Congratulations! You just got your diploma, and you’re getting ready to enter the job market. It can be intimidating, especially if you’re fresh out of school with very little experience to list on your resume.
This is why fresh graduates are advised to use the summertime to improve their chances of getting hired in their chosen field. It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for college or applying for a job. Use this time to increase your odds in your future career. How do you do this? Here are some activities you can try going for:
Start by volunteering your time in charities or startups that could use an extra hand. It helps if you’re volunteering in a section of the industry that you’re interested in. For example, if you plan to be a Vet Tech, you can try volunteering in animal shelters first to see what it’s like. If you want to be a chef, try to be part of the shelters for homeless people. Volunteering doesn’t just pad your resume, though; it also allows you to create memorable experiences and support causes you care about.
Learning a New Language
Learning a new language is always a plus, especially if you plan to work internationally. Aim for languages where you hope to work someday or languages that are widely used in business. Employers love having a member of the staff who can speak multiple languages such as French, Japanese, or Chinese.
Sign language is also a powerful skill that makes you more hirable. It’s a vastly different skill from learning another spoken language like Japanese or French, but it’s widely used among the deaf community and will allow you to communicate with those speakers. There are three forms of sign language for English speakers — American (ASL), British (BSL), and Australian (Auslan). The one you decide to learn will depend on where you plan to live post-graduation.
Apply for an Internship
Internships are excellent entry-level positions for fresh graduates. It gives you exposure to competitive industries while still having the benefit of a mentor. Internships may not pay as well as full-time positions do, but the experience will be a good way to pad your resume. You’ll be able to learn more in your chosen industry and therefore have more to offer your next employer. Better skills result in better pay, and this is the goal!
Get More Education
Thanks to the internet, you can easily enroll in different courses related to your college diploma. Some of these courses are available for free so take advantage of those additional certificates. Opt for courses that are relevant to your particular industry. For example, if you’re a college diploma holder of a business course, try enrolling in online tax classes. These two complement each other and put you in a better position to be hired.
Clean and Build Your Social Media Presence
Employers today are more tech-savvy than ever. They’d happily check an applicant’s online profile to determine if they’re a good fit for the company. While some may argue that this is not a good way of hiring someone, the fact is that there’s a good reason why employers do this. Once hired, the applicant will eventually be part of their team and therefore forms part of the company brand.
If the applicant fails to add to the brand’s overall image, it can be disastrous for the business. Be on the safe side and keep your online profile clean. It doesn’t have to be completely professional and serious — just make sure you’re not posting anything objectionable.
Invest in Confidence
Your mind definitely needs to be at peak performance before applying for jobs. However, it also helps if your body is at its peak during application. Being confident in your stance, stature, speaking skills, and written skills can go a long way in charming future employers and graduate school staff. Start investing in professional clothes and find the confidence to speak and answer interviews for the eventual face-to-face interview. You might also try taking sample exams if you plan to get a master’s degree or pursue postgraduate courses like law.
Polish Your Resume
Your resume should always be up to date, even if you’re not looking for a job. It’s easier to add new skills or certificates when they’re fresh in your mind. Every time you get the chance to do something that’s positive for your future career, open up your resume and add it in! A good technique is to maintain a LinkedIn profile where future employers can easily check you out and see your latest skills.
Get into Informational Interviews
Informational interviews are basically consultations where you gain advice regarding possible career paths. It’s a good way to get insight into where you are and how you intend to move forward. These informational interviews usually involve answering tons of questions and having exhaustive discussions about your plans. Note that they’re rarely free, as career advice is a career path in itself. They can be very useful, though, especially if you don’t know what to do next.
Start a Project You Love
Starting a business or a personal project can be something as simple as a blog, a home-based small business, or a community movement that focuses on your passion. This simple project shows a potential employer or graduate school that you’re dedicated and capable of working autonomously.
Generate a Budget
Money can be a huge mood-killer, especially if you don’t have any. Use this time to create a budget that you can use to pursue a career or a postgraduate degree. If you worry about money less, you’ll have an easier time focusing on the big picture and achieving your long-term goals.
Do More With Your College Diploma
We understand how exciting it can be to have your college diploma on full display in your home. Once you have it framed and on full display, the next step is to build on it through skill acquisition. Remember — your diploma is an excellent stepping stone to success, but it’s not everything. Start doing the tasks listed above, and you should be doing your dream job soon.