Tick Tok: 3 Loose Ends that Need Tying

 

Tik tok, on the clock
But graduation countdown don’t stop
Tonight, I‘mma apply
For the job of a lifetime 

Tik tok, on the clock
But second semester won’t stop
Tonight, I’mma scrape by
Til I reach the finish line

Yes, that was my very own career parody of KE$HA’s “Tik Tok,” please hold your applause. While I hope you found it funny, upcoming graduation is no laughing matter. In just a few short weeks, all of you grads will be walking across that glorious stage and receiving those hard-earned diplomas. But don’t get a severe case of senioritis just yet, because there are A LOT of things you need to get done before that big day (and I’m not talking coursework). Here are the top 3.

1. Job Search

Please, please, please don’t wait until the day after graduation to start looking for your first job. The time is now –  actually it was a month ago, but better late than later. Many people think that they don’t need to look for a job until they are actually available to work, but this is not the case. The hiring process is a long one and it takes a lot of time to find a job, get an interview, negotiate, and get hired.

2. Networking

Now is the time to reach out to your contacts. Let them know you are graduating in a month, and that you’re looking for a job. Connecting with them now is good because they can give you leads on jobs that may not be publically posted. People remember what it was like to be a wide-eyed college grad, and they want to help you! So don’t let your pride get in the way and let them.

3. Letters of Recommendation

A lot of job applications ask for a list of people they can contact for recommendations in addition to actual letters. This is the time to ask your professors and supervisors for those ever-coveted letters. By asking 6 weeks before graduation you give them plenty of time to put a lot of effort into it. You’re also half way through the semester, so they should be pretty familiar with your work ethic, strengths, and capabilities.

 

Best of luck to you wide-eyed hopefuls!

 

To-do List: Acrostic Poem Style

Remember acrostic poems from elementary school? You usually had to make a poem describing yourself using the letters of your first name, tell me I’m not alone here! Regardless, hardly anything makes me more nostalgic than thinking about those wondrous Spring Break vacations my family and I went on throughout my childhood, and thus comes my inspiration for this post! While our younger selves had no responsibility, and certainly no job hunting to be done, us older folk must use this time off school wisely for career gain! Without further ado, here’s a Spring Break to-do list acrostic poem style for us older, more career-focused individuals.

Scrub your resume

Spring cleaning friends! There’s no better time to scrub and polish your resume than when you have a week long break from academics. Update it with career relevant coursework, experiences, and work you’ve completed through the winter. Make sure your resume has only relevant information; for example, it may be time to get rid of your “lifeguard for three summers” bullet point to make room for more relevant jobs/responsibilities.

Prioritize

Spring break means you can do anything! Sleep til noon, binge watch a Netflix series, or explore a new city. While all of the aforementioned activities are super fun, they aren’t very productive; especially in regards to your job search. Instead of sleeping til noon, prioritize your responsibilities and take this free time to put a real dent in your career search. Research companies, make connections, and improve your LinkedIn profile.

Regulate your social outlets

When I say regulate, I mean control. And when I’m talking about control, I’m talking about your social media. Spring Break isn’t known for its….ermm… classiness. Make sure you aren’t posting statuses/pictures/comments on your social media platforms that you wouldn’t want a recruiter to see.

Informational Interview

Spring break gives you a lot of free time! Yay! Use this free time to connect with people in your network, and ask for an informational interview. Check out how to score and informational interview from here.

*disclaimer: the article suggests you ask your contact to meet you for coffee and chat about the job, but recruiters have told me they prefer candidates let the employee choose whatever is easiest for them (e.g. coffee vs. e-mail vs. phone conversation).

Network

Spring Break means being social right?! So while you’re out having a good time, and acting classy make some quality contacts! You never know who you might meet, so make sure you carry some business cards with you at all times. You can get inexpensive business cards from vista print.

Go get ‘em

Now go get ‘em you rockstar, you! You’ve done your homework, made connections, and beefed up your resume, now’s the time to start applying and interviewing for that amazing job/internship.