Prepping for Graduation

So, I’m graduating in February and guys, the senioritis is real. But the closer I get the more I realize that tons of my friends have no idea what they’re doing when they graduate, and they’re not alone! Lots of people are clueless as to what they should do when they get out of college, and the real answer is there’s no right path to take. Some people go into graduate school, some go into the workforce, some take a gap year, and those are only a few roads you could take! Regardless of what you’re going to do, there are some steps everyone can take to help them prepare for graduation.

Step Up Your LinkedIn Game 

I know some seniors who don’t even have a LinkedIn account and that just blows my mind. LinkedIn is basically a digital CV plus a professional social media account. Prospective employers can connect with you, you can add your current professional connections, and your connections can endorse your skills. You can also hunt for jobs and catch up on news. Personally, I made a QR code that goes to my LinkedIn profile and I put it on my resume and business cards and people love it. This really is a super valuable thing to have and it’s free!

Write A Resume

You would not believe how many seniors in college don’t have a resume. Honestly, I have more than one! I tailor my resume to the job I’m applying for, but for job fairs and stuff, I have a generic one. And don’t be afraid to talk yourself up! You want to showcase your skills and impress future employers. Make sure not to use a generic resume template from Microsoft Word either, you want it to be as unique as you are! Also, you want to ensure that the way you present yourself aligns with the job you’re going out for. A marketing firm is going to look for a different format than an engineering firm, and you need to take that into account.

Make Business Cards

I use Vistaprint and get great business cards for an even better price. Business cards make you look professional and put together and can be customized to fit anything you need. It’s also an easy way to give people your information at networking events. I also put my LinkedIn QR code on the back of these to make it easy to connect. You can even make cards with different textures and accents to catch the attention of those you give it to. Many professionals agree that if your card is different in some way, they remember you better.

Network, Network, Network

Even if you’re taking a gap year, you’ll most likely want to get a job or go back to school at some point. Networking is the easiest way to do this! Knowing people can really get your foot in the door, so don’t be afraid to talk to people. I have tons of business cards and contact information for people I’ve met that has helped me in ways I never thought possible. People are very willing to help most of the time, but you have to go talk to them. This is honestly one of the best pieces of advice I can give because connections are invaluable.

Ultimately, these things may help some, but you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. I know I don’t! There are so many ways the world might pull you, and you never know where you will end up. Just keep yourself happy, healthy, and try hard at whatever you do. Also maybe make a LinkedIn, it couldn’t hurt!