Browsing Tag

graduation

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.

Health Other

The Importance of Self-Reflection for the College Grad

May 8, 2019

The years that follow college graduation are unlike any other in your life.  For the first time, you’re not following a course of action and structure set out by others— parents, teachers, and coaches.  Now it really is up to you.

The way you show up for work, treat coworkers, your supervisor and how you navigate being self-sufficient will be governed by you.  However, the workplace alone is not where your success is defined or determined. Your achievements and ultimate happiness are reliant on the CEO known as your mind.

Being in charge of your thoughts through reflection, as opposed to reacting to the world around you, will bring greater awareness, joy and even longevity to your life.  

One way to start the journey of self-reflection is to ask yourself a series of questions, think about them, write down answers and talk about them with people who are close to you.

  • What do you tell yourself about your future, your relationships and your requirements for happiness?  
  • Do you know your strengths and talents?  
  • What are your needs for rest, relaxation, recharging and having fun?
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who are a support system for the life you want? Or are they pulling you away from your ideals?
  • Do you find it easy to forgive?  Are you holding on to anger?
  • For what things and people are you most grateful?   Do you openly express gratitude and how often?

This is the time to go deep building the most important relationship you will ever have—the one with yourself.  While you may have left school, peer pressure can show up anywhere. There will be situations in your personal and professional life that will test your commitment to your ideals of honesty, faith, and being a good listener with an open heart and mind.

How many times do we see people in all walks abandoning basic truths of what it means to be a good person?  The question is did the decision to cheat, for example, happen overnight? Or was it a slippery slope of little lies that escalated over time?

Technology has made many things so much faster and easier.  And it has driven a wedge between human connection and true self-reflection.  Before you once again stare into your screen mindlessly liking and sharing, close your eyes to tap into your curiosity and imagination.  Meditate and breathe deeply to quiet external stimulation.

The CEO known as your mind will promote you to the life you want when you have command of your options and choose the road of good character, humility, optimism, and concern for others.  This time in your life will form and forecast your future. It’s all up to you and the CEO known as your mind.

As your graduation day approaches, be sure to welcome the changes that are coming and embrace this new part of your life. Remember to continue to follow GradGuard even after you graduate for all the insights and advice a recent grad needs.

BIO: Lisa Shumate is General Manager of Houston Public Media, Associate Vice President at the University of Houston, and also Executive Director of the Houston Public Media Foundation. She is a mentor in the University of Houston PropPel Leadership Development Program for high potential staff.  She serves as Advisor to Public Media Women in Leadership and also is a mentor to the group’s founder. Lisa is also the author of Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart and Always and Never: The Companion Journal.

Career Other

Stepping into the Professional World on the Right Foot

October 22, 2018

Planning for the future can be confusing at times, but who says it has to be a struggle? From standing out at your internship to planning your post-grad plans, there are plenty of easy changes you can make to look and feel your best in order to succeed. Having the confidence to thrive in the professional world will position you to excel in whatever you do. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure you start off on the right foot:

Update Your Resume Frequently

It never hurts to get a second, or even a third, opinion on your resume. Rather than talking about your day-to-day duties on your resume, it’s best to demonstrate the skill set and benefit that you personally brought to a company/organization, and to have your desired company in mind while doing so. This can and should be, a process that it is completed regularly before applying to any job. Also as you engage in volunteer events, clubs, internships, and other extracurricular activities.

Utilizing the knowledge of classmates, professors, and your career center can help you to compile the best of what you have to offer, and showcase what is most important. Accepting constructive criticism, updating your vocabulary, and finding new ways to create a quality, eye-catching resume will put you ahead of the game.

Don’t be afraid to get creative when structuring your resume, as some employers like to see out-of-the-box interpretations, but use your best judgment. If you’re applying for a position at a young, creative company, for example, consider tailoring your resume to fit the company’s mission, values, and overall aesthetic. As you would tailor a cover letter to fit the job you are applying for, you should always do the same with your resume. Having a strong skill set on paper can help you emulate the confidence you need to score the job of your dreams.

Dress the Part

A big part of being the best version of yourself in the professional world is dressing the part. This doesn’t mean you have to dress business professional every day, but elevating your style to look more put-together, and especially well-dressed during important moments, is a great first step. For ladies, it’s easy to be stylish by pairing trendy loafers with dark wash jeans and a button-down top. Swap the jeans out for a pencil skirt and add a cute suit jacket for a more professional twist. Purchasing staple pieces that you can alternate from ultra-casual to business is a great way to elevate your look. For men, try renting a great suit for a big interview or networking event. In your everyday wear, get some stylish dress shoes to pair with dark jeans or khakis and a nice shirt or sweater.

Of course, you’ll still have days where wearing sweatpants in public is fine, but try to limit it to the weekends or for running quick errands. You never know who you’ll see on a grocery store run or in class, so it’s important to always be on your A-game and grow more comfortable dressing professionally.

Network

Networking is an important step to take when positioning yourself for success. No matter how far along you are in your collegiate career, it is never too early to take advantage of networking opportunities. When it comes to events, showing up in your best professional attire with a resume and business card in-hand can give you the confidence to interact with anyone. Work on your elevator speech, build an off-paper resume that you can speak to, and work on some speaking techniques to command the room and exude confidence.

The most important thing to remember about excelling at networking is maintaining the connections you make. Reach out to your connections on LinkedIn, offer to meet them for coffee when you’re in their area and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or insight when the opportunity presents itself. If you keep these connections into your career, it may turn into a mutually beneficial connection down the road.

 

Be sure to look to GradGuard for all of your Motivational Monday posts!