Is the realization that you will be graduating college soon creeping up on you? Don’t worry. A few of us are on that same boat! In order to be prepared to land a job, there are certain things you need to help you succeed in the dog-eat-dog world called work. As a young professional, here are the top essentials any working girl needs to be a fierce competitor in the workforce!
Back to Basics
A well-written resume that shows off your talents should be a priority of every collegiette’s list of things she needs to be successful. Without this crucial piece of paper, employers won’t be able to know your credentials. Depending if the industry you’re pursing a career in is business professional or creative, you may be able to use your graphic design skills to add some flare to your resume!
Your cover letter is a reflection of you to a potential employer. It’s not meant to be your resume regurgitated. Instead, focus on showcasing your skills that you can offer the company and why you are qualified for the position. Did you have a summer internship that required you to do a final project? Briefly explain it in your cover letter and how you could impact this company doing the same thing.
Visualize this scenario. You’re off to a job interview in the city. Once you’re in the elevator, you notice it’s the Head of Human Resources taking the ride with you. What do you do? Sell yourself, of course! By the time you graduate, you should have your 30-second spiel about yourself “down to a T.” No excuses!
Blazers, pant suits, and blouses galore! Show your class (and a little bit of sass) in your work outfits. Invest in a good suit, flats for those hectic days on the run, and heels that are comfortable enough to spend all day in. Check out the Her Campus UCF Pinterest “Work Hard. Play Hard.” board for inspirations for work outfits!
Keep yourself organized with a planner. This is critical to keep your life in order and keep you sane. Remembering appointments, meetings, deadlines, and special occasions will be so much easier! You could even do it online for free with Google Calendar.
If you think knowing how to use social media won’t help you with your career, you are clearly mistaken! Not only can you hear about the latest news on your industry, you can also network with people. Just make sure your social media accounts reflect you in a positive light. There’s definitely no need to swear like a sailor for the world to read. Keep it classy, collegiettes!
Depending on your industry, it might be a good idea to invest time into learning how to use certain software programs like Photoshop® or InDesign®. If there’s an Adobe Brand Ambassador at your university, make sure to utilize the workshops and specials offered.
It’s not about who you know, but who knows you. Create a LinkedIn account and make sure to keep it updated since it’s basically like an online resume. Use the special sections to talk more about things you couldn’t emphasize in your resume, show off recommendations from people, and network with professionals. You should even include your LinkedIn account in your email signature!
Subscription to the Wall Street Journal
How smart would you sound if you were talking to someone and mentioned you read about the topic you are discussing in the Wall Street Journal? Super smart! It’s important to stay up-to-date with all the latest news in your industry and the world in general. Students even get a special discount for the WSJ, so sign up today online!
If you meet professionals, make sure to shoot them an email saying it was nice to meet them. Include something from your initial face-to-face conversation that will help them put a face to your name. Key things to remember when writing an email include: proper grammar, your contact information, timing of email, and a good subject line.
Welcome to the 21st century where you don’t have to be boring with your business cards! It’s time to get creative. Business cards are the key elements to networking and exchanging information with people. Your cards should be professional yet represent you at the same time. Make sure to visit Minted for your business cards before your next interview or career fair!
Business Card Holder
Need something to hold all your business cards? Get yourself a cute business card holder so your cards don’t get ruined in your purse. Plus, you’ll look professional and organized when you hand someone your business card from your nifty holder. Visit Things Remembered for personalized ones!
Store anything you would need for work, including your laptop, in a spacious tote bag. It’s important to invest in a sturdy one that will last you awhile so you won’t have to dish out for a new one every year. Although you shouldn’t get a bag that draws attention, you can purchase one that shows off your style!
Snail mail is not dead! Instead of sending an email, you could send a notecard from your personalized stationery. A hand-written note goes a long way. Check out Minted for more!
Start planning for your career now. Your competition isn’t waiting, so why should you? In order to get your dream job, you need these items so you can be a force to be reckoned with in the working world. Go knock ‘em dead!