Hello, Graduation: Tips for the Next Chapter of Your Life

For many of us, our upcoming graduations may seem like the kiss of death for our social lives and more stressful than exciting.

Graduation means the end of constant partying, laying by the pool in between classes and most importantly, is the beginning of our harsh initiation into the real world.

If you’re like me, you’re completely stressed out about finding a job because, let’s face it: Who wants to have to move back in with their parents after graduation? It seems like an extremely anti-climatic end to the last four years.

I haven’t found a job yet, so I can’t promise a 100% success rate, but here are some tips that have helped me along the way:

graduation balloon
Ian Kahn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Network, network, network

Go to as many career fairs as you possibly can. If someone can put your face with your resume, you stand a much better chance of finding a job.

Employers see hundreds of resumes each year, and anything you can do to stand out will definitely help.

Also: I’ve found that following up is key. Meeting someone doesn’t matter if you don’t try to stay in touch. Career Builder has some additional helpful job hunting tips.

2. Find your references

The first step is to ask the people you are considering for permission to list them.

This is so he/she is prepared to talk about you and isn’t completely caught off guard if someone calls.

If you have a specific interview or job application coming up, it also wouldn’t hurt to give them an additional heads up. Here are some tips on choosing references.

Speaking of references, make sure your resume is in order which means it is error-free, chock-full of information about you and your experiences both in and out of the classroom. Not sure how to build the proper resume? Build your resume with ResumeEdge!

3. Scope out cities

Make a mental list, create a pro/con list or do whatever you need to do, but start by figuring out where you want to live.

Decide where you’d love to live, where you wouldn’t mind living and where you’d despise living.

This helps you figure out where you wouldn’t mind relocating to, which will significantly narrow your search. CNN’s city rankings might help, too.

Backup Plan

4. Make a plan

Do you intend on living in your apartment for a couple of months after graduation? If you don’t, you may want to start looking for a sub-leaser.

How are you going to move out? Do you want to slowly move all of your stuff out so you don’t have to do it at once?

Figure the logistics of moving out now, because I have a good feeling you won’t want to deal with it when you’re in the midst of saying goodbye to your friends in your last few days of college.

5. Make a backup plan

If all else fails, at least have a backup plan for your post-graduation days. You never know when you might need it.

To make you feel better (or maybe worse, depending on where you go to school), here’s a list of top salary potential divided by school location.

Best of luck in your final months before graduation!

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