Hey everyone! I mentioned before in my previous post that I graduated, but it’s been just over two weeks and I keep replaying the video of myself walking across the stage. 3 years, 16 modules, 14 assessments and 13 exams later, I have achieved my Law LLB (Hons) degree and I have never been more proud of myself.
July 18th has come and gone. I’ve graduated. Now what? One obvious thing would be to get a graduate job or go on to further education. To date, every phase of my education has been guided and there has been a clear passage to the next level of learning. Now, there are no handbooks or instructions and its easy to feel lost. Even though I’m a bit behind on my own list, here are a few things I’ve figured out so far that’s making this transition to adult life a bit easier. Consider it my graduation gift to you.
Save important information from your university account
Most universities have separate portals for students where they have access to emails and resources for the duration of your course. After graduation, this information is pretty much lost forever unless someone from IT services can be bothered enough to recover your account. An email is normally sent around with the date your online access will be terminated (August 3rd for me). Save all the information you will need in the future before it is too much of a hassle to get it back.🗣GRADUATES! Download important information from your university account before it expires. Click To Tweet
Update your résumé/CV…
This page long self-marketing document may be the most important one you ever write as it can land you your first graduate job, opening the doors to countless opportunities in the future. One of the biggest mistakes I made when updating my last CV was not changing the present tense to past tense in the description section when I altered the dates in my older experience. Keep your education at the top and have an extra pair of eyes proof read before sending your CV off. I had no clue how many simple mistakes was on mine until it was reviewed by a Careers Officer at my university. Nothing screams “I-did-this-in-a-rush” like a CV littered with errors. Don’t blow the first impression recruiters have of you!Customize your resume for the job you seek. Make it obvious you meet minimum requirements. Click To Tweet
…and your LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the professional social networking site. If you don’t have one, create an account. If you already have one, update it with current information and take new headshots for your profile photo. LinkedIn is a great way to say in contact with your alma mater and their alumni programs, former professors and people you went to university with. Prospective employers can even find you if its used correctly.
Clean up your social media
You may still want to keep all your videos from house parties and drunk selfies as a badge of honour but recruiters are known to check social media to see the person hiding behind the CV. Save and screenshot any photos you may want to keep, but now may be the time reduce the amount of those images being found of the internet. In the spirit of fresh starts, it would be a perfect time to delete/unfollow any toxic people or accounts that do not bring any positivity to your life. No need to take any dead weight into the next stage of your life.Make your social media recruiter friendly. They can check during application stages Click To Tweet
Collect letters of recommendation
With hindsight 20/20, the perfect time to have asked was at the cocktail reception immediately after graduation when professors could still put my name to my face. Email your tutors ASAP as most places require at least one professional letter of recommendation. It would be wise to get these in advance before they are caught up with the batch of 2017 freshers.
Thank everyone who helped you along the way
Have an attitude of gratitude. It doesn’t matter if you send a personalized card, an email, a quick message or even speak to them in person, be sure to let people know you are grateful for their help while pursuing your degree. No man is an island and people appreciate when you remember the support they offered during your climb up the ladder of success. Some people you thank can end up being a part of your professional network become your mentor in the future.
Do you have any words of advice for graduates? Share them below in the comments.
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”
–The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald