You’ve been working hard for four years, and as you prepare for the end of your senior year, you’re probably focusing on finishing up your classes and enjoying end-of-college festivities. Although it’s a time to enjoy yourself with the friends you’ve made in college, it’s also the time to be looking ahead and preparing for the next stage of your life after college graduation.
The time you’ve spent learning and the accomplishments you’ve made during that time will help you get the attention of prospective employers, but that’s not where it ends. To get a jumpstart on your new life, here are five things you should do to make sure you’re fully prepared for the next steps.
Don’t wait until you’ve graduated to start networking; if you haven’t started connecting with people in your future area of employment, then now is the time to start. You can also connect with people in other industries, as that can often lead to having doors opened in your area of expertise.
In a way, you’ve been doing this from the day you started college. The other students, faculty, and administrators that you’ve gotten to know are now part of your network. Before you graduate, make sure you’ve connected to them through LinkedIn, and don’t be shy about requesting face-to-face meetings with faculty members or administrators. Ask them for advice on what jobs to target, and share with them any plans you have. This could be beneficial as you search for a job.
Scrub Your Social Media
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fun ways to interact when you’re in college. They’re just as useful for keeping in touch once you’re out of school, but you should start looking at posts and cleaning up any items that an employer might not view in a positive light.
The Society for Human Resource Management found that 84 percent of employers look at social media profiles when they’re making hiring decisions, so review all of your accounts, and think about how each post reflects on you as an employee. It could make the difference between you and another candidate.
Build a Website or Blog
In addition to having a positive image on social media, a website or blog can help you stand out from other candidates. Michael Page of the recruitment firm PageGroup explains that a blog “can be a wonderful way to highlight your skills” and establishes both your knowledge and expertise. It also shows your creativity, intelligence, and how passionate you are about your profession.
Get References Ahead of Time
Once you graduate, your life will get busy and you will most likely be leaving the city where your college is located. Getting the job references you’re going to need in the future is something you should take care of as soon as you can. You’re going to want three to five references to provide to prospective employers, so think carefully about who is best suited to vouch for your skills and work ethic.
Some good potential candidates for references are your current employer or internship director, a professor or administrator, or even someone who has supervised you in a part-time or volunteer position. Always get the person’s permission to use them as a reference, and once you’ve had an interview, reach out and let them know that someone might be contacting them.
Decide Where to Move
If you don’t have a job secured, you might have a certain region you want to target. For example, if you’re looking for a job in the tech sector, then you might want to look at cities like Austin, Texas, or San Francisco. You’ll want to do your research on the cost of living and the current job market before you make your move, and you can also ask for input from a trusted professor or administrator. Once you’ve chosen where to move and found your first home or apartment, there’s no need to spend an arm and a leg on furniture. Use CORT Furniture Rental’s easy options to get the furniture you need without the long-term commitment and expense.