When you finish college at last, your hard work will have paid off, and you’ll have a world of possibilities ahead of you. You’ve spent the last several years preparing to start your career, and during the course of the next few months, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to put this preparation to use. Our goal is for you to have all the proper tools to help you along your journey. It’s for this reason that we’ve created a list of tips for college grads entering the workforce. We hope you can use our advice to achieve all the success you’ve been working toward.
Be Prepared for a Change of Pace
If you’ve completed any internships during your schooling, you already have a bit of an idea of what’s in store for your professional life. If not, just keep in mind that a workplace is usually a much different environment than a classroom. It will require you to be adaptable as you begin to get a feel for the tasks required of you, and you may have less flexibility than you’ve gotten used to as a student. For example, you may not get ample breaks throughout the day as you did between classes, and you probably won’t automatically be granted long breaks for the holidays anymore.
Create a Unique Résumé
Interviews are great for having face-to-face contact with a potential employer. An in-person interaction makes you easier to remember, and it gives you the opportunity to make a positive impression. In order to get an interview, however, you have to have a strong résumé. Try to stand out in your résumé by finding a balance between creative and professional. Write a unique cover letter for each company you prospect. Another thing you can do is take the initiative to deliver your résumé in person and create an immediate impression.
Write down everything you can while you’re still in school as well as when you start your new job. The act of writing things down helps commit things to memory, and you’ll have something to refer back to later. Having written proof of any situation you come across is also helpful. If possible, take all your notes by hand—handwritten notes are extremely beneficial for your career.
Motivation and ambition are extremely admirable, and employers love to see those qualities in people. Sometimes, however, we get ahead of ourselves and become frustrated if our careers don’t move at the pace we’d like them to. It’s okay if receiving a promotion, a raise, or an assignment to a big project takes a bit of time; after all, you’re just starting out in your career. Plus, having to work toward your goals for a bit longer will make your success that much more rewarding when you do achieve it.
Make Yourself Valuable
Ideally, you want a company to question how they ever got along without you. Insert yourself as an integral part of the team, and bring something new to the table. You’re in the place you’re in because you have a part to play in improving the value and success of a business—never let yourself forget this.
Maintain Your Online Image
Keeping a clean online image is advisable. Employers sometimes look up potential employees’ social media accounts as an evaluation tactic, and you don’t want them to find anything they may deem unprofessional. If necessary, change your privacy settings so that only your friends can see your profile. Employers want to be sure their employees won’t cast what could be considered a negative impression on their businesses.
Have a Nest Egg
Even if your paychecks are lucrative, make sure that you aren’t spending too much money. Work toward saving the equivalent of three months of bills in the event that you find yourself in a bind. We also advise that you put a percentage of each paycheck into a savings account.