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• Take your first summer to prepare for the real world.
• Test out jobs after graduation with summer internships.
• Start networking to find your dream job faster.
After the post-graduation high wears off, you’re faced with your first summer in the “real world.” Now that school is over, what should you do next?
It’s hard to know what to do after college. Right now, it’s overwhelming and the possibilities probably seem endless.
The good news is you can take this first summer to prepare yourself. Take time to figure things out and take on the real world like the adult you’ve become.
Figure Out What You Want To Do
While majors help you narrow down your career options, you still have hundreds or even thousands of options to choose from. Your first step is to take some time to figure out what to do after college. Some questions to ask yourself include:
Once you answer all these, you’ll have a better idea of what direction to go in.
Trying Out Jobs
You don’t have to tie yourself down to a career right this second. While it’s fine to get a summer job, you don’t have to get a full-time job in your field just yet. Instead, try out jobs by applying for a summer internship. While many of these are unpaid, you get valuable experience to add to your resume to help you land your dream job later on.
Plus, if you love your summer internship and the employer loves your performance, you may just get a job offer at the end of the internship. This means no running around applying for jobs and going to interviews. It’s a good idea to contact your college’s career center for available internships in your area.
If your college’s career center doesn’t have much information, you can also search for summer internships at:
Contacting companies you’re interested in also works. Email them, visit in person, or call them.
Want to boost your skill set or dive more in-depth into a specific skill to better prepare for a job a certain company? Spend your first summer as a graduate doing summer-field studies. These are intensive education programs that only last a few months at most. They’re a great way to pick up skills your degree path didn’t cover.
Often times, a business may want a specific skill for you to be eligible. Spending your summer preparing shows your dedication and boosts your chances of getting hired.
Prepare For The Job Hunt
You shouldn’t wait until you find a job you want to learn how to build your resume and interview for a position. If you’re lost on what to do after college, practice job hunting. Ask friends and family to help you. First, create your resume and have others look it over. If someone you know has a boss that’s willing, ask them to review your resume to see if you’re on the right track.
Using templates is a great place to start. Productivity suites, like WPS Office, include resume templates to make this process much easier.
The next step is to learn how to interview. This includes making sure you have the proper clothes. Ripped jeans and a t-shirt won’t cut it. It also means learning how to answer interview questions and ask questions yourself. Set up mock interviews with friends and family to prepare. You could even ask owners at local small businesses if they’d be willing to give you a mock interview.
For help with interview questions, try these resources:
The more prepared you are, the easier it’ll be to get the job you want.
Of course, it’s also a good idea to start your job hunt during your first summer after graduation. Check out openings. List what companies you’re most interested in. Set up a profile on LinkedIn and start making connections with people at those companies. Networking is always a great idea.
You might want to attend job fairs to speak directly with business owners or HR managers. The sooner you start looking, the sooner you’ll land your dream job and start working your up with the ladder to the career that college prepared you for.