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graduation

Career Student Life Transition

10 Powerful Tips For Graduates Entering The Workforce During COVID-19

April 29, 2021

Across many industries, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused uncertainty, affecting employment and experience opportunities for new graduates entering the workforce. As one example, a growing number of candidates are now interviewed virtually, impacting the opportunity to build relationships with the people involved in recruiting.

On the extreme side of things, many of today’s recent graduates will also be required to start their professional careers from home. Here are some insights for successfully entering the workforce during COVID-19. 

#1: Don’t Stop Learning 

Graduating from college doesn’t mean you are done with learning. While the knowledge and certificate or degree you acquired are valuable possessions, they are not the only things that lead to success. Beyond academic knowledge, there are a lot of things left to be learned that will put you ahead of others in finding, achieving, and being successful in your work life.

#2: Look For Internships First 

Though it is good to have aspirations for high-paying jobs, it’ hard to go from graduate into lucrative roles without taking a few other steps first. The number of open vacancies for recent graduates is now limited than in the past. Businesses are still trying to figure out how COVID has impacted their company and the industry in general, and they aren’t willing to make financial commitments or take the same risks they did in the past. If entry-level positions are slim, check out internships. One could even land you a full-time position once it’s completed!

#3: Start Building A Portfolio 

A portfolio is documentary evidence of what you are capable of doing. When other candidates compete for the same jobs with traditional resumes and cover letters, having a portfolio will help to differentiate you as a valuable resource. When desirable opportunities are not available, consider starting private projects related to the types of jobs you’ll love to be doing in the future. Or, consider volunteering in similar roles to show your strengths.

#4: Commit To Proactive Networking 

Being proactive about networking will put you ahead of other people that are usually waiting in a reactionary mode. You might have heard that your net worth is directly related to your network.  And, most people are holding back interacting with others because of the pandemic….now is the time to stand-out and shine when others are waiting! If your LinkedIn profile isn’t already in top shape, spend some time to do and use it as one of your greatest networking tools.

#5: Embrace A Relentless Drive

For you to move from being a graduate into the world of work, you need a relentless drive. More than anything else, this characteristic will empower you to withstand inevitable obstacles you may discover along the way. And, you can share those learning experiences with potential employers. A strong work ethic can land you just about any job, regardless of experience.

#6: Be Adaptable To Change 

When you are entering the workforce as a graduate, you are bound to experience a lot of opportunities that don’t match your expectations. At that moment, your best bet is to be open and adaptable to change. All employers want people who can adapt and change course during challenging times. This goes along with your drive. Work hard and be relentless!

#7: Try New Things 

Both in terms of learning and networking, you must commit to trying new things. Another way to look at this is that you have to embrace going outside of your comfort zone. The world works differently because of COVID-19 and you need to learn how to adapt. This might mean taking the time to learn how to use the new software the company is using for all of its virtual meetings. Or, figuring out the ins and outs of a project management tool that seems confusing now, but will be instrumental in organizing your team’s projects down the line.

#8: Define Your Meaning of Success

The big question is this – what does career success mean to you? Once you clearly identify what success means to you, convey that to others in a way that relates to your personal values, vision, and life purpose. Once this is communicated clearly, others can understand how they can help you achieve this, and how it fits with their goals for recruiting the right talent.

#9: Set Measurable Goals 

Having a goal is important. But if you don’t have a way to measure progress towards accomplishment of your goals, achieving them is difficult. As important as it is to set goals, measuring progress, and modifying your strategy when needed, are also important. Don’t aim unrealistically high nor sell yourself short and aim too low.

#10: Find Your Internal Motivation 

Motivation is the fuel that drives people to accomplish their goals. Without it, life will seem like a challenge. However, people need to find what drives them and satisfies their sense of self-worth and purpose. External sources can motivate you to achieve some things for a little while; however, they’re limited in helping you attain long-term, sustained success.

Spend time gaining self-awareness about your strengths, your goals, your measures of success, and what can get in the way of attaining these things.  Once you understand yourself better, you’ll know what you need for continuous growth, and which career roles will be best for you.

Adulting Student Life Transition

6 Common Money Mistakes New College Grads Make

March 25, 2021

College graduation is a time of celebration for students and a jumping-off point for the next chapter of life. It’s a time to make important decisions, whether you’re continuing your education with a higher degree, starting your career, or taking a moment to regroup.

But it’s not the time for making poor financial choices. Here are a few common money mistakes recent grads make and how to avoid them.

1. Thinking retirement is too far off to start saving

Retirement may be years away, but it’s better to start saving for retirement as early as possible. The earlier you start saving, the more time your investments have to grow. As you add money to your retirement fund, interest also starts to accrue. Over time, you start earning interest on the interest you’ve earned. This is called compound interest, and it’s a powerful savings tool. The earlier you start saving and earning compound interest, the better.

2. Missing student loan payments

Right after graduation is the time to focus on your financial future, which includes keeping up with student loan payments. This will help ensure you continue to build a positive credit history and possibly improve your credit score. A positive payment history and healthy credit score could open up more money-saving financial opportunities down the road, such as lower interest rates on an auto or home loan.

3. Overspending that new paycheck

If you have a new job in your chosen career field, you could be making more money than ever. But before you go spending your paycheck on the luxury items you’ve always wanted, consider the impact these purchases will have on your budget.

Necessary expenses — like rent, utilities, and groceries — should come first. Less obvious but important expenses like building an emergency fund or having enough for auto insurance coverage should also be considered before splurging on “wants” versus “needs.”

4. Banking where your parents do

The bank your parents use (and now you probably use) is likely a suitable location for storing money in FDIC-insured accounts. It’s not a bad thing to have access to brick-and-mortar locations, but most traditional bank accounts can’t compete with the benefits of online banking.

Making the switch to an online bank could help you earn more interest, avoid unnecessary fees, and still have FDIC insurance. In addition, your current bank might not offer other perks that come with the best checking accounts, like getting your paycheck early or having easy access to your money through a mobile app.

5. Misusing credit cards

Credit cards can be a helpful tool for building credit and having cash flow when you need it, but using them irresponsibly can offset their benefits.

Keep in mind that building your credit history and improving your credit score means following some accepted best practices. This typically includes making your payments on time, using less than 30% of your available credit line, keeping your oldest credit accounts open, having different types of credit accounts (for example a credit card and an auto loan), and not opening too many credit cards too quickly in a row.

6. Skipping renters insurance

Whether you’re back studying on campus or off to live on your own, renters insurance can offer you essential financial protection. This type of insurance can include coverage for clothing, laptops, bicycles, and other belongings in case of unexpected events like vandalism, theft, or fire.

If you keep these six tips in mind, you could avoid some of the common money mistakes that recent college grads make. This will help you take proactive steps to secure your financial future.

BIO: FinanceBuzz’sVP of Content, Tracy Odell, also held the same position at Student Loan Hero and has expertise in this subject, as well as all things related to college finances.

Transition

The Best States for New College Graduates to Live

March 3, 2021

Graduating from college signals the beginning of a whole new era, and starting your post-graduate life is a big step to take. The extent of this challenge can differ greatly depending on where you live. If you are considering where to base yourself after college, it helps to know what areas offer the most opportunities for finding a job and affording a place to live.

Using data sourced from the United States Census Bureau, we’ve broken down the best states to start your post-grad life. 

Hawaii

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.2%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $49,455
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $635,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,300

It’s no secret that Hawaii’s allure for the younger population is strong, offering a very unique lifestyle, but it does have one major downside in that it is very expensive. The median price of a home is the highest in the nation, so the dream of ever owning your own property in Hawaii any time soon is probably a lofty one. That said, the average income for graduates is relatively solid and the unemployment rate for the same is comfortably low. 

Photo by Brian Garrity on Unsplash

California

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 20.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $59,709
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 4.1%
  • Median property value: $525,000
  • Median monthly rent: $2,750

Another state that requires a mention due to the extent of its attraction is the state of California. Unfortunately, though, it’s the second most expensive place for owning your own home (especially in the state’s largest city of Los Angeles) , as well as suffering a high unemployment rate. If you do still fancy your chances of gaining solid employment in the Golden State, however, the median college graduate salary is one of the highest in the nation.

Indiana

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 16.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $47,950
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.3%
  • Median property value: $179,900
  • Median monthly rent: $1025

While Indiana lags behind somewhat when it comes to the percentage of people who hold a degree, its housing costs are very attractive for those starting out and hoping to own their own home sooner rather than later. It boasts a pretty healthy unemployment rate for degree holders, too.

New York

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 19.9%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $56,910
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3.5%
  • Median property value: $411,000
  • Median monthly rent: $3,200

The Empire State might have the highest rent, but it also boasts one of the highest median incomes of any state, so again, if you fancy your chances of landing a great post grad job and you want to go big, then maybe take a bite of the Big Apple!

Colorado

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 24.8%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $51,093
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.9%
  • Median property value: $420,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,900

If snow-covered mountains are more your thing, Colorado is a solid choice for postgraduates. With one of the highest percentages of adults with degrees, a healthy median income and a reasonably affordable property market, it might be time to head to the Centennial State of colorful Colorado.

North Dakota

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21.1%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $46,945
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 1.1%
  • Median property value: $224,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,300

If job security is your priority, then the Great Plains of the midwest might be calling. North Dakota boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate for college graduates. Couple that with a particularly affordable property market and this state is not one to overlook lightly.

Massachusetts

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 23.4%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $60,715
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 3%
  • Median property value: $439,900
  • Median monthly rent: $2,600

With a median income of over $60,000, you could afford more than beans for dinner if you lock down some post grad employment within the Baked Bean State. Rent isn’t the cheapest around though, so perhaps beans on toast once a week would be prudent. 

Seager Trailhead, Massachusetts 3, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stati Uniti

Photo by Michael Baccin on Unsplash

Maryland

  • Population aged over 25 with a bachelor’s degree: 21%
  • Median income for over 25’s with a bachelor’s degree: $61,631
  • Unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree: 2.8%
  • Median property value: $305,000
  • Median monthly rent: $1,700

The Free State has the desirable statistics that you just can’t argue with. A high median income, a reasonably healthy unemployment rate for graduates and an affordable property scene makes for a very promising climate from which to launch into post-college life.

Only you can really know what location will make you truly happy, but being armed with some important statistics when it comes to employment opportunities and affordability can help you recognize which state might be best for you to call home after college.

Career

Tips for Writing a Killer Business Plan

December 22, 2020
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Are you gearing up for the next phase of life after college and considering embarking upon a business venture? If you intend on taking it seriously, you will inevitably need a business plan. 

Your business plan is an important document and well worth your time and effort to perfect. When executed effectively, it has the power to paint a vivid picture of how your business will operate, the goals it will strive toward, and what ethos it will be driven by. 

Formatting your business plan 

There are two main styles that a business will choose when formatting their business plan:

Traditional business plan – This typically spans 12 or more pages incorporating detailed analyses, supporting documents, contracts, permits, licenses, credit histories and more. They take much more time to create upfront, but taking a deep dive into your business that leaves you with an extremely thorough outline can serve you well.

Lean startup business plan – One or two pages summarize the most important elements of your business strategy. This potentially covers all of the same sections as a traditional plan, but is more condensed to give overviews rather than elaborate analysis. 

Investors and lenders will typically prefer a traditional business plan, but if you expect the course of your business to undergo significant change, a lean startup business plan covering the fundamentals may suffice.

Whatever template you choose to create, you can use the following tips to ensure that you craft a solid and compelling plan to propel your business forward.

Keep it simple

Keeping it simple does not mean dumbing it down – but if your plan starts to waffle, you’ll quickly lose your reader’s interest. When it comes to business plans, more than many other forms of writing, you need to keep it sharp, concise and effective. Only use photos, graphs or charts that significantly enhance the reader’s understanding of your vision and ensure that your formatting makes your document even easier to navigate.

If writing isn’t your strong suit, consider hiring a writer or editor. You can find freelancers to help out with this on sites like UpWork or Fiverr. Just make sure you opt for high rated sellers with excellent reviews.

Work backwards

When creating a plan for a future vision, it can be helpful to reverse the process in your mind and draft your plan from there. For example, realistically consider where you would like your business to be financially after the first 12 months, and then work backwards. What goals would need to be achieved after six months? Three months? One month? Work these milestones into your draft and soon you will see your business plan taking logical shape.

Know your competition

Never speak negatively when referring to your competitors. Familiarize yourself with who they are and what they are doing both well and poorly, and, in your own business plan, outline how you will differentiate your brand from the rest. What will be your company’s unique selling point or proposition (USP)? Be sure to highlight whatever it is that sets you apart from the rest – unique approaches that have viability attract the attention of investors and show that you have thought this vital aspect of the business through.

Know your customer

Successful business plans demonstrate well thought out insights into their customers and a desire to truly understand their clients. What are their needs or problems they have that your business will solve? What is your target demographic? Who will be buying your product or service? Why do they need it? These insights lead to the all-important question – why will they pick you?

Outline your marketing plan clearly

It’s easy to have lofty dreams, but not so easy to drill down on exactly how those dreams will be achieved. A solid business plan demonstrates that the how-to has been carefully researched and considered, and that you have arrived at a series of specific steps that you will take to execute your vision. Where and how will you market? What will you offer and to who? How will you generate new customer leads? How exactly will you entice consumers away from the competition?

Be realistic 

It’s great to dream big, but remember to keep your immediate plans within realistic parameters. Don’t overestimate your revenue forecast or inflate your financials. Do your research and position yourself with confidence, not naivety or arrogance. What will you offer and how much will you charge? What do comparable businesses charge for similar products or services? Keep your projections realistic to cultivate trust with your reader and be sure that the financial information you share is rooted in solid facts.

There are thousands of online resources at your disposal when it comes to crafting a winning business plan – we’ve just highlighted some key points. Be ambitious, yet realistic. Demonstrate care and research regarding customer insights. Speak respectfully but confidently when analyzing your business in comparison to others. Back your claims up. And importantly, once you’ve collated your business plan’s content, deliver it in a concise, sharp style. Get to the point whilst infusing just the right amount of passion to drive your intentions home. Good luck!

Career Student Life Transition

Is Community College the Right Choice?

November 6, 2020

Growing up, many students and their families are led to believe that attending a four year college or university right after high school is the best decision. They hear that the quality of education will be better, the college experience will be more fun, and that it will look better on their resumes when it is time to make a career choice. But community college shouldn’t be overlooked simply based on the benefits of attending a four-year university.

Here’s why community college may be the right choice for you:

The Cost

Most families and students know that community college does tend to be less costly than a four year college or university. This is often one of the biggest reasons students begin their higher education career at a community college. Classes are a fraction of the cost compared to a four-year university, and it’s a good time to get the general education studies out of the way, or even take classes that simply sound interesting to you, since tuition won’t break the bank.

Credits Earned Can Be Transferred to a Four Year College or University

The classes you take at community college can be applied to your bachelors degree. Many students don’t realize general education classes, like your English and science requirements, are the same at both the community college and university level. Just make sure you’re passing your classes and meeting with your counselor to make sure you are on the right track to transfer your credits. It would also help to begin contacting the university you plan on attending to make sure your junior college credits will transfer and that you are taking classes that are equivalent to what is offered at their institution. 

Associate’s Degree May Be Enough for You

You can earn a degree at community college and be done with higher education, if you want. It’s totally up to you! Lots of students make the decision to pursue career options with just their associate’s degree under their belt. Other options include joining the military or attending a trade school.

Staying Closer to Home for a Bit Longer

Some students are hesitant about leaving the nest so soon after high school that they make the decision to attend a community college that’s close to home. This gives first year college students the opportunity to spend more time with their family and childhood friends, save money on school, and maybe even get a part time job. Attending community college and living at home can be an easier transition for students who are paying for school themselves or aren’t yet sure what they want to study at a four-year university.

If you and your family are trying to decide whether or not community college is a good decision, take these considerations to heart.

Student Life

How to Graduate Successfully During the Pandemic

October 29, 2020

The pandemic has completely changed the way our daily lives look. Very quickly, we’ve had to readjust many of our habits and daily routines that we once took for granted. So it’s no surprise that for many of us, both the present and the future appear uncertain. The pandemic has presented most people with challenges they may have never had to face before, such as forced distance, or the loss of opportunities. 

Students, in particular those approaching their date of graduation, are more prone to thinking ahead than most, as they seek to plan their next step in life. For students in this position, the uncertainty and challenges of the pandemic add another layer of stress to the prospect of graduation. However, panic is not the answer, and with a cool head and positive attitude, graduation can remains firmly on the horizon. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that the coronavirus doesn’t get in the way of you securing your hard-earned diploma! 

Stay on Top of Your Studies

Just because many campuses have shut their doors and the classroom walls can seem like a distant memory, that doesn’t mean that academic standards should be let slip! It’s important for students to stay focused on upholding the quality of their academic work so as not to lose sight of their educational goals. 

While it may not be possible to sit with teachers or peer groups in person, the internet luckily offers students many tools that allow them to keep their academic standards high even while social distancing. Students can make use of online tools to make sure the quality of their research does not slip by using a referencing site and a plagiarism checker tool. By upholding a strong sense of academic integrity, students can more easily focus their sights on that up-coming graduation date with confident single-mindedness. 

Stay Active

It’s essential to keep the mind and body sharp as ever. Continuing with your hobbies outside of the classroom will make it a lot easier to preserve a sense of normal life and lessen the likelihood that the pandemic will have a negative impact on your academic motivation. 

If the way you practice your pastimes, such as being part of a team sport or meeting with a hobby club, has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a great opportunity to try out new things and maybe develop a new passion! Think about hobbies or skills you’ve long been meaning to take up. Seeing your progress in something outside the classroom is a great way to keep up that sense of academic motivation that will keep you plain-sailing towards graduation.

Stay Connected


In these times, when social distancing is a must, it can be easy to feel a little disconnected. To keep grounded in both your social and academic life, it’s important to stay in contact with those you care about. Use social media to reach out to friends and acquaintances, new and old. Staying connected to those around you will help keep you connected to your study goals and smoothen the path to graduation.

Other Transition

5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

May 27, 2020
5 Perks of Graduating College in the Winter

Graduating in December means finishing all your classes and requirements mid-school year, and getting your diploma just in time for the holidays. It might not come with wrapping paper and a bow, but it’s a pretty impressive gift. If you’re a winter grad or are thinking about graduating next winter, take a look at this list of perks that can come with finishing college in December.

It can be a money saver.
If you’re graduating early, that’s one less semester’s worth of fees and costs that spring up between classes. Dealing with student loan payments after college is tough, and this can help cut some of those costs you’ll be faced with.

Continue Reading

Career Other

5 Common Mistakes You Can Make at Your First Post-Grad Job

July 30, 2019

Being hired for your first post-grad job is an exciting life event. It’s also one that comes with apprehension, confusion, and a fear of making mistakes. This is all normal. Everyone messes up at least once, and chances are, you will, too. Fortunately, most people are willing to forgive mistakes and help newbies get situated. However, you also can do your part by actively trying to sidestep common blunders. Here are five mistakes people often make at their first post-grad job and ways to avoid them.

1. Not asking for help

It can be intimidating to enter a new workplace, especially one composed of long-time veterans who go about their days like clockwork, automatically knowing what needs to be done. While it’s understandable you’ll want to fit in as quickly as possible, it’s a bad idea to pretend you already know everything. It’s far better to ask for help right away if you don’t understand something or need further clarification. No one expects you to learn by osmosis.

2. Not researching a job before accepting

Many newbies to the workforce are so excited about landing a job that they forget to do their due diligence before saying yes. For instance, if a job offer is in a new city, you’ll want to carefully research the company before you accept it. And if you need to relocate, be sure you are moving to a city you can afford. You don’t want to end up in a circumstance where you’re set up for failure from the get-go.

3. Arriving late in the morning

Late arrivals are generally under your own control, so as “mistakes” go, they’re not as forgivable as some other blunders. While in social settings, being fashionably late can be seen as cool, at work it’s definitely not. Make an effort to be on time every day with these tips:

  • Get in a habit of getting out of bed at the same time every day.
  • Go to bed earlier if you can’t get up in the morning.
  • Avoid hitting the snooze button.
  • Set several alarms if you do tend to snooze or turn alarms off.

Make whatever changes you need to do to be punctual. While occasional lateness is usually forgivable, it’s not acceptable for most workplaces on a regular basis.

4. Including too many people on emails

Email is still a primary method of communication for most workplaces. People often start a chain of emails that includes dozens of recipients, sometimes more. Before joining the conversation, consider these rules of thumb:

  • Read messages carefully and determine if a response from you is warranted, or if the email is purely informational.
  • If a response is warranted, be brief and discriminating about your reply.
  • NEVER hit “reply all” — unless your response provides value to everyone, offers more information, or asks a relevant question.

Hitting “reply all” is a common mistake, sometimes even for seasoned professionals. But try to avoid this one because it’s an annoying time-waster that can earn you some ill will. No one wants their inboxes filled up with “OK, got it” or “thanks for the information” types of responses.

5. Losing your work

It’s upsetting to discover your work has gone *poof!* after spending hours on a project or document. Don’t make the rookie mistake of losing your work. Instead, make the use of cloud computing software a routine part of your day. Navigating cloud technology is also a good skill set to add to your professional toolbox.

At the end of the workday, it’s a given that everyone makes mistakes. The best thing to do is own them and do whatever you can to rectify them. If you hide your mistakes or fail to own up to them — rather than fix them — people eventually catch on and lose respect for you. It’s wiser to accept that it’s OK to screw up sometimes rather than beat yourself up. Try to learn from your slip-ups and discover ways to avoid mishaps in the future. 

Other Transition

Why You Should Relocate After Graduation

June 13, 2019

Changing locations after you graduate might be the best move for your career, your social life, and your wallet. There are some benefits to staying in the network you built while you were in school, but the benefits of starting fresh in a new area can make it well worth the move. With your degree in hand, you’ll be ready for the challenge.

Relocating Jump-Starts Your Career

Relocating before starting your first post-college job offers several advantages over settling for something nearby. For starters, launching your career is much easier when you’re not tied to one location. Shopping your skills around to companies across the country, or across the globe, broadens your prospects for that critical first job.

If you’re currently in a rural or suburban area, a move to a big city can significantly increase your lifetime earnings. One study looked at the short- and long-term benefits of an urban relocation and found a significant boost to valuable job experience. That experience resulted in higher lifetime pay, even when the subjects of the study left their city later in life. The cost of rent in cities may be high, but the financial advantages down the road can make it worth the investment.

Relocating Lets You Experience a New Culture

Every place on the planet has its own unique cultural fingerprint. Joining a new community can broaden your perspective of the world, even if you’re only moving to a different town in the same state. If you’ve been living in your college town for a while, a change in atmosphere can be very rewarding.

When you’re looking to make new connections in a new place, start by joining clubs, organizations, or associations that interest you. It’s ok to be a tourist in your new home—get out there and experience the people, history, or attractions your new town has to offer. A move is an opportunity to see the world from a fresh new perspective, and this eye-opening experience can help you see yourself in a new light as well.

Relocating Saves You Money

A change in location can have a big impact on your bottom line. Depending on where you currently live, you could significantly lower your cost of living or significantly increase your potential earnings by moving to a more favorable location.

A relocation can also help you cut other costs. For instance, you can shorten your commute by choosing an apartment that is closer to your next job. You can also save a lot of money on rent by sharing a place with roommates or downsizing your current living situation. There are even ways to make the move itself as cost-effective as possible, like comparing moving truck companies before committing to one.

In the end, a relocation might be stressful, but the years after your graduation can be a time of incredible opportunities for growth and positive change. Don’t miss out on what the world has to offer with the perfect opportunity to discover your potential and your path in life.

Check out more of our posts on life after graduation and follow @GradGuard to stay informed on any future advice.

Career Other

6 Tips For Nailing a Skype Interview

May 21, 2019

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, but having to sit in front of your webcam can make them even scarier.

Job interviewers are increasingly relying on Skype interviews as an intermediary step between a phone interview and an in-person interview. If your college semesters are coming to an end and you’re prepping for a video interview, these tips will help you make the perfect impression.

1. Perform Some Background Research

Preparing for a Skype interview should be no different than preparing for any interview. You can easily stand out from other applicants by learning as much as you can about the organization you’re applying to. Research the position through the organization’s website or through tools like Career Search, Vault.com, or Glassdoor.

2. Curate Your Space

Pick a clean, well-lit space with simple furniture or decorations, and angle your camera parallel to the wall behind you. If you live with roommates or pets, make arrangements before your interview to keep them out of the background.

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions matter—and this might be the truest in an interview. Dress professionally from head to toe. By dressing up for your interview, you’ll also be mentally preparing yourself to present your most professional side. Caring about the details will stand out and help you feel more confident.

4. Prepare Your Equipment

At least an hour before your interview, take some time to set up your computer so you’re ready to go before the interviewer calls. Test your internet speed to make sure your video call won’t drop or have to buffer. And ask a friend or family member to help you test your sound and video before the day of your interview.

You can also place the Skype chat window directly below your computer’s webcam so that it’s easier to look into the camera while still seeing your interviewer’s face. This will help the conversation feel natural on both sides.

5. Use Confident Body Language

Body language can make or break a remote interview. Avoid looking stiff by sitting up straight while relaxing your shoulders. Leaning in slightly when your interviewer is speaking shows your interest and engagement. And finally, focus on keeping your arms relaxed at your sides.

6. Send a Follow-Up Email

Once your interview is over, it’s important to follow up. A good follow-up email is polite, direct, and brief enough to leave another positive impression. Confirm that you’re ready to take the job by gently requesting an offer, or simply state outright that you hope to be hired for the position. Finally, make sure to include any follow-up materials promised during the interview.

Skype interviews may not be your favorite activity, but they’re quickly becoming a fact of life, especially if your degree means you’re applying for jobs across the country. Make the best of the opportunity by leveraging these tips from GradGuard, and you’ll soon be a video conferencing expert.

BIO: Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.