College students preparing to graduate and move on into the “real world” face a number of enormous obstacles, and frankly, by the time students graduate, most of them are sick of hearing about it. It’s actually a bit reminiscent of the college application process, when everyone you know is constantly offering advice and asking questions – only this second time around everything seems all that much more important.
The bottom line is, no amount of advice or preparation can guarantee you a good job right out of school, or even financial stability down the road. When you graduate – with or without a job lined up – you’re walking forward without a paved path, and it’s always nerve-wracking. But, that doesn’t mean that you can at least improve your position and simplify the process of applying for jobs and/or entering the business world. Here are a few specific tech-related steps you can take to improve your standing right off the bat.
The Current State of Graduates
The problem is that the current graduates entering the job market don’t have the right skills to be successful in this job market. Not only does it take the combination of tech preparation listed below, but college graduates need to also focus on soft skills, such as communication and networking. The most successful people are the ones that can not only leverage their tech skills, but can also communicate well with others – whether it be project managers, peers, or the public.
Upgrade Social Media
For many people, tracking social media has actually become a bit of a headache. From Facebook and LinkedIn, to more playful networks like Twitter and Instagram, social media is very much a part of everyday life and, for better or worse, it matters immensely when you’re trying to get hired, or starting with a new company. Keeping your profiles not just clean and acceptable, but professional and impressive, is a great way to get a leg up on your competition. Pretty much every company will “Google” you before their hire you. So, if the first page of Google returns you doing beer pong, it could lead to a sour taste in the potential employer’s mouth.
Invest In File Sharing Services
It’s becoming more and more common in a variety of businesses for employees to take advantage of advanced file sharing and cloud computing options. These services help you to send big files more efficiently, and also provide invaluable backup and collaboration options. Whether you’re starting your own business, applying to jobs, investing, or joining a company, familiarizing yourself with these services and their benefits is another way to make yourself a more dynamic professional.
Explore Freelance Options
For many college graduates, the immediate aftermath of school is a bit of a no man’s land. That is to say, in the time between graduation and securing a job, life can get a bit empty. This is not only uncomfortable, but also bad for business. Try to explore freelance options – be it writing, investing, or whatever else you have a talent for – so that you have no gaps on your resume. Staying busy shows initiative on your part, and may even lead to a job.
Learn Basic Programming
Finally, it’s well worth your time to learn a bit of basic web design, programming, and HTML code. More and more jobs are requiring basic knowledge in these areas, and knowing even the raw essentials can put you in a far better position to be hired at a new job, or taken seriously at your current one. Many job applicants even take it a step further and take the time to build a personal website to showcase their resume and their projects. There is a common example of a guy who wanted to work at Google and made a website dedicated to that cause. It went viral on YouTube and social media, and Google hired him.
Technology and the workplace go hand-in-hand. Make sure that you have the tech preparation necessary for a professional life after graduation.
What other steps do you think are needed for professional life after graduation?