Browsing Tag

life after graduation

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.

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.

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 Transition

How to Get the Most Out of an Internship for a Future Career

November 30, 2020

Every student faces a hard reality after graduating — you have to have some kind of work experience to get a decent job. But how can students who’re spending most of their time studying get this experience?

The answer, often times, is through an internship.

This is a great way for students to practice their knowledge and gain new skills. Some students even manage to land a job at the same place they worked as interns.

In other scenarios, students get several internships at once. According to a report by Chegg, out of the average 60% of students who usually do internships in their class, 27% get two internships, and 13% do three.

With that said, internships are usually quite competitive, and it takes a lot of effort and even luck to land one. It means that you can’t afford to waste such an opportunity, and you need to make the most out of your internship.

So, here are a few practical tips on how you can take away as many benefits from your internship as possible to pave the way for a successful career.

Develop Connections

Building the network of connections is probably one of the most important parts of the internship because you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits from it in the long run.

In fact, getting useful connections is one of the things students want from an internship because if they form successful relationships within a company or an organization, their chances to stay and work there after graduation will be higher.

However, it’s not just about getting a job. Developing solid connections will also help you get the knowledge that no college could give you.

What can you do to build such connections?

  • Be friendly. Don’t shy away from conversations, participate in organizing events, and corporate parties. Even something as small as joining your co-workers for lunch can help develop a meaningful relationship with them.
  • Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss. At the beginning of your internship, ask your boss for a meeting, during which you could ask about their career path and the knowledge they had to get to be where they are. Such a conversation will help establish rapport and lay a solid foundation for a good relationship.
  • Always keep in touch. Even after your internship is done, make an effort to maintain the relationships that you formed because they can benefit you at any time when building your career.

In general, when applying for an internship, say that your goal is not just to learn, but also to build connections. Everybody in the business world understands the importance of that, and they will appreciate your openness.

Find a Mentor

An internship cannot be successful if you don’t get a mentor. This is the only way to get solid knowledge and start developing skills as you learn from someone who’s been in the industry for quite some time.

It doesn’t matter which internship you’re doing, getting a mentor is essential for your success. Even if you’re an intern in a foreign language school helping students learn Italian, try to spend as much time with a teacher assigned to you. Observe them, see which teaching methods they use, and then apply that knowledge.

So, before your internship, discuss the possibility of getting a mentor and explain why you need to have one. After all, you will need someone who will dedicate their time to guide you through all the processes, so this person needs to be prepared for that as well.

Ask for Feedback

If you want to get the most out of your internship and make this experience benefit your future career, you shouldn’t shy away from feedback, no matter whether it is good or bad.

Feedback can help you evaluate your achievements and see what else you can do and learn to improve your knowledge and skills. Whether it’s coming from your mentor or an average colleague, this feedback will help you grow as a professional.

Here’s how you can as for feedback in a correct and appropriate way:

  • Ask for regular meetings. Make sure that you discuss your achievements with your mentor on a daily basis and document every comment that you receive to see what you need to work on.
  • Make weekly feedback requests. Ask your mentor to give you weekly evaluations with both positive and negative feedback to objectively evaluate your work.
  • Ask for feedback from different sources. From time to time, ask for feedback from the company executives as well as other employees who could also give you some tips on how you can improve yourself.

Don’t be afraid of feedback because it’s also a valuable source of knowledge. Don’t outright reject it and try to look at it as a learning opportunity if you want to get the most out of your internship.

Takeaways

Everybody has different goals when getting an internship. Some obtain one just for connections, others want to learn something valuable. However, there’s always a common goal for everybody – to get everything they can from an internship.

Hopefully, these tips will help you do exactly that and lay the foundation for a successful future career.

BIO: Kate Khom is a passionate writer and blogger who likes sharing her thoughts and experience. Currently, she is working as a digital marketing specialist and develops online business branding, you can check her site. Feel free to contact her on LinkedIn.

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.

Career Other

5 Must-Know Resume Tips for College Students

June 17, 2020

For those in college or recently graduated, landing that first job can be a daunting experience. Many may be discouraged by their lack of experience, while others worry about problems in their academic record. If your greatest selling point is your education, how can you compete with other applicants?

Here are five must-know resume tips for college students and recent graduates about to enter the job market. 

1. Lead with education.

As you move up in your career, the work experience section of your resume will become more important and should be placed at the top. At this stage in your life, your educational experiences are your greatest strength. By placing them at the top, you can help make up for your limited work experience.

Keep in mind a few things though. Consider leaving out your GPA if it’s below 3.4. It’s not a requirement to include it. Also, because you are a college student with limited work experience, consider including more than just the name of your college and graduation date. Things like relevant coursework, group projects, and even clubs and organizations should all be considered.    

2. Include relevant experience instead of work experience.

Work does not necessarily have to be paid in order to have value. With this in mind, don’t think just because you have no paid work experience that this means there’s nothing for you to mention on your resume. The trick here is to think of the work experience section more as a practical experience section. 

This can involve much more than unpaid internships. Volunteer work can also be included to show the skills and experience you’ve accumulated. Think of opportunities where you had to take on important responsibilities. Were you an officer in those student organizations you joined? What projects did you work on? What events did you help facilitate? 

3. Write a custom cover letter for each job.

As important as resumes are, they alone will not get you an interview offer. Resumes work best when coupled with a cover letter customized to each job you apply for. While it may not seem worth the effort after spending so much time on your resume, one study by a nation-wide resume company, ResumeGo, illustrates that not including a cover letter can be a big mistake.

The results of that study found that applicants with cover letters carefully tailored to each job yielded just over 50% more interviews than those without. Interestingly, applications with generic, cookie-cutter cover letters fared only slightly better than applications with no cover letter. 

4. Take advantage of resume builders.

The rookie mistake college students make is starting their resume writing process off with a blank Word document. Instead, there are resume builders online such as Kickresume and Resume Genius that can really make writing your resume a lot easier while also providing various prebuilt resume templates to work with and pick from.

5. Take advantage of your career counselors.

The career center exists…please, take advantage of what they have to offer! Career counselors are specially trained to help college students strengthen their resumes and prepare them for career success. 

Even if you might not have a strong connection with your assigned counselor, they will likely provide a far more extensive critique of your resume and job documents than any average Joe Schmoe online or resume service. While getting advice online isn’t always the worst idea, know that as a student, you have access to far more reliable resources – so use them!

Even though the job application process can be intimidating, having a good resume is always the solid first step! These tips are sure to get your resume to stand out among the crowd.