- Network/Connect with Professors - Professors are the middleman between students and professionals in the field. They are full of useful knowledge and live a life dedicated to helping out students and watching them succeed. If there is a certain professor you have taken a liking to, they can write you excellent recommendation letters and give you an idea of what to expect in the workforce. [Read: How to Connect with Professors]
- Use the Career Center - Against popular belief, you can still use the career center after you’ve graduated from college. They are there for a reason, so use the resources you have available to you. They have a dedicated staff to help you with one thing: getting a job after college. The career center can assist you with your resume, show you available jobs related to your major, and practice everything from mock interviews to crafting the perfect cover letter for the position you are applying for.
- Schedule Informational Interviews - An informational interview is your chance to explore a certain career in a question-answer session with a professional in the field. You not only gain priceless knowledge of the field, but you make a connection in the industry that may just be able to point you to the right people or opportunity. This is a good starting point, along with visiting the career center, if you have your degree and aren’t sure where to start.
- Show up in-person - Showing up is half the battle. It shows persistence and dedication. So make an appearance. Be present. Shake hands. Meet people. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Make sure prospective employers are able to put a face to a name.
- Attend Career Fairs - Take these as networking opportunities. This is part of going out and meeting people. The more you involve yourself in activities like these, the more they become comfortable. Talk to as many people as you can. Showing courage to approach, initiate, and showcase people skills goes a long way in these opportunities to network. Recruiters make note of these brief meetings, so just taking this one small step forward can only be beneficial.
- Intern - It’s not too late. Many internship programs will accept you within one year of graduation. It may be tough to stomach the fact of doing an internship after you already have a degree, but you have to remember, you get what you give. While many internships actually offer decent pay, the reward here is the added experience you receive and, most importantly, the connections you make while working these jobs.
- Don’t Chase the Money - Stick to things you want to do. If you don’t think an opportunity will be fulfilling, then why do it? We’re only here once. Go with your instincts.
- Be Enthusiastic and Stay Positive - Keep the faith. Good things take time to develop. Don’t expect an overnight success. In times of perseverance you grow more than you imagine. As a fresh college grad, it is an exciting time and you should be hungry to begin your career. Show a passion for what you are applying for. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous item. You want to have passion and drive for what you are getting yourself involved in so your heart is fully in it, otherwise it will become a job that will suck the soul right out of you. You only live once. Remember that.
- Relax and Be Yourself - During any job interviews, open up and allow the interviewer to really get to know you. Tell a story that brings out some positive traits about you. Feel free to go off topic in the interview room. Just having great in-depth conversations with the interviewer can build a strong enough bond and connection to get you hired.
- Focus on what you can do now - Getting too caught up in an unknown future can only lead to anxiety. Do one thing every day that can help you towards the career you want to be in.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ― Woody Allen
“Freedom is useless if we don’t exercise it as characters making choices . . . Few things are as encouraging as the realization that things can be different and that we have a role in making them so.” ― Daniel Taylor
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu