“What are you going to do after you graduate?” might be the second most dreaded question to any fourth-year University student. Right after “why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?”, that is. And rightfully so; gone are the days of sleeping in until that 11 AM class that you may or may not attend. With the Summer months quickly approaching, reality is kicking in and it’s time to adult.
Figuring out your next step after post-secondary school can be intimidating, so here are some tricks to help make the process a little easier – and hopefully keep that aunt who asks too many questions at family functions off your back:
Focus on yourself: Everyone is different. Some people jump right into the workforce after graduation but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the right decision for you. Maybe you want to specialize in a post-grad program, or maybe you want to take a month off and travel the world. The point is, don’t make a decision just because that’s what your best friend is doing. Make the decision that is best for you.
Network: This is your golden key to entering the job market today. Network with anyone and everyone. Remember that guy who came into the restaurant you work at and offered you advice on getting a job? Take him up on it. You never know what a coffee date with someone will lead to. At the very least it may give you some direction on the path you want to take with your career.
Get LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the Facebook of the professional world. It’s not only a great job searching tool, but also a potential way to win over that employer who is definitely going to look you up prior to an interview. TIP: You can download the Premium LinkedIn for a free one month trial.
Research: Don’t just throw your resume out to any company with a job posting. It’s important to do your research and see if the company culture is the right fit for you. It may seem like extra work but it’ll pay off down the road. If you realize you don’t like a company after being hired, then you’re back at square one. Take time to ensure your resume and cover letter reflect the key qualifications listed in the job posting as well. TIP: Mentioning keywords they outline in the description will help your resume stand out.
Finally, be patient. Job searching can almost be a full-time job on its own. Applying for jobs and preparing for interviews is a lengthy process and one that doesn’t happen overnight. Showing you’re interested in the job by following up with employers can be beneficial as well, but too soon after the interview can come off as annoying. It’s important to find a balance and stay positive during this process.
The right job will come along and soon you’ll be teaching others how to adult.