No one prepares you for life after college, not even the university itself. The lessons are hidden inside tasks and activities you do while studying, meaning there is no crash course for when you have to apply for jobs, pay taxes, and do all the things you need to do as an out-of-school adult. If you do not ask or seek out help, you will surely have a hard time navigating the real world. At this time of your life, it is important to look up to mature friends, older siblings, and parents, and make inquiries about life after college.
The most important task young adults need to accomplish first once they graduate college is finding a job. Chances are if you are looking through articles about finding a job after graduation, then you are a part of the large population who cannot afford to take even a short break before committing to a workplace. Most young adults want to get started on a job right away so they can pay off their student loans faster. Student loan debts are no joke, and the quicker you pay them off, the less you have to worry about money and other expenses.
If you already have your mind set on a specific career and company to apply for then this article will serve no purpose for you. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling confused, uninspired, and disoriented about looking for your first job, then feel free to scroll through. Here are ways on how to prepare for your after-college job search:
1. Go to on-campus career orientations
On your first days in college, you will have to attend freshman orientation. On the days leading to your college graduation, the university will open a career orientation. Basically, it is an opportunity for companies to create a network with incoming graduates and potential employees. Use this chance to make connections with companies or potential employers — ask them what they do and what they contribute to the industry they maneuver in. Career orientations are there for students to explore their horizons and have a good impression of what they’re getting into.
2. Create a LinkedIn account
LinkedIn is a social platform for working professionals and companies to establish connections. It is a website where most people can find a job to apply for or just check out a person’s qualifications before hiring them. Otherwise, it is also a place where people can check a company before sending in an application or taking a job offer. Having a LinkedIn account will help you make a professional platform to express yourself and impress potential employees. Your LinkedIn account will have an overview of every necessary information substantial to the initial stages of a hiring process or job search. Of course, when you are a fresh graduate, you will have no working experience except for your internship, so it is vital that you highlight your skills and abilities, education, extracurricular activities, and volunteer opportunities instead to make up for it
3. Design a creative resume
A resume no longer has to be two to three pages long. Companies now want applicants’ resumes to be short and to the point, and this can be achieved through creative resumes. Utilize each niche and corner of a bond paper by being artistic and crafting your own resume design. The whole page should provide important information about you, including your name, address, contact number, email, and any other means for the company to reach you, along with your educational attainment, work experience, and skills and abilities. There is no perfect resume, writing a perfect resume entails a lot of time and dedication to it. Make sure you have everything in check, including spelling errors, grammar, and other technicalities, before submitting it to potential employers.
4. Write a compelling cover letter
You write a cover letter specifically for each job and company you are applying for. So you have to exert a lot of effort into writing a cover letter, especially if it’s the job of your dreams. A cover letter would give your potential employer a glimpse of your personality and attitude, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Talk about what you are good at and what you can contribute as an individual player. However, make your cover letter short. It is not a narrative essay, avoid bringing up any unnecessary information about yourself that may harm your application. Only discuss experiences and details that would invoke the idea that you are competent enough to be hired by the company.
5. Seek help from your alumni network
It pays to make friends with classmates and older students. Not only because you will cultivate a relationship with other people, but it may also open up more opportunities for you. Ask for tips from older students, who may already be working, and seek their recommendations when applying for jobs. You may also ask if they can refer you to their workplace or they might know an opening that is more suitable for you. It is okay to ask for help, so long as you do not intend to use them solely for that purpose.
6. Always be prepared for a personal or phone interview
Once your resume is submitted to a job opening, assume that you will eventually get invited for an interview. The recruitment process differs in each company. Some companies would call the applicant first for an initial interview before a personal interview. Meanwhile, other companies would send a message through email or text inviting you to their office for a personal interview right away. Regardless, you should always be prepared for an interview with potential employers. Have your phones with you whenever necessary and always check your emails, so you can immediately check if you are available on the day a company invites you in for an interview. If you are not available at the time of the call or the given date they ask you to come in, request to reschedule immediately. Avoid making potential employers wait for you to respond - show that you are enthusiastic about the opportunity. It is also worth noting that self-confidence is important when applying for jobs, and it is vital in interviews.
7. Learn from your internship
An internship is a college student’s way to gain professional experience while still studying. There are opportunities in an internship that will help you learn as you transition from college to graduation and then finally the real world. If you can, find someone who can mentor you in your internship. Someone who is willing to guide you through the know-hows of searching for a job and how to keep them. What you learn in your internship are life lessons that you can keep for a long time. It gives you a quick view of what to expect when you are finally ready to take on a role in the industry you want to pursue.
8. Keep your social media clean
Companies sometimes like to check applicants’ social media accounts, especially in the latter stages of the recruitment process. This is to ensure you are truthful about certain information you share during the interview and to see the kind of things you post about online. In a way, they get a better grasp of your overall character by checking your socials. Keep it clean by organizing the posts you have public and posts that are exclusively for friends. You can also manage this by putting some of your accounts on private. By doing so, it is easier to control what the employers might see.
9. Have a clear image of what you want to do
When you know the company you want to apply for or the job you want to have, then job searching will not be too hard for you. This is not easy for everyone, but if you are one of the lucky few that has a clear image of what they want to do after college then go for it. Send in your application and resume for that job you’ve always wanted. If you have built your entire college experience and education on that particular career, chances are getting hired will be a piece of cake.
10. Get career counseling
Some students feel anxiety at the thought of graduating soon. Life after college and looking for a job can be troubling and uncertain, especially if you are uncertain of what you want to do after everything. Talking to an adviser or a career counselor can help you ease that anxiety and give you a chance to think out loud with a professional. A counselor will help you make sense of your thoughts and direct you to a clearer goal. You do not have to deal with the burden of your first job search on your own. Aside from professional counseling, share your experience with friends and family who might be going through the same experience, or have gone through the same struggle in the past. Seek comfort in their words, and find assurance that you are not alone as you go through a complex time.
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