By Lauren | February 9, 2015 | 0 Comment
Graduation is fast approaching for you, and although it may feel like you have all the time left in the world, that time will fly by in the blink of an eye. So what should you be doing in the months leading up to graduation to be sure you are setting yourself up for success? Here are some tips.
Really this is a task that should be happening all through college and university, but like I said, time flies while you’re in school and before you know it you’re in your final year and realize you’ve made no industry connections. Leading up to graduation is prime time to attend job fairs, networking events, or even just industry events that you could have the opportunity to talk to others in your industry. If you don’t have the capacity or money to attend these events, start reaching out to companies, or people on LinkedIn. Another good tool for Canadians is Ten Thousand Coffees which allows you to get in touch with leading industry professionals.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring along personal business cards with you when you head out to these events!
I’ve covered in many of my posts before the importance of volunteering, even after you land a job. Volunteer is another great place to not only network, but have valuable experience to add to your resume. Employers want to see that you are involved in extra-curricular activities other than just attending classes. What’s even better is that you can attend events that you may not usually get to afford for free as a volunteer. Where to start? Find conferences or events happening in your area, and reach out to the organizer to find out how you can get involved!
Start building your personal branding and reputation. Having a personal brand can help set the tone for you as a professional. Design (or get designed) your business cards, a logo, and get a professional head shot taken. Then make sure all your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn are up-to-date. Think of your brand as a way to advertise yourself, and establish yourself within the industry. If you really want to get into it, build a website and/or blog to help digitally showcase your portfolio, work, and passion for the industry. My website (the one you’re reading this on) has really accelerated my career and helped me build my image. I have landed interviews and freelance gigs solely from my website alone.
Tip: Check out my beginner guide for personal branding for more tips!
Don’t wait to start your job hunting early. Even if you aren’t ready to be hired for a few months, getting yourself out there before all the other millions of students that are also graduating can be a big help. Reach out to companies and organizations, and let them know you’ll be graduating soon and ask if they know of openings that your qualifications would be suited for upon graduation. A great place to stop for resources is Talent Egg in Canada, or work with a place like The Ladders in the USA to get assistance in your job hunt.
The most important think to remember is to not wait till the day you graduate to get going on setting yourself up for career success. Procrastination will not make your job hunt any easier!