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life after college

Career Student Life

5 Reasons Why You Should Get an MBA

October 21, 2021

Getting a Master of Business Administration degree is one of the best decisions you can make when it’s time to push your professional career forward. An MBA can help you get ahead in your career, start your own business, and so much more. 

Many people debate whether it’s a good idea for them to go back to school and get an MBA. But there are so many benefits to choosing this as a new college option that will help you get ahead. Read below for some of the top reasons why you should consider going for your MBA.

1.     The People You Meet

While studying for a Masters of Business Administration degree, you will get a chance to meet others who share the same passion that you do for business. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, or if you plan to work for yourself or for a company, you will find that pursuing your MBA can open the door to valuable networking opportunities.

Take the time while working on your MBA to focus on networking and learning more about the world of business. You can make some of the best connections possible when you go for your MBA and there is never another opportunity to meet people like this all in one place. 

2.     You Get a Holistic Business Education

There is so much that you can learn when you work with an MBA. Even if you have spent a lot of time in the workforce, there are situations when learning new techniques and methods can be useful.

On-campus and online MBA programs can provide you with a holistic business education that will make sure you have a wide knowledge base and expand your interests more than anything else. 

3.     Work On Your Communication

An MBA program enables you to become an effective communicator. From writing papers and emails to giving a lot of presentations, you will do it all within this degree program. 

MBA programs are designed to help students find the best way to effectively communicate in all sorts of business environments. This is an essential skill for many of the industries in the world of business, and yet one that is going to be lacking in most business professionals. 

Whether you need help overall or you have a specific area that is lacking, you will find that this degree is going to give you some tips and tricks to make it all a bit better. 

4.     Learn About Collaborations and Building Teams

In the world of business, you will need to spend a lot of time working with others, being part of a team, and sharing ideas along the way. Collaborating isn’t always easy, but with an MBA program, you will get a chance to experience this before entering the workforce.

Businesses, no matter what type they are, are a type of group environment. If you are not already spending a good deal of time working in teams, you will find that this will change as you pursue your MBA degree. 

You will need to work on these teams regardless of whether you get the degree on campus or through an online university. You will also spend time learning how to build good teams, which is an important step in business management.

5.     Expand Your Mind

Busy careers can make it really hard to find the time for any kind of self-reflection. This is something that can change when you work on an MBA. Whether you decide to do this on campus or you are doing an online program, the MBA will make it easier to expand your mind. 

While you take these classes and spend time with other students who share your interests, you will get a chance to step back and think about things in a different light. These programs help you think about bigger issues in business, branch out in some new directions, and even consider some new opportunities to grow your career. 

Choosing to Get Your MBA Degree

An MBA degree is one of the best options to go with when you wish to further your career and get ahead with management or even starting your own business. When you are ready to make a change, take advantage of an MBA degree and see how much of a difference it can make for you. 

Adulting

Adulting 101: 15 Tips Everyone Should Know About

October 1, 2021

Let’s face it: Adulting is hard! How can you make your life smooth-sailing when transitioning from being parent-dependent to living your life on your own terms?

When you were younger, you probably felt excited about the independence that comes with adulthood. But as you entered this stage, and went off to college, you probably realized you have to include home and health responsibilities, finance management, and some organization into the equation. 

It can seem overwhelming at first. Here are some tips to make your adjusting easier as you handle your grown-up responsibilities.

Home

Tip 1: Clean Your Home Regularly

By regularly, I mean at least once a week. During your adulting years you’ll experience more stress. Putting off cleaning your home will just make it worse. 

Cleaning your house regularly doesn’t just make the place tidy and organized, but it also clears your mind from too many worries. Vacuuming and mopping can be even more of a hassle if you put it off for a few weeks, so make it a habit to knock it out when you clean the bathrooms, counters, and other parts of your home.

As you declutter your house, you declutter your mind as well. 

Tip 2: Learn To Do Minor Home Repairs

You don’t have to be like The Fixer from Youtube. You just have to learn the very basics so you can fix small damages quickly. 

You’ll also get to save some money which you’d otherwise need to spend on experts for doing tasks you’ll later realize are so simple to do if you just did a little bit of digging on how to do it. 

Some of the things you can learn to do online are:

  • Clearing gutters
  • Patching small holes
  • Clearing gutters
  • Replacing light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Replacing a blown fuse
  • Turning off the main power supply if you’ll be out for a few days
  • Unclogging a drain
  • Plunging a toilet
  • Turning off the water supply
  • Replacing air filters

Tip 3: Learn Laundry and Mending Skills

Did you ever have a white shirt that turned pink after laundry? That doesn’t only happen in movies, it happens when you mix colored shirts and white ones in one wash. 

Or have you tried wearing a shirt that used to fit right only to feel extra tight after it went through the dryer? It happens.

To avoid those things from happening, here are some laundry skills you need to keep in mind:

  • Separate delicates, whites, and darks when washing
  • Do small loads at low heat when drying clothes to avoid shrinking
  • Use warm water or cool setting to prevent color bleeds
  • Hang delicates when drying to keep the cloth quality intact

Moreover, you’re bound to get ripped shirts, popped buttons or broken zippers one day. Learn to do basic sewing, button, and zipper change. There are plenty of tutorials and how-to articles out there!

Health And Wellness

Tip 4: Learn To Cook

Relying on fast food, takeouts, and deliveries isn’t just unhealthy, it bores a big whole in your pocket. I’m not saying you have to avoid those altogether, you just have to minimize depending on them by learning to cook

You can either take a cooking class, ask your mom to teach you, download meal apps, or watch Youtube videos on meals you’d like to eat. 

Tip 5: Set At Least 30 Minutes Daily For Exercise

You don’t have to get a gym membership. A short walk, 15 minutes of light stretching, or a video-guided exercise on Youtube will suffice. 

As you grow older, you’ll start to feel aches here and there. Setting a few minutes of exercise a day keeps you physically agile and prevents sores you’d likely get from sitting all day. 

Tip 6: Schedule Annual Doctors Appointments

Taking care of your body now will save you from serious health complications down the line.

Scheduling appointments for yearly physicals, regular teeth cleaning, and eye check ups will help you catch anything early and get it treated before it gets worse.

Finances

Tip 7: Create A Budget

Unless you have an unlimited inflow of cash, you’ll need to create a budget. It’ll help you prioritize spending on the essentials and put spending on wants in place. 

Spending like a king on the day you receive your pay or allowance will get you hanging by a thread weeks before the next allowance or pay arrives. 

Creating a budget also allows you to allot some cash for savings so you’ll have something handy for the rainy days. 

Tip 8: Save For At Least 3-6 Months Of Your Monthly Expenses

You don’t know when times will get hard. If you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, an emergency savings fund will save you stress and potentially getting yourself in debt.

Tip 9: Consider a Secondary Source Of Income

If your time allows for it, find another source of income. It’ll help you save bigger amounts, pay off debts faster, or give yourself a break on a nice vacation.

Flipping burgers isn’t your only choice. If you have a creative eye you can design comic books, magazines, or booklets then get it printed to be sold or as a portfolio to get clients. You can also do digital illustrations if you have the knack for it. Side hustles are everywhere if you look hard enough.

Tip 10: Learn A New Skill

Find a skill you’d like to develop and think of ways you can make money from it. 

The digital world offers a lot of potential and it continues to grow since the demand for it in virtually all industries increases. 

Interested in photography? Learn it and create a website for it.

Always on social media? Learn social media marketing. 

Want to master writing? Learn copywriting or content writing SEO for eCommerce

If you can’t find a physical job right after graduating or if you want to quit your stressful 9-5 job, having an extra skill will ensure you’ll have other ways to fend for yourself. 

Tip 11: Get Insurance

There are tons of types of insurance, but for adulting, the best ones to get are life insurance, medical insurance, and auto insurance. Don’t forget tuition insurance if you’re still in college, and renters insurance whether you’re living on or off campus!

Getting insurance will ensure injuries or accidental damage are covered and you won’t be shelling out a ton of money out of pocket.

Others

Tip 12: Plan Out Every Day And Stick To It

Wait. Before you say planning and organizing is not your cup of tea, hear me out first. 

You don’t have to be extra detailed about your daily, weekly, or monthly activities. That’s too overwhelming. 

Just jot down the most important things you need to get done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

You can take note of:

  • Homework
  • Meetings
  • Regular chores
  • Bills payment dues
  • And important events

This way you won’t condemn yourself for missing events, forgetting to have some broken appliance checked, or being late and unprofessional in meetings. 

Creating a simple organizer or journal says a lot of your work ethics. When adulting, you always want to leave a good impression.

Tip 13: Acknowledge Your Limits

You are no superhero. Don’t spread yourself too thin by committing to too many meetups, work, and other activities. 

Thinking you can do everything will only lead to burnout. When you’re adulting, the world isn’t too forgiving when you break down from exhaustion so make sure you get enough rest by acknowledging you can only do so much. 

Also, learn to say no. It’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Tip 14: Take A Break

When everything is closing down on you, take a breather. It could be a weekend drive, a few days of vacation on a beach, a visit home, or a day of hiking near nature. 

Pulling a bit away from your usual routine will help you think clearly of why you’re doing what you’re doing and get you re-energized to start your routine again. 

Tip 15: Keep A Routine Maintenance Of Your Car

Your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere or the middle of a busy street will take your stress to a whole new level. Towing and repairs can be costly too. 

To keep preventable breakdowns from happening always do:

  • Regular oil change
  • Tire rotation/alignment
  • Filter change

Just like learning minor repairs in a house, you should also learn to change a flat tire. It’ll save you time waiting for somebody else to do it for you and save you money for calling on a tire expert to do this simple task. 

Don’t forget about registration renewals too. The last thing you want is paying for a ticket!

Conclusion

Adulting doesn’t have to be back-breaking ( figuratively and literally). Keeping these 15 adulting tips on your home, health and wellness, finances, and other areas will make your grown-up responsibilities worth-taking, less stressful, and best of all, enjoyable. 

Career Transition

3 Ways to Gain Experience That Will Land You a Job After College Graduation

April 1, 2021

If you head to college right after high school graduation, your focus for the next 4+ years probably isn’t going to be climbing the corporate ladder. Granted, you’ll work toward a major and learn how to do a specific job.

But, that doesn’t mean a career will be available to you immediately after graduation. College can offer a degree, but you’ll enter the working world with “entry-level” experience, which many employers don’t want.

So, what can you do to gain experience while you’re in school so you can kick off your career right away?

Immerse Yourself in the Collegiate Experience

One of the best ways to gain experience and get advice is to take advantage of all the services your college has to offer. Develop a close relationship with student services. It’s their job to not only get you through your collegiate career but help you prepare for the “real world.” They can assist you when it comes to things like resume writing so your job applications will pass things like automated applicant tracking systems.

Student services can also help with:

  • Campus life and extra activities
  • Mental and physical wellness
  • Diversity on campus
  • Alumni relations

Those functions can all help you gain more experience for a future job. Getting involved with activities and clubs on campus can help you gain experience in teamwork or leadership without having to work in an actual “job.” Plus, those who work in student services might be able to connect you with alumni in the industry you’re interested in.

Whether you’re getting your degree online or in-person, reach out to student services in an email or give them a call. Student services should be available to the entire student body.

Take a Part-Time Job

Many college students end up working part-time jobs to help pay for tuition, food, or off-campus housing. But, the right part-time job can actually be a great way to network. Having an internship in college is helpful, especially if it’s in the industry you’re interested in. But, internships don’t usually pay, and you may not get the hands-on experience you need if you’re just getting people coffee.

So, while there’s nothing wrong with waiting tables or working retail, try looking for a part-time job that will allow you to hone in on the skills you’ll need for a long-term career. That could include working in an office, or even starting your own freelancing business on the side for writing, graphic design, or any other useful skill you want to grow. You could even start your own online business as a side hustle. 

Even if you haven’t decided on your major, holding down any part-time job will let future employers know that you’re responsible and able to stick to a schedule, so it looks good on a resume.

Get Involved Locally

If you don’t want to work in college, consider volunteering either on campus or in the local community. While it won’t show up as work experience on a resume, sometimes life experience is more appealing to employers. Getting involved with an organization that matters to you will give you hands-on experience.

You’ll grow skills like:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Organization
  • Patience

Adding these skills and your volunteer experience to your resume could be extremely beneficial, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Landing a job after graduation isn’t just about having experience in a particular industry. It’s about having well-rounded skills and knowing how to market them. Keep these tips in mind to get the job you want after graduation, rather than sending out dozens of applications with nothing in return.

BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

Student Life

How To Gain Life Experience While You’re Young

February 2, 2021

It may seem like until you get experience, you’ll never be hired for anything. The common paradox is that you can’t get experience until someone hires you. There are, in fact, many ways to gain experience for the future while you’re still young.

Read Critically and Expansively

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the adult world is to read as much as possible. Through other people’s lives and experiences in both fiction and non-fiction, you gain insight into human nature and different lives you’ll never lead. Read so that you will be well read. Read so that you will understand allusions made by others. Read the nonfiction works of Dr. Gundry MD or Malcom Gladwell or Christopher McDougall to expand your knowledge about ideas and form opinions of your own.

Listen to Your Elders

Yes, older people sometimes repeat their stories, and, yes, sometimes they are slow to get to the point, but 80-year-old brains contain decades of wisdom that you are, well, decades away from achieving yourself. You may imagine that older people could not possibly understand your problems, but even though the names and dates may have changed, human problems have essentially stayed the same for hundreds of years. You may be surprised to discover that some old-school wisdom like “your word is your bond” and “say please and thank you” can actually take you pretty far in the modern world.

Travel Often

If you have a chance to go someplace new and try something new, take it. You never know what you might learn on the journey or gain from the destination.  You might see a bald eagle, learn how to change a flat tire, or discover your waitress grew up next door to the guy who runs the company you just applied for a job at. The world is interconnected, so get outside and see some of it before you’re tied down to a career with only ten vacation days a year.

Learn a Another Language

The older you get, the more difficult it is to learn a second language. When you were three, you probably didn’t think twice about singing songs in Spanish, French, German or Chinese. The older you got, however, the more uncomfortable you became at making mistakes. It’s human nature. Fight against it and keep learning. Become as fluent as you can in school, and then if possible, take a semester abroad or sign up for a volunteer trip to solidify what you know. Sometimes knowing a second language can leapfrog you right over the more experienced competition when you are ready to look for a job.

Volunteer on the Weekends

You may be too young for the job you want, so take this time to volunteer on the weekends or over the summer. Find an organization that will let you do the kind of work you’re interested in such as helping animals, tutoring or computer work and treat it like a real job. Show up on time. Be polite to your fellow volunteers. Don’t shirk menial work. Before you know it, you will probably be given greater responsibility. When it’s time to apply for jobs that pay, you will have references who will speak glowingly about your work ethic and can-do attitude.

Keep a Journal

It may be difficult to understand how keeping a journal when you’re young will help you when you’re older, other than aiding your recall when you write your “before I was famous” memoir. But a journal is a great way to reflect on what you learn and what you still don’t understand about life. It’s a place to write sage advice from others, lists of things you may never do again, and dreams for the future. It’s your past in the rearview mirror and also your future out the front window.

You won’t know exactly which event or skill you learn while you’re young that will help you in the future, but the more you pack into your elastic brain, the better prepared you’ll be. Don’t assume that just because you don’t have the job of your dreams that you’re not gaining experience.

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

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

Tips for Writing an Interview-Winning Resume

November 28, 2020

Recruiters receive an ample number of applications. Chances are, they skim through resumes for only a few seconds. This means you need a killer CV to grab their attention in a blink of an eye.

Build a professional, concise, and well-tailored resume to market yourself and increase your chances of getting an interview. It bodes well to display your skills, experience, and education relevant to the position you are applying for. If you have difficulties to create a stellar resume, worry not, as help is just around the corner.

Follow this simple guide to help you perfect any application.

Research and Compare

  • Check out online sources and successful resumes examples in your field.
  • Research their content, structure, and length.
  • Compare different samples and adopt the most suitable practice.
  • Analyze the results of your research to produce a notable resume.

Choose Suitable Templates and Layouts

A clean-cut, outlined template is a must if you want to create an interview-winning CV.  Implement these tips and get ahead of the competition:

  • Use a resume builder platform to pick the most suitable design for your application.
  • Customize segments of the template to fit your needs, goals, and ideas.
  • Select a simple and elegant design that complements your presentation.
  • Avoid using vivid colors and complex graphics.
  • Dig into examples of professional resumes to benchmark and stand out.
  • Showcase your skills, experience, and education, not forms and colors. Presentation is essential for success, so work hard on that part.

Select a Proper Format

Candidates often make common mistakes in an effort to fancy up their CVs. A big one is to overdo it with the formatting. This error causes difficulties for the recruiters to sift out the information and find what they seek. Also, getting creative with formatting wreaks havoc for applicant tracking systems (ATS) and that might cost you the interview.

Thus, make sure your basic information, skills, and experience are easily found, not tucked away somewhere unexpected.

This way you show recruiters your professional attitude and that you’re qualified for the job. So, it’s good to choose one of these most common formats:

  • Chronological –  The most used format which ideal for applicants with rich employment history. Start with your most recent job and continue in chronological order. 
  • Functional –  A focal point is your skills and accomplishments is proper for entry-level candidates with less experience.
  • Hybrid – A mix between the previous two formats is suitable for higher-level positions.

Choose The Right Font

With a matter of seconds to display your qualifications for a position, every detail matters. To create a sense of style and professionalism, it’s important to put extra effort and consideration into your font choice. Recruiters don’t indulge flashy and ornate resumes, so casual or comic fonts are a big no! Choose a simple and elegant font.

Provide Valid Contact Information

What is the point of a stellar resume if the recruiter can’t get a hold of you, right? Put a section in your resume solely for basic information. Double-check to ensure there are no mistakes so that hiring managers can contact you.

Here is what to include in this segment of your CV:

  • Full name;
  • Address;
  • Email;
  • Telephone number;
  • Website or blogs;
  • Portfolio.

List other professional networks connected to your field of expertise.

Write a Strong Summary

Start your resume with a brief but compelling summary. Let the recruiter get to know you. Write about yourself, your skills, strengths, and experience. Highlight significant accomplishments or professional certificates. An effective summary is essential to shine through the crowd of resumes.

Display Your Accomplishments

When you add professional achievements to your resume, you show potential employers that you are devoted and accomplish significant results. This segment of your CV proves you’re a valuable candidate, and it is an effective way to make your resume stand out.

  • List your significant achievements in the career section of your resume.
  • Back up your success with facts and data.
  • Help recruiters understand the essence of your experience and qualifications.
  • Include skills relevant to the specific position you apply for.
  • Mention budgeting skills, product development, team-management, projects, or campaigns.

Identify and Implement Specific Keywords

Research job ads in your field to outline niche-specific keywords. List these words to increase your resume value as the ATS detects them and picks your profile as a match.

Use keywords related to the position you desire:

  • Program training;
  • Transferable skills: teamwork, leadership, problem-solving;
  • Education;
  • Certifications;
  • Courses;
  • Other notable achievements;

The richer and concise it is, the better.

Display Transferable Skills

Transferable skills give recruiters a glimpse of who you are as a person. Adding them to your resume will increase your chances of reaching the first interview stage.

Here are some skills to consider including in your CV, but only list them if you really have them!

  • Teamwork;
  • Leadership;
  • Communication;
  • Adaptability;
  • Organization;
  • Dependability, etc.

Customize the Resume for Every Job

Take your time to format your resume in accordance with the job you apply for. Recruiters typically skip generic or robotic CVs. Impress them with a detailed, custom-designed resume tailored to perfection. Convince them that not only you want this position, but you are the right person for it.

Check the Submission Requirements

Keep in mind the specific resume submission requirements. You have the choice to email it, upload it on the company website or submit an application via third-party sites. Review the document format specifications and stick to the instructions.

Regardless of the format, you must include your first and last name in the title. Avoid sending a document called “My-Resume-file” because it gets lost in the pile of applications. If you submit your CV by email, remember to attach the required files. Sign the email and add your contact information at the bottom. 

Takeaways

It’s time to get creative and impress the recruiters. As mentioned above, some companies use special applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage and control pre-screening. Only well-tailored resumes get through. Implement these simple yet effective tips and get that interview!

Career

4 Reasons LinkedIn is Perfect for Recent Graduates

November 18, 2020

Graduating from college is a huge achievement. But after all your hard work in school, it’s time to start looking for a career. If you are one of the lucky ones who has a job lined up immediately after graduating, congrats! But for most, the next step after graduating is finding a job.

Here are a few reasons why LinkedIn can be the perfect place for recent college grads to find a job.

There’s not a lot of competition

As a recent graduate, many of your peers may not be on LinkedIn yet.  Sure, they will be active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But those sites aren’t likely to land you a job.

The sooner you create a LinkedIn profile, the better. So if you haven’t graduated yet, I’d recommend making a LinkedIn account during your last semester of school. Over 90% of recruiters are using LinkedIn and recent graduates are hot commodities. Be the first in your class to get on LinkedIn and recruiters will be all over you.

You can network with people at target companies

It’s tempting to accept the first offer you receive out of college. After all, it’s exciting to receive a salary with benefits as a recent graduate. Before accepting any offers, take some time to learn about the company you will be working for and the job responsibilities you will have. You can save yourself a lot of time in the long run by doing this.

If you don’t know anyone who works in a similar position at the company, you should check LinkedIn. It’s a great place to find and connect with other employees at the company. And you’d be surprised how many people are willing to get on a phone call to discuss the job with an interested applicant.

After getting some insider information, you’ll have a much easier time making a final decision.

There are plenty of high-quality jobs

LinkedIn is a great website to find and apply to jobs. It’s completely free for the job seeker and they even offer a filter for “Internship” and “Entry level” jobs.

It’s also one of the few sites that will occasionally show the recruiter who posted the job. This is a great opportunity for you to send them a message on LinkedIn expressing your interest in the position.

Networking with the job poster is a great strategy that is done regularly for higher-level jobs. But as a recent graduate, very few of your peers will know to do this.

You can get recommendations from professors and classmates

Recommendations are a great way to spruce up a LinkedIn profile. Since you just graduated, you should have a large list of professors and classmates you can request recommendations from. Recommendations are written testimonials that people can write about you. By asking some of your favorite professors or classmates to say a few kind words, you will stick out amongst your peers. 

Very few recent graduates have LinkedIn recommendations so even getting 2-3 will make you look like a rockstar to hiring managers and recruiters.

Takeaways

Here are some things to remember about why LinkedIn is great for recent graduates to land a job:

  • You will be amongst a minority of peers on LinkedIn.
  • You will save yourself from accepting a job you hate.
  • You will find high quality jobs to apply for.
  • You will receive recommendations that set you apart.

Author Bio: Mike Podesto is a former recruiter and current Founder & CEO of Find My Profession, a leading resume writing and career coaching company. Mike is passionate about helping job seekers find fulfillment in their careers by breaking down the tedious job search barriers

Transition

Graduated College – Now What?

July 15, 2020

2020 has taken a few unexpected turns that are going to hit the history books. As a recent college grad in the midst of a global pandemic and economic rollercoaster, here are some things you need to take care of now that you are a college graduate.

  1. Health insurance – If you are under the age of 26, try to stay on your parents plan. If you are unable to do so, be sure to find a way to get coverage. Life happens and it can happen fast. You don’t don’t want to get stuck with an out of pocket expense of $30,000 for staying in the hospital for a few nights. 
  2. Have a financial plan – Know what your needs are – living expenses add up quickly. If you have family or friends that are willing to have you for an extended period of time, take it – especially if you have student loans coming up. Saving any penny you can will help you be financially stable.
  3. Finding a job – with unemployment up and COVID-19 making a comeback in some states, it can be difficult to find a position in your specific field. You will need to learn how to hone your skills and be open to learning new industries. Do not box yourself in, and you may stumble upon your dream job!
  4. Create a Budget, AND STICK TO IT – It may sound lame, but having a budget will help you stay focused on your financial goals as well as not creating even more debt you may already be in after graduation.

With the state of the economy out of your control, you can make yourself adaptable. By researching some guidelines and making yourself marketable to multiple industries and positions you will learn to stretch and grow. You will get through this and be stronger for it!

Career Other

Dorm Room to Board Room: Tips for Starting Your Own Business Post-Grad

June 23, 2020

How many stories have we heard about the success of dorm room startups that gained enough investors to grow and become industry giants? SnapChat, ModCloth, Reddit, and Facebook were all once a college student’s idea that eventually became national brands and widely-successful organizations.

Although it takes a great idea, constant networking, and a lot of hard work, the next story could be about your own business idea. Here are some tips on how you can take your business from the dorm room to the board room and find entrepreneurial success post-graduation.

Establish good finances

No matter how good your idea is, you’ll need money to hire employees, pay for production and marketing, and lease an office space. As a college student, you likely don’t have many financial resources to invest in the company yourself. However, you can rely on family and friend contributions, private investors, or SBA loans to gain starting capital that you will eventually payback. If you make regular payments to these lenders, you’ll build good credit and position your business for success. Just be sure you’re managing and organizing these new finances, so you don’t run into trouble. Consider using an online small business bank so you can access your money and track your business expenses no matter where you are, and hire an accountant to ensure you’re doing everything by the book. Proactivity with your business’s money will help you establish a secure enough financial position to grow your business into a powerful brand.

Learn to market

It’s not enough to have a good offering if you can’t interest customers in it. Work to finetune your marketing skills to engage your audience, and bring in business. If you weren’t a business or advertising major, consider taking an online marketing course to learn how to effectively leverage all avenues of your marketing– including social media, ads, and organic search. Then, put it into practice! Build out your organization’s digital footprint and brand recognition by writing content, publishing advertisements, and spreading the word to potential customers. This will not only result in increased sales but also stronger brand recognition and long-term success.

Network, network, network

Networking isn’t just important for securing a job or internship after college, it can also make or break your business. Oftentimes, who you know is one of the most impactful contributions you can bring to your organization as a business owner. Fortunately, you likely have exposure to many powerful people within your university network, whether it’s professors, the board, alumni, or even the students. Reach out to those on and off your campus for a brainstorming meeting, a marketing focus group, or an investing pitch to grow your network and develop interest in your organization.

Find a mentor

Similar to networking, it’s critical that you find a mentor as a post-grad business owner. Even if you have a million-dollar idea, as an inexperienced businessperson, you need access to established knowledge in the entrepreneurial world to guide your decisions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to business owners who inspire you either by email, phone or LinkedIn. Ask for advice on the market or niche you’re interested in, or how they decided to structure their business. This can open a dialogue that’s mutually beneficial, providing them with fresh perspectives, and you with hard-earned industry wisdom. 

It’s critical that you take these proactive steps to ensure the success of your organization. However, when starting your own business after graduation, it’s also important to enjoy the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and excitement, but remember to take time to reflect on your progress and stay excited about the future of your business as you move beyond college.

Career Other

Considering Freelance: What Recent Grads Should Know

June 17, 2020

How healthy is freelancing in the US?

Freelancing is an area of the economy that is growing steadily year over year. According to the Freelancing in America Study for 2019 that was conducted by Edelman Intelligence for Upwork, there are more than 57 million Americans freelancing. This is over a third of the US workforce, up from 53 million just 6 years ago. The value of freelance work is almost a trillion US dollars, some 5% of GDP.

Of those that said they have undertaken freelance work, 28% consider themselves as full time freelancers up from 17% back in 2014. The most likely group to freelance are those in the younger age brackets, with 53% of 18-22 year olds doing freelance work and 40% of millennials.

So if you are about to graduate, should you be looking for a traditional and comfortable “job” or should you be looking to enter the freelancing market?

What should you be asking yourself before you freelance?

Recent graduates should not simply leap into freelancing, after all there are some real benefits to working with a company, such as health care and pensions. So what else should you be asking:

  • What are your long term career goals? If your long term goal is to one day be the CEO of a company, freelancing may not offer you the career progression you may need.
  • What are you looking to earn? Freelancers on average earn more per hour than non-freelancers, even for non-skilled workers. However, finding very high paying freelance gigs may be a little harder.
  • What is motivating you to work as a freelancer? Many freelancers take this style of work for the flexibility that it offers. So you need to consider your reasons with care.

What can freelancers earn?

Whether you are working in mobile website development or walking dogs, the salaries that you can earn through freelancing are often higher. The median salary for unskilled workers that freelance is $20 per hour, higher than the US median salary of $18.80. While for skilled freelancers the median is $28 an hour which is better than 70% of the workforce.

So what can you earn as a freelance mobile website designer or within another role? The following are few figures for expected web development salary and what you can aspire to earn within other areas of the freelance economy from The Balance:

  • Web development: $45 per hour
  • IT and programing: $49 per hour
  • Mobile developer: $50 per hour
  • ERP and CRM software developer: $60 per hour
  • Marketing and sales: $44 per hour
  • Design and product development: $45 per hour

What do you really need to know about freelancing before you start?

Before you jump straight out to earn your freelance developer salary there are a few areas that you need to consider before you get started:

  • Networking: most freelancers do not get their clients from online marketplaces. After previous clients, most freelancers working today get work through networking with friends and family which accounts for 38%, while others rely on professional contacts, 37%.
  • Building a portfolio: showing what you are capable of is vital no matter what area you are going to work within. Clients will want to know that you are going to be able to deliver what they are looking for.
  • Handling multiple projects: as a freelancer you will often find yourself in a situation where you will need to juggle multiple clients and projects. So learning soft skills such as time management and communication are vital to your future earning potential.

Is Freelancing right for you?

If you are looking for work with a huge amount of flexibility and the ability to pick and choose what projects you will work on, then freelancing could be for you. It offers an excellent salary no matter where your skills lay. However, it is not an area in which you will be able to relax and just expect work to come to you. You need to work hard on filling your pipeline to ensure a constant supply of work.