In last week’s post I outlined 5 Things I Wish I’d Done During My Final Year of College. These were:
- start a blog (and update it regularly)
- write at least 3 guest posts
- build really strong online presence
- work on an exciting project
- research 10 companies you’d love to work for
Reading over the article and the comments, I realized that there were more activities that could have really set me up for the perfect first post-graduation year. I’m not suggesting you try and tackle all of these but here are 5 more ideas for making yourself the most unique and best prepared college graduate next year.
You’re probably thinking about updating your Resume/C.V. or pulling in the final details on your portfolio. This is the time, however, to also talk to your current favorite professors and teachers, call up your last summer job employer or someone you’d previously worked with. Contact them while you and your work ethic are still fresh in their mind and ask for a reference or even just a short feedback snippet. You can do this through email or, if your contact is more professional, via LinkedIn.
Having positive references to quote during your interviews or to boldly display on your professional hubs will make all the difference when someone skims over your information.
Write an ebook
Whether you’ve started a blog or are just reading blogs in your industry, you continue learning along the way and deepening your expertise in certain topics. What would happen if you published an ebook that could serve as a resource on some of these? What if you wrote up a resource that you could take with you to interviews, together with the feedback it received?
Yes, You Need Business Cards Too. If you want to appear more professional, act more professional. Business cards seem to be the standard for exchanging contact information across industries (although digital tools are quickly on the rise) and having your own business cards made will help you achieve the appearance of a prepared and focused young professional. Business cards don’t even need to look boring.
Set up mock interviews
How else are you going to figure out what specific job roles actually entail? Interview widely and often, talk to professionals in the fields that interest you and ask them both about their day-to-day life as well as their career path. Doing so in the next few months will give you a nice headstart on the companies that you do approach. Plus you’ll feel more confident that you’re making the right choice in selecting a specific position or career.
Attend conferences and industry events
Most students wait till their first job to get onto the industry conferences wagon, I know I did. But doing so in your final year of college could really increase your chances of finding that perfect first opportunity as you get to meet and network with a wide range of company representatives and exhibitors. Bigger employers may be presenting or behind an exhibition stall so come prepared with questions and notes. But remember also that you’ll probably have a chance to meet other attendees from smaller/more local companies, making it a nice mix. If nothing else, you’ll at least learn something new at some of the conference sessions.
Do you have any tips or suggestions to add?
Anna is a Social Media Marketing Assistant at Pepsmedia, based in Cambridge, UK. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, she joined the small team straight out of university and is now helping businesses engage with customers online and build communities. She is passionate about the use of social media both in business and for individuals. To find out more, read her Life With Social Media blog, or connect with her on Twitter @annamanasova and LinkedIn.