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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

I am officially in my last semester of college and I am counting down the weeks until graduation. It has been some of the most amazing years of my life and looking back, I can’t imagine having spent the last four years anywhere other than West Chester University. My undergraduate experience has been quite different than that of a lot of my older peers, friends, and family members though. We have had hurdles that are far different than anyone has seen before (namely a global pandemic that persisted through four semesters), but we have made it to this stage regardless. 

After talking to some of my friends who are not yet in their graduation stage, I started thinking about all the things I have done that I feel have better prepared me to take on the world in a few short months. Thus, without further ado, here are three things everyone should do before they graduate:

1. Build Your Linkedin.

A LinkedIn is basically a living professional resume, portfolio, and social media that you can use to network and connect to others in your industry. I have used LinkedIn to look for jobs, see what professionals in my preferred industry are doing, and keep up with the trends. As a Communication Studies major, staying up to date with the ‘here and now’ has always been challenging. There are so many new things happening in the news and media all the time and LinkedIn is a great way to build a professional presence and keep up. 

Building your LinkedIn requires only a few easy to do elements. You should have a good headshot and background image, pictures that compliment one another and give a look into your industry or maybe what your personal brand looks like. You should also have an “About” section, where you talk about yourself and describe what it is you do or would like to do. Finally (at the bare minimum), put some work into the “Experience” section. If you are coming up on graduation, you can include anything from details about your education to internships you may have had throughout college to volunteer projects or work experience. Here’s where you get to brag about all the cool stuff you did during your college years that sets you apart from other candidates and applicants for your dream job.

Having a LinkedIn will show employers in this world of social media that you are a serious candidate. We are growing up in a time where each social media serves a different purpose but if you do not have any accounts at all, you could come off as inauthentic or boring in the job market. A LinkedIn page can make you look professional and accessible to recruiters and current hiring businesses.

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2. Update your Resume.

You know that piece of paper that you look at maybe once a year because you’re looking for a new job or your professor is making you do something for class? Yeah, that. As a soon-to-be college grad, that little piece of paper is about to become a whole lot more important and relevant as you start looking for jobs and what to do with your life after graduation.

You can update your relevant experience and skills but also take advantage of the resources around you that you have while you’re still around campus. West Chester University has a Career Development Center that is open and accessible for all students (and alumni if you find yourself changing industries or careers later in your professional life). You can schedule an appointment and have your resume reviewed for suggestions, proofreading, and editing before you graduate and start sending it off to apply for jobs. 

Having a resume that properly represents you and shows all of the experience you have accumulated while in college. With color, word choice, and organization, you can even match your resume to your LinkedIn page and present a unified brand during the application process. 

3. Connect with your network.

You would be surprised how many people out there in the world genuinely want the best and care the most for you. Connect with them! Talk to them about your accomplishments, goals, and dreams. Someone in your network may (or may know someone who) can get you steps closer to working your dream job. 

Using LinkedIn, networking events, and simply just by talking to people you can build connections. Talk to your professors and advisors and ask questions about how you can stand out in your industry, improve your professionalism, or even if they just have any advice or know of any mentors who could help you accomplish your goals. The more people you meet and get to know, the smaller and friendlier the ‘real world’ looks. 

Graduate with confidence. Use LinkedIn, a great resume, and your established network to chase your dreams and get your dream job. Your future is limitless and by checking a few more things off your ‘to do’ list, you are setting yourself up for success.

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