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May 11, 2022 4 min read

 

 

Graduation season is here! It’s an exciting milestone regardless if you are graduating from college, high school, or celebrating a kindergartener in the family. It’s the time to celebrate our achievements and newfound knowledge.

Your time in school is hopefully some of the best years thus far, so understandably, graduation can be a bittersweet experience. Having personally gone through the transition a few years ago, I get it. On the bright side, you’re about to embark on new adventures ahead. It helps to keep in mind that changes ahead are inevitable, and it helps to plan ahead and start preparing for what is to come. Here are some tips to help you grab life by the horns and show it who’s the boss!

Update your resume

Think of your resume as your profile on a dating app. t is the first impression employers will have of you, and whether they swipe left or right depends on how you present yourself. It is very likely that your university/college/high school has resources to help you improve your resume and cover letters. So seek those out! Ask for help from your professors and colleagues, and send it to as many people as possible so you can get a lot of feedback.

Personal tip: Keep it simple! Nowadays, a lot of companies will use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to scan your resume before it reaches an actual person. So if you use an online template with tables and graphics, it will prevent the system from finding the information that is relevant to the position. Again, keep it simple, make it in word and always send it as a pdf.

Create a Linkedin Profile

I bet you heard a lot about Linkedin at career workshops but if you haven’t come around to creating a profile, I’m here to tell you that it is indeed very important. Linkedin exists for the sole purpose of connecting professionals with similar interests and you know what is one of the most important things you need in order to get a job? Connections!! Not only that, but so many companies are posting their job openings solely on Linkedin, so if you are not on it, you are missing out.

Personal tip: Take a professional headshot, add a banner that fits the sector you are planning on working in, and be as descriptive as possible when you list your experiences.

Plan ahead

You don’t need to say it. I know it’s hard to think about the future when you have papers, presentations, projects, and deadlines happening right now. But you still have to plan your next steps. Your last semester is when all the people in your life will be asking the tough question of “what is next?”. As annoying as it is to have to keep answering that over and over again, especially when you have no idea what you want to do next, it is all part of the process! So if you have a plan in place, you will feel relieved as the end of the semester looms ahead.

Relocation

Living in a big city straight out of college is not for everyone. It might seem like a dream come true to move to New York City for your first job and live life like Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City. But the reality is not so fabulous as you might think. Living in a big city is expensive. Rent, transportation, groceries, and utilities all add up, which might be too much for an entry-level salary.

Personal tip: it is extremely important to start saving for retirement early and to have a substantial amount of savings for a rainy day (or a worldwide pandemic) so living paycheck to paycheck is not the way. Keep your choices open, but remember that the city will always be there, including when you start making more money in a couple of years.

Stay in touch

As I mentioned before, college years can be some of the best years of our lives, and the friendships that we make can last a lifetime. Since it’s likely they might be working in a similar field, keeping in touch is an excellent idea not only for networking purposes, but to be a part of each other’s support circle as you “adult” together.

Don’t be hard on yourself

On social media, it seems that everybody is getting top-notch jobs before graduation. Believe me, things happen to people at different times. We all also have different barriers that not everyone has to deal with. My barrier was my visa, it was hard seeing all my friends being able to apply for any jobs they wanted while I had to apply to ones that were eligible for the type of visa I needed.

Personal tip: Don’t compare yourself to others. If you don’t have any leads yet, and planning to move back home to figure it out, that is totally ok! It doesn’t mean you have failed in any way. It just means you need time.

Good luck and Happy Graduation!


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