Alumni Advice: 4 Tips for After You’ve Worn the Cap and Gown

Globe UniversityGlobe University’s graduation season is quickly approaching, and there’s no doubt the class of 2013 is anxious to walk the stage in their caps and gowns. There’s just one problem: many students have failed to picture their life post-graduation.

Where will you be working, what type of activities will you do to make yourself a successful professional, and have you even started networking? These are scary things for grads to picture. What if you don’t find a job right after graduation, what’s your plan B?

So, as someone who has “been there, done that” I would like to offer some advice to new graduates.

1. If you haven’t already done so, create a rockstar LinkedIn profile.

People are actually getting jobs on LinkedIn in today’s job market, so to ignore this amazing tool seems foolish. Start by creating a professional LinkedIn profile that accurately illustrates all of your professional skills, along with your education. Next, start adding instructors, classmates, former and present coworkers, friends, family members, and anyone that has had the experience of working with you. In return they’ll endorse your skills, making you a more attractive candidate to recruiters.

2. Just because your schooling has stopped, doesn’t mean you should stop learning.

From the time we enter school, we are conditioned to think that once we’ve graduated, the learning stops, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a professional, it’s important to continue to gain industry knowledge and learn from your leaders. In fact, I find myself actually reading MORE articles and books in relation to my career, than I ever did in school (but don’t tell my former instructors that).

3. Whatever you worry about will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

Okay, time for some honesty. Things can get pretty ugly in the “real world.” Maybe you hate your job; maybe you’re dealing with some outside issues that are preventing you from truly delving into the search for your dream job. But just remember it’s going to be okay! Getting down on yourself over the lack of progress you’ve made isn’t going to help. Stay positive and know that through perseverance and hard work, you WILL make it through! I mean, you managed to make it this far!

4. Be loyal alumni.

This statement is so true. As an alum, staying connected to your alma mater will continue to open doors and build relationships that could come in handy for your future.  If you’re an accounting student, stay in contact with your accounting program chair and your instructors. These people have been chosen as instructors because of their success and experience in the field. So, chances are they’ve got some pretty sweet contacts in their industry and could put you in position to interview or even get hired! And last but not least, stay in touch with your career services advisor. Career services is a resource specially designed for grads and they’re there to help for your lifetime, not just your time spent as a student.