The ink is barely dry on your hard-earned college diploma, and the pomp, pageantry and hangovers of your commencement ceremonies are now a thing of the past. If you’re anything like most college grads, you’re facing an uncertain future and are probably saddled with enough debt to make most third-world economies blush. Deeps breaths, young apprentice: all is not lost. That is, assuming you make sure to do each and every one of the following things:
1. Turn Google into your own in-house marketing department
When you were racking up legions of Twitter followers through your hilarious hijinks on the #DisturbingBurritoFillings hashtag, career development may not have been at the forefront of your mind. We all gotta live, right?
Sure. But just make sure you scrub those unsavoury old Tweets clean before sending out your resume. Other than death and taxes, having a prospective employer sniff through your Google footprint is one of life’s surest certainties.
Now that you’ve tweaked your Facebook privacy settings, or, at the very least, released PG-13 edits of whatever-it-was-you-did-last-weekend, consider what you can do to harness the cosmic power of the Interwebs. Post up a few of the landscape photos you took during your trip to Florence last summer; start a blog and muse (intelligently) about one of your many personal interests or hobbies. Make yourself visible, and visibly hire-able. Start cultivating the brand that is you.
2. Intern, Intern, Intern – early, and often
We all gotta make money, but trust yourself enough to know that that will come in time. Doing an internship at a few different, and ideally larger, companies during your college career, or shortly thereafter, isn’t just a great way to give your resume a boost: it will also help you make informed career decisions down the road. Saying you want to work in public relations sounds that much more plausible when you’ve already given it a try, and spending a couple of months working for free at a company with a recognizable name gives you much needed credibility. So much, in fact, that it’s worth what may feel like indentured servitude. If it does, we’d suggest biting down hard and remembering that it’s only temporary. Internmatch.com can help you find the right internship, perhaps even a paid one.
3. Softly network
Tapping into your own personal network of friends and relatives is an excellent way of getting a head-start in your post-collegiate career. So make as many friends as you can by participating in clubs and societies at college, and be sure to keep those friendships up. If we’re all separated from one another by six degrees at the very most, staying in touch with people can go a long way indeed. LinkedIn can be of great service in building these relationships. A word to the wise, however: as smart a career decision as it is to sow your networking seeds widely, don’t reap the harvest until you’re sure the time is right, and don’t till the land too aggressively: you may well need that soil again in a few seasons!
You CAN get a job out of college
And the right one at that! Getting a job right out of college isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s very possible to find something that fits if you work at it. And remember: you don’t need to do one thing for the rest of your life. Keep your mind open, and embrace new opportunities!