I’ve Graduated! Now What? How to Prepare For Your Career.

Posted in Work

Congratulations to the class of 2015! It’s been a few weeks since you’ve graduated and now it’s time to kick back, enjoy the summer…and wait… does that mean you’re an adult? You’re not going to school next year, you’ve graduated college or university and so the logical next step would probably be to find a job. Ok, no problem.

You have a degree, so you’ll be fine. Right?

Before you drop everything in a panic, don’t worry I’ve been in the same position. I need you to take a deep breath. Yes, you did graduate. Yes, you don’t need to go to school in September. Yes, you are an adult.

Now that we have come to that realization, let’s talk about three key steps you can take to landing the perfect job.

Create a professional online presence

I’m guessing you might already have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus (maybe?), but do you use LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a great tool for not only finding jobs but also for networking. It’s very easy to set up and it only takes a few minutes.

Do you use your Twitter account to talk to your friends or discuss the latest video game? Maybe it’s something you don’t want your potential employer to see. Consider setting up a professional Twitter account where you can share articles about your field and connect with others who are involved in the same type of work. You can also set up a professional portfolio using sites like WordPress, Weebly, Wix to showcase your work.

Finally, make sure you check the privacy settings of all your social media networks. Is there something you wouldn’t want a potential employer to find? Delete it and/or un-tag yourself from that not-so-flattering photo.

Create a unique cover letter and resume

When I started to apply for jobs, I never thought that including a personal logo would make a significant difference, but I got plenty of compliments on it. Keep in mind, a personal logo might not work for you depending on the industry you want to work in, but even the layout and/or font changes can make a significant difference. Visit Smashfreakz for (free!) creative resume outlines and this Business Insider link for resume and cover letter inspiration.

Use your resources and network

Of course, you can use the typical university job search or government websites when looking for work. However, I tend to use new job search engines, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Talent Egg, YMCA Summer Job Service, Charity Village, and Job Postings.ca. They are great at keeping job postings up-to-date. One great tip that I found was to sign up for daily emails based on key words used in your industry. This way you can be aware of new postings.

The hidden job market on social media is also a great tool. Are you interested in a role at a particular company? Look them up on social media. I’ve used social media on several occasions to connect with hiring managers on Twitter and LinkedIn. There’s a chance that a job has yet to be posted and could be the perfect fit for you.

I hope these tips have been helpful in starting your job search. Also, don’t worry about finding a job right away. Maybe an internship or a few months of relaxation is exactly what you need.

Let me know where you are in your job search and what’s worked for you in the comments below and connect with me on Twitter (@Money_On_Trees) or Facebook to stay up-to-date on new content.

– Nancy

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