Graduating from an undergraduate program is a huge achievement! But as graduation inches closer, many students find they don’t have a clear plan for what’s next. In order to succeed as a working professional, proper planning is essential.
Need some insight and advice on how to prepare for a post-college career? Read on for some tips for the job search, interviewing, and how to best utilize key resources at your disposal.
Consider Continuing Your Education
While nearing the end of your college degree, the last thing you probably want to think about is more schooling. However, getting a graduate degree can be a very smart decision as it can lead to getting a higher paying job or a more specialized career. At JWU Online, we offer graduate degrees in a variety of different subjects so you can find the one that suits your career goals.
Check With Your Career Center
Many students attend college without ever taking advantage of the institution’s career resources. Before graduation, you’ll want to leverage what is offered in your school’s career center. These departments are specifically geared towards finding you a career after college, and there are also specialists who can work with you on your specific needs. Learn more about JWU’s Experiential Education & Career Services.
Prepare Your Resume
A resume is one of the most important tools you have to land a rewarding job after graduating. To create a successful resume, focus on your accomplishments, qualifications, internship experience, and work experience. Along with your resume, you will need to craft cover letters to go along with any application you submit. Additionally, whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or something more advanced, you’ll want to tailor your resume to every job you apply; there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume.
Build a Solid LinkedIn Profile
As employers and businesses all over the world are constantly on LinkedIn, another smart tactic is to sharpen your LinkedIn profile. Working as an extension of your resume, a LinkedIn profile can show how reputable and experienced you are in the industry. It can also showcase some professional work you’ve done in the past. Employers look here to see your connections, work experience, maybe some work samples, and more. Recruiters and hiring managers spend a great deal of time looking through LinkedIn profiles to find the right candidate. Be sure to do research on how to create a well-polished, professional-looking LinkedIn profile that gains the attention of employers, recruiters, and like-minded professionals in the industry.
As LinkedIn is used to showcase your skills and get your profile in front of hiring managers, it’s also a great place to network with those hiring managers. Building connections can be the difference between landing a job or not, and LinkedIn is the perfect place for connecting with like-minded people. According to techjury, networking alone is responsible for filling up to 85% of all jobs. Given its importance, you’ll want to consistently network on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other sites. You should also attend events, webinars, and utilize your university's alumni network.
Go on Informational Interviews
Although this approach is less popular, going on informational interviews can be a very useful tactic. Students and college graduates go on these interviews to learn more about the industry, what it’s like to work in the field, and what the day-to-day looks like for one of these professionals. Not only can this help to learn what to expect in any career, but it can also help to make decisions on if the career path is right for you. (It could also open up some networking possibilities for future opportunities.)
Start Your Job Search
The best way to prepare for your post-graduate career is to start looking for jobs. And even if you don’t plan on applying today, it can’t hurt to get started early. Begin by researching jobs you would be interested in and pay close attention to the information found on these job postings. Take notes of any patterns you see and be sure to look at the experience they require, duties of the position, and education requirements. Many colleges will offer recruitment events or career fairs to help students streamline their job searches. At JWU, online students are encouraged to connect with the Experiential Education and Career Services team so they can learn about upcoming events and how they can get involved virtually.