times I wished I had a portfolio of all my work to attach to job applications. Having an electronic portfolio guarantees a place to display your best work and it’s conveniently located online for easy access.
• Get involved
Even outside of your collegiate chapter, you can still spend some of your free time working for philanthropies. Employers want you to have professional experience, but they want you to have social experience, too! Volunteering looks great on a resume and gives you valuable experience in the working world.
• You should be nervous!
If you’re not even just a tiny bit nervous, you’re not pushing yourself to your full potential!
Some of the best post-grad advice I was given is to always be looking for what’s next. Never settle for what you have now just because it’s comfortable – know what your end goal is and continue to push yourself until you get there.
If you want to be head of a company and you’re starting out as an intern, always be looking for that new job, that next step, even if it’s at a new company…anything to expand your experience and keep you moving up that success ladder.
• Be mindful of your social media
I know I’m not the first to say that potential employers will check your social media. We’re from a technological generation; you can learn everything about a person based on what they post online. Just like we embody Alpha Phi, when you work for a company, you also embody them. I’d hate for any of you to not get a job simply because the employer didn’t like what they saw online. It’s great to go out and have fun, just post wisely!
• Have someone to confide in
You’ll want to have someone you can turn to for guidance and encouragement. This is where your sisters can come in handy! Whether you turn to a parent, a sister, a fellow alumnus, an old teacher, etc., having someone you can turn to will ease the stress of the process.
• Never turn down an opportunity to network!
The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reigns true. According to Forbes Magazine, “your future will be influenced more by your connections and relationships than by your capabilities or experience.” You never know who might help you land your next job. I got my first job because of connection through a sorority sister! So build relationships with co-workers, alumni, and former colleagues. Those new and old connections can be a great resource when looking for a full-time job.
• Embrace the hunt.
Job hunting is a tedious task. Make it fun! During the weeks leading up to and after graduation, my friend and I would get together at least once a week with a bottle of wine and our laptops to apply for jobs. Being with someone who was going through the same thing made the hunt and application process less mundane, and you have someone to commiserate with!
• Stay positive!
Applying for jobs is a frustrating and often competitive process. Don’t get down on yourself. Most likely, you’re not going to be offered every job you apply to. You might not even hear back from some companies and that’s okay! You know your strengths and weaknesses and how to market yourself in the best way possible. Keep your chin up -You will find a job!
Special thanks to Transitions contributor Danielle Rappel! –
Danielle is a 2015 graduate of Florida State University where she was a founding member of the Gamma Phi chapter of Alpha Phi. She currently works as an Administrative Assistant with a strong background in the marketing industry, stemming from her time as the Director of Public Relations and Advertising in the Gamma Phi chapter.