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    Career moves to make before graduation

    April 19, 2016

    As exciting as graduation can be, it can also be equally as terrifying. In order to start a successful career, you will need to do more than ace your finals.

     Below are a few steps you should take before graduation to set yourself up for success.


    Find a mentor: Finding a mentor may be looking for someone in your potential industry, but it’s not always about that. Find someone who is a leader and can give you advice on how to navigate situations, as well as help you gain exposure and educate you on various business practices.

     Update your resume: Many people wait until the last minute (when they’re applying to jobs) to update their accomplishments and job duties. Avoid needing to play catch up and update your resume as your skills change. In addition to ensuring that all of your information is up-to-date, make sure that your resume is focused, error-free, relevant, and organized.

     Contact references: Before applying to jobs, make sure that you have a few key references in your back pocket. Whether you use professors, past employers, or co-workers, make sure that you have asked them if they would mind being a reference. They should be someone who worked closely with you and is able to speak about your workplace demeanor as well as your accomplishments and goals.

     Clean up your web presence: Search yourself on the web and see what pops up. Make sure that your profile pictures portray someone that employers would want to hire. Additionally, double check your settings on social media accounts to see who can access your content. If you are part of any networking sites, such as LinkedIn, make sure that your profile is up-to-date and complete so that employers can reach out to you.

     Pick out interview outfits: Remember that you need to look professional, whether you’re going to interviews or networking with people who can help you get a foot in the door. A nice clean outfit along with polished shoes not only shows how serious you are about the position, but also how confident you are.

     Practice interviewing: Before you head into interviews, make sure that you’ve properly prepared. Being prepared isn’t only researching the employer and the industry. It’s also developing talking points, preparing examples, having questions, and practicing enthusiasm. Practicing your answers will help give you confidence and allow you to come across sincere.


    Luckily, if you’re a college student there are resources on campus to help prepare you prior to graduation. Make an appointment with the Johnson Career Center to talk about your cover letters and resume or set up a time to practice interviewing.