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Six Routes to Widening Your Skill Set When in the Job Search Process

Six Routes to Widening Your Skill Set When in the Job Search Process

In today’s competitive job landscape, a diverse skill set is paramount for standing out and securing your ideal job. Employers seek candidates who bring versatility and adaptability to their teams, traits that can only be honed through a broad array of skills. As you navigate the job search process, dedicating time to expanding your skill set is an investment in your future. We’ll delve into the significance of skill diversification and outline six effective pathways to achieve it. By embracing these routes, you’ll increase your employability and position yourself as a candidate poised for continuous growth and success in any professional endeavor.

The Significance of Widening Your Skill Set

1. Enhanced Employability: A Versatile Edge

The appeal of a diversified skill set to potential employers cannot be underestimated. Having an array of skills makes you a more attractive candidate and positions you as a versatile asset capable of adapting to a wide range of roles within an organization. This adaptability serves as a potent edge in a competitive job landscape.

2. Navigating Change: The Power of Adaptability

The professional sphere is characterized by rapid transformation propelled by technological advancements and evolving business dynamics. Elevating your skill set is a testament to your agility in confronting novel challenges and swiftly acquiring new proficiencies.

3. Fueling Long-Term Career Growth

Beyond immediate employability, a diversified skill set lays the foundation for continuous career advancement. It unlocks pathways for growth and progression, highlighting your competence as a multifaceted employee. By showcasing proficiency across various domains, you position yourself as an indispensable resource primed to take on diverse responsibilities, propelling you toward higher success.

Routes to Widening Your Skill Set

1. Immersive Workshops and Retreats

Seek immersive workshops or retreats providing hands-on experiences and in-depth skill development. These unique learning environments often offer intense training over a short period, allowing for rapid skill acquisition.

2. Hackathons and Competitions

Participating in hackathons, coding competitions, design challenges, or innovation contests can help you acquire new skills in a competitive and collaborative setting while showcasing your problem-solving abilities to potential employers.

3. Crossover Learning

Explore skills from seemingly unrelated fields and find ways to apply them to your desired industry. For instance, incorporating principles from art and design into a technical role or applying psychology insights to marketing strategies can make you stand out.

4. Job Shadowing and Informational Interviews

Connect with professionals in the roles you’re targeting and request opportunities for job shadowing or informational interviews. This firsthand exposure can provide unique insights into responsibilities and required skills.

5. Global Experiences

Pursue experiences that expose you to different cultures, work environments, and perspectives. Whether through travel, virtual internships with international companies, or participating in global projects, these experiences can enhance your adaptability and global awareness.

6. Innovative Online Platforms

Explore emerging online platforms that offer unconventional learning methods. For example, some platforms use gamification, virtual reality, or AI-driven personalized learning paths to help you acquire skills in engaging and novel ways.

Additional Steps to Boost Your Job Search Process

1. Tailored Resumes and Cover Letters

Customize your application materials to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the specific job you’re applying for. This demonstrates your understanding of the role and how you can contribute.

2. Interview Preparation

Before interviews, research the company’s needs and values. Be ready to discuss how your expanded skill set aligns with their requirements and can contribute to their success.

3. Soft Skills Emphasis

Don’t underestimate the power of soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These highly transferable skills can make you stand out in a crowded job market.

4. Portfolio Development

Create a portfolio showcasing your work, projects, and accomplishments. This tangible evidence of your skills can leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

Expanding Your Skill Set for Success

Expanding your skill set while navigating the job search journey is a strategic maneuver that can greatly amplify your chances of securing your coveted position. Employers are increasingly drawn to candidates who exhibit adaptability, versatility, and a commitment to perpetual learning. By delving into online courses, networking events, hands-on experiences, and other growth avenues, you broaden your proficiency and supercharge your overall career potential. It’s important to recognize that investing in self-enhancement is a direct investment in your future triumphs. So, seize the opportunity to enrich your skill set and stand prepared to embrace the promising horizons of diversified expertise.

Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Bright

SEE ALSO: How Multilingual Skills Can Boost Career Opportunities After Graduation

we offer tips on how you can improve your professionalism to prepare for the work world

From Student to Professional: Mastering the Art of Professionalism in Education

The number of students getting bachelor’s degrees in education has declined over the last 30 years, making up only 4% of over two million degrees issued in 2020. This drop could be happening because of various reasons, including education majors not getting the support they need in the transition to the professional world.

Not only must students be aware of the unique challenges that come with teaching in the real world, but they must also develop their professionalism to be as confident and effective in their role as possible. Guidance on how exactly to do this could make a difference in inspiring a new wave of professional educators.

Before we offer tips on how you can improve your professionalism to prepare for the work world, let’s touch on some of the challenges education majors encounter when they’re transitioning into their professional educator roles.

Challenges Education Majors Face When Entering  the Professional World

Transitioning into the professional world and working with students is much more challenging than most people think. The nerves that come with entering the classroom as a teacher could make a student second guess their decision to become an educator.

It’s also hard to grasp just how difficult it is to work with a variety of students on a full-time basis when you’re in college. It’s a fast-paced, ever-changing environment that you must be ready for if you want to succeed.

Finally, if you start teaching right out of college, you’re still pretty young. You may not feel like you’re the established professional educator that you are because of this. You’re still growing into a mature adult. So, you may not think you have the leadership skills to work with children effectively, hindering your confidence and growth in the profession.

Thankfully, there’s a way to thrive despite these challenges in the transition phase.

Tips for Mastering Professionalism as an Educator

It’s much easier to navigate challenges in the professional world when you exhibit professionalism.

This is because professionalism involves being confident, setting high standards for how you work, and showing how much you care about your students. You’re willing to tackle obstacles to provide a positive educational experience.

To master professionalism as an educator, start with improving your self-image.

Improve Your Self-Image

Being a successful teacher requires confidence, so you can effectively communicate with your students and colleagues. You need it to take on challenges and find adequate solutions. You need confidence to be successful in all that you do as a teacher.

But to have confidence, you must first have a positive self-image. How you look at and feel about yourself can affect your confidence. If you look at yourself in a good way, you’re more likely to act with conviction. On the other hand, if you have a negative perception of yourself, self-doubt, low self-esteem, and stress resulting from these confidence issues will follow.

You can improve your self-image by practicing self-care. Doing things that nurture your mind, body, and soul will bring you closer to yourself. You’ll develop a positive relationship with yourself that results in a favorable self-image. Self-care activities can be simple, like getting enough sleep and eating right, or more detailed, like going on a weekend getaway every quarter.

If you need additional support for improving your self-image, try therapy. A therapist can help you further flesh out your self-image issues and develop a plan for addressing them and coping with triggers.

Prepare for Working With Kids

Working with kids is no easy task. Their minds, emotions, and behaviors are still developing, causing them to make decisions and do things that may surprise you.

If you aren’t ready for these types of ups and downs, it may cause you to have negative interactions with your students that hurt them and their educational journey. It could also harm your career progression because you’ll appear unprofessional and unable to handle the job.

Luckily,  there are ways to prepare yourself for working with kids. Ensure you’re physically ready for all the moving around you’ll be doing as a teacher. Build a wardrobe of clothes that are professional, comfortable, and allow you to be mobile. And finally, grow your empathy, patience, and enthusiasm.

Preparing to work with kids full-time ahead of time will help you feel more confident in your abilities and ultimately appear more professional.

Be a Positive Role Model

If you want to exude professionalism, work on becoming a positive role model. A positive role model inspires others to live productively and meaningfully. They have integrity. They hold themselves to high standards. They’re someone others can look up to. All of these things are a part of professionalism.

To become a positive role model, you should first identify what you do well and what you need to work on. As you work on your weaknesses, you become a stronger, more well-rounded person. And if you share your journey with your students, you’ll become someone they can relate to and look up to.

Positive role models are also transparent and honest. Communicate openly with the people around you to become a more effective communicator and listener. Finally, establish a set of core values that you’re committed to living by. You need them to ensure you always conduct yourself with integrity.

Feeling and conducting oneself like a professional doesn’t come naturally to every education major transitioning into the professional world. The unique challenges in the process don’t make it any easier. But by applying the tips above, you can master the art of professionalism and move into a professional education role seamlessly.

SEE ALSO: How to Get Ahead of the Game as a Business Student

How to Get Ahead of the Game as a Business Student

How to Get Ahead of the Game as a Business Student

As a business student, staying ahead is crucial to thrive in a competitive professional landscape. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of various business principles and practices, honing essential skills, and embracing continuous learning, you can position yourself for success. A business student should focus on developing a strong foundation in finance, marketing, operations, and strategy while nurturing critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication abilities.

Understand the Basics of Majoring in Business

This includes familiarizing yourself with fundamental concepts like accounting, finance, marketing, economics, and management. You can establish a strong foundation for your business studies by grasping these core areas. Additionally, it’s crucial to stay informed about current trends and developments within the business world, such as emerging markets, digital transformation, and sustainable practices. Understanding the principles and trends in business will equip you with the necessary knowledge to navigate the complexities of the field and make informed decisions throughout your academic and professional journey.

Take Leadership Courses and Develop Project Management Skills

These courses provide essential knowledge and tools for effective decision-making, team management, and problem-solving. You can stand out among your peers by honing your leadership abilities and showcasing your potential for future managerial roles. Additionally, acquiring project management skills enables you to oversee and execute complex initiatives, demonstrating your ability to drive successful outcomes. These competencies enhance your academic profile and make you a valuable asset in the professional world, setting you apart from other business students.

Explore the Various Career Paths Within the Field of Business

When pursuing a business career, it’s essential to recognize the many paths available within the field. From finance and marketing to human resources and entrepreneurship, understanding the diverse career options helps you tailor your skills and interests accordingly. Exploring these different routes allows you to identify areas of specialization, enabling you to make informed decisions about your professional trajectory. By gaining insights into each pathway’s specific demands, opportunities, and growth potential, you can strategically plan your educational pursuits, internships, and networking efforts to align with your desired career direction and maximize your chances of success.

Build a Strong Professional Network

Networking provides opportunities to connect with industry professionals, mentors, and fellow students, enabling access to valuable insights, job leads, and collaborative projects. Attending industry events, joining business organizations, and utilizing online platforms like LinkedIn are effective ways to expand your network. Engaging in meaningful conversations, actively listening, and offering assistance to others can help establish genuine connections. A robust professional network opens doors to new opportunities and fosters knowledge-sharing support and potential collaborations that can accelerate your growth as a business student and beyond.

Seek Internship and Practical Experiences

These opportunities provide hands-on exposure to real-world business operations, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings. Internships offer invaluable learning experiences, networking opportunities, and a chance to develop essential skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and communication. By actively seeking internships and practical experiences, students can gain a competitive edge, enhance their resumes, and increase their chances of securing rewarding career opportunities upon graduation.

Stay Updated With Industry Trends and Technological Advancements

The business landscape constantly evolves, driven by emerging technologies and changing consumer behaviors. Students can gain a competitive edge by actively keeping track of these developments. They should stay informed about innovations, disruptive technologies, and digital transformations that impact their chosen field. This knowledge enables them to adapt and leverage new opportunities, stay relevant in the market, and make informed decisions. Embracing a continuous learning mindset and staying ahead of industry trends empowers business students to successfully navigate the dynamic business world.

Continuously Learn and Enhance Your Skills Through Workshops and Certifications

Engaging in workshops, seminars, and certifications can provide valuable knowledge and credentials that set you apart from your peers. Investing in your professional development lets you stay updated with the latest industry practices, emerging technologies, and evolving business strategies. This commitment to lifelong learning demonstrates your dedication and adaptability, showcasing your willingness to grow and excel in your chosen field. Embracing continuous learning ensures that you remain competitive, relevant, and well-equipped to tackle the challenges and opportunities that arise in the dynamic world of business.

Getting ahead of the game as a business student requires a proactive mindset, a solid understanding of business principles, and a commitment to continuous learning. By developing essential skills, exploring different career routes, and building a strong network, you can position yourself for success. Embrace leadership opportunities, seek practical experiences, and stay updated with industry trends to stay ahead in the competitive business landscape. With dedication and perseverance, you can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career in business.

Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Management Training Institute

SEE ALSO: Beginning a Real Estate Career While in College

Beginning a Real Estate Career While in College

Beginning a Real Estate Career While in College

A real estate job is an excellent choice for any college student. If you have a real estate license, you’ll be able to collaborate with experts and begin a career while finishing your course of study.

In this blog, we’ll go over how to use your education to set yourself up for career success. We’ll also show you how to enjoy working as a part-time realtor while you’re still studying.

How to Start a Career as a Realtor as a Student

You need to be at least 18 years old to become a licensed real estate agent. Therefore, you can apply from your first year of college. There are multiple factors to consider before applying, however.

Firstly, you must have a strong work ethic to study and work as a realtor simultaneously. Age might pose an issue in some cases, considering that people can doubt the abilities of realtors in their early twenties. On the other hand, younger generations are well-versed in social media and marketing tools.

Social media management and online presence are key factors in selling properties, as today most people spend hours online and marketing is crucial for any business. Moreover, millennials are at the top of the homebuyer demographic, so students are more likely to understand the buyer’s psychology and needs.

Getting a License

First of all, you must get a real estate education. Secondly, you need a license to start working as a realtor. To get a license, you have to go through a background check, pass a state licensing exam, and sign with a brokerage. There are some additional specific requirements for obtaining a real estate license depending on the state you live in. Therefore, we advise you to get more information about licensing in your area.

The specific requirements vary depending on the state.

  • Age Requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Educational requirements
  • Background check requirements
  • Real estate education requirements
  • State examination requirements

Maintaining Your License

Professional qualifications need to be renewed frequently, as do real estate licenses. You need to renew your license periodically. States regulate the frequency of necessary licensing renewals. Most states require licenses to be renewed every two years, but some states have different rules.

You must be sure to keep up with the license renewal deadlines, so you can calmly continue your professional life. Some states have shorter renewal times at first, but the time period of renewal becomes longer after a few renewals.

Before you head into the real estate career, ensure that you have researched the license renewal process in your state.

Securing a Broker to Practice With

Several states require a real estate license applicant to show proof of sponsorship from a real estate broker. Real estate brokers can operate on their own, however, real estate agents are not allowed to work solo. Maintaining a partnership with brokers is usually better than being a freelance real estate agent.

If you wish to showcase rental properties, properties on sale, or investment property opportunities, you need to work with a broker.

Therefore, researching partnership opportunities ahead of time is encouraged. Gather information about local brokerages and their reputations. Research their sales, learn about agents associated with these brokerages, and choose a broker that’s the most suitable for you and your work process.

Brokerages offer different deals, payouts, and work hours. Attending real estate agency events and getting more information from professionals is advised. You should secure a deal with brokers that can be advantageous to you. Brokerages even offer mentorships and learning opportunities to young professionals. So, you should choose wisely.

After receiving your license and gaining a partnership with a broker, you will have to get errors and omissions insurance. The insurance is there to protect you from clients who falsely accuse you of negligence. Some states require applicants to have insurance even before taking exams. As such, you should research the requirements for insurance before starting to study for real estate agency exams.

Working as a Part-Time Realtor While Still in School

Realtors have the opportunity to pick their working hours and search listings on their own time. Therefore, you can study and work as much as you would like. However, it’s important to negotiate with the real estate agents that you work with and the brokerage that took you under its wing.

Being a real estate agent is one of the most efficient ways of earning a living while still in school. Moreover, you can create advertisements for social media in your free time. As a young person, it’s likely that you will be familiar with online advertising and social media property marketing. You can create these advertisements in less than an hour most of the time.

According to experienced property managers, property marketing is very simple and it doesn’t cost much nowadays. Therefore, you won’t have to make a lot of expenses from your payouts. You won’t even have to get stressed as navigating and creating websites and sharing listings can be a lot of fun if you enjoy such a business.

As a young part-time realtor still in school, managing your career will not become stressful and exhausting while studying. You can choose your hours, create inexpensive social media advertisements, and work with successful mentors.

SEE ALSO: Gratitude Gets the Job: The Art of Writing a Job Offer Thank-You Letter

How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

There are many ways to create an amazing LinkedIn profile. One way is to ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues, but another option is to showcase your professional writings. You can also use an emoji to direct your followers to the “follow” button, and add a background photo or cover photo. In addition, make sure to add a personal elevator pitch to your profile, which will allow you to explain why you are a great candidate for a job or a networking opportunity.

Arno Markus BA, MSc., CPRW, CEO, and Founder of iCareerSolutions is a Multi-Award-Winning Certified Professional Resume Writer, a powerful LinkedIn Profile Writer, and Personal Brand & Job Search Strategist with global experience. Arno has done recruitment consulting in Helsinki, Amsterdam, and Toronto. He also worked in Nuclear Power for the Federal Government prior to switching to empowering professionals to achieve ambitious career goals full-time. Arno is an expert at dissecting job descriptions and marketing his clients to ensure they get where they want to be in their Career.

Write a personal elevator pitch

If you’re looking for a job or a new investment opportunity, one of the best ways to make a good impression is by giving a personal elevator pitch. Basically, it’s a brief overviewof what you do and how you can help. It can be used at networking events, in an elevator, or even for a cold call.

The first thing you need to do when you’re preparing a personal elevator pitch is to determine the main questions that you want to answer. You’ll also need to consider how you will present yourself. This includes the type of voice you use, the tone of your speech, and the type of information you include.

An elevator pitch is a quick, 30- to 60-second introduction to what you do. You should be prepared to answer questions and give the other person a reason to want to know more.

Your elevator pitch should contain key elements such as your name, your job, and your company. It should also include a call to action, such as asking a prospective employer to contact you on LinkedIn. You’ll also need a business card, so that the other person can contact you after the conversation.

Your elevator pitch should be short and to the point, but it should be entertaining. It should also use a unique selling proposition (USP) to hook the listener. Using alliteration or slogans can make your pitch stand out.

Before you deliver your elevator pitch, be sure to practice it. You can do this by reading the statement out loud, or by practicing it with a trusted friend. Doing so will improve your confidence and improve your delivery.

Here is a Sample LinkedIn Profile which showcase the expertise professionally.

Showcase professional writings

If you’re a freelance writer, you might already be aware that LinkedIn is a great place to network with peers and prospective clients. If you’re looking to stand out, however, you’ll want to include a portfolio to showcase your wares. Whether you’re a copywriter, web designer, or a general scribe, there are a number of ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

A slew of content can make up your online resume, but the top-of-the-line content is likely to be articles or posts from LinkedIn’s network of professional authors. For example, if you’ve written some great blog posts, you can upload them as your own material. If you’re looking for the big picture, you can also showcase your work with visual presentations. If you’re more of a visual types, you might even opt for a spiffy portfolio website.

As for the rest of the content on your profile, you’ll be happy to know that you can add as many as you like, as long as they’re relevant to you and your niche. For instance, if you’re a copywriter, you can include examples of your work in the form of a collection of well-written and professionally-formatted articles. On the other hand, if you’re a web designer, you can include screenshots of your site in your collection. You might also want to consider uploading a mindmap of your most logical and effective strategies for winning over customers and prospects.

Add a background photo/cover photo

Your LinkedIn profile photo or cover photo should tell your story. Your message should be clear, professional and representative of who you are. It should also be appropriate for the professional profile that you have created. You should also be careful to avoid copyright issues.

To create a great LinkedIn profile, you need to choose a background photo or cover photo that complements your profile picture. There are many ways to do this.

You can use free stock images on websites like Pixabay or Freepix, or you can find your own. However, you should avoid using logos. The best option is to create a unique photo to stand out from the crowd.

You can also add a personal touch to your background image. You can include photos of your hobbies or work. You can also highlight the benefits of your product or service. If your background image shows sustainability or eco-friendly processes, it can make your competitors want to switch companies.

A well-chosen background photo will show your professionalism. You can use a photo of an office or boardroom to reflect the nature of your work. You can also include pictures of your favorite vacations or volunteer activities.

If you are a freelancer, a LinkedIn cover photo is a good way to let your personality shine. You can highlight your key skills and achievements. You can also mention your favorite events, such as volunteering or speaking at conferences.

You can use your own image, or you can use one of the many templates offered by LinkedIn. Some of the popular options include a banner graphic. You can even create your own with the help of Canva. You can add text and graphics, change colors and add animations.

Ask for recommendations

When you ask for recommendations on LinkedIn, you are asking someone to vouch for you in a public forum. You can ask for references from current and former colleagues. This can be a good way to show off your skills. It can also help to build your professional brand.

The process of asking for recommendations on LinkedIn is very straightforward. Once you have the recommendations, you can put them on your profile. You can either use the auto-generated form or write a personal message. Ideally, you should aim for 5-8 recommendations that are really strong.

Recommendations should be written in a professional manner. They should be short and focused. They should also be easy to read. They should include achievements and accomplishments, as well as a description of how you were able to meet deadlines.

You can also ask for recommendations from managers who have left your company. These recommendations carry more weight. They also indicate that you can be trusted to perform the job. However, you should be aware that some managers ignore too many recommendations.

Recommendations are also a great way to highlight the specifics of your work. They can also give your headline a boost. They can be especially useful for people who want to hire you for a new position. The best recommendations come after you’ve worked on the project and the manager has had a chance to evaluate your performance.

You should consider how long you need to wait before you ask for a recommendation. It is advisable to wait at least a week, so you can check in with the person.

Make sure to thank the recommender for their time. Remember to send a draft as well.

Have a look at LinkedIn CEO Profile to see the recommendations.

Add an emoji to point at the “follow” button

One of the most fun and nerdy parts of LinkedIn is the ability to add an emoji to point at the “follow” button. It can make your profile stand out from the crowd, and is a great way to make the most of your snazzy new LinkedIn home page. You can do this with a few keystrokes, and a few seconds of your time.

Choosing the right emoji is an art in and of itself, but it’s not as hard as you might think. To get started, click on your profile icon on the top of your screen and then choose the “Add Emoji” option. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be greeted with a list of options. Select the first option, “Emoji, and you’ll see the list of emojis and their corresponding descriptions. You can then scroll through your list to choose from a handful of emojis, from the aforementioned smiley face to the cute little bird.

There are several websites and services that can help you add an emoji to your profile, such as Waalaxy. These services offer a variety of tools and resources, from emojis to video avatars to a plethora of social media profiles and more. You’ll be able to find the best matches for you and your business, and you can also get your hands on an avatar to suit your tastes.

SEE ALSO: How to Navigate the Job Market as a College Student

How to Navigate the Job Market as a College Student

How to Navigate the Job Market as a College Student

So you’ve got your degree in hand; now all you need is to land the perfect job, which should be easy, right?

For many, college studies are what seem like the hard part, and landing a good job is the reward for all that hard work. But navigating the job market can be just as daunting as end-of-year exams.

Just as preparing for a big exam takes effort, so too does preparing for job hunting and interviews. You can’t expect that simply obtaining a degree will automatically get you in the door.

Today, most people who are entering the professional job force have some sort of formal education, so you’ve got to have more than just your degree to stand out, and ensure your application reaches the top of the pile.

Landing a good job, however, is not impossible. You can successfully achieve the job of your dreams if you put in the time and effort to adequately prepare for your post-grad life.

What the Current Job Market Looks Like For Recent Grads

The good news for recent graduates is that the job market is looking up. This is not your millennial’s job market.

Instead, today’s job market is very strong for recent grads. In fact, reports show that this year’s college graduates (2022) will enter one of the strongest job markets in recent history.

Despite the mass layoffs and hiring freezes that occurred in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, companies have fully recovered and are on the lookout for fresh new graduates.

According to a recent job outlook survey, 56% of companies say they plan on increasing new graduate hires. Furthermore, there are 65% more job openings now than there were before the pandemic.

With the labor shortage from the pandemic, new graduates will also have more bargaining power when it comes to negotiating better wages and benefits. Numerous employers are already enticing new graduates with generous offers, including:

  • 401(k) matching
  • Employee discount programs
  • Full medical, dental, and life insurance benefits
  • Family planning benefits
  • Mental health and wellness benefits
  • Employee stock purchase programs
  • Student loan repayment assistance
  • Flexible work schedules
  • Flexible time off
  • Signing bonuses

Tips to Help You Navigate the Job Market

Despite a good job market, it’s still important to put time and effort into your job hunt process and ensure you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with your job search. The harder you work, the more companies will recognize that hard work and be willing to give you a shot.

Here are seven tips to help you navigate the current job market as a recent graduate:

1. Make Connections Prior to Graduating

Even before you graduate, it’s important to start thinking ahead. Having connections and job experience prior to graduating can significantly boost your chances of landing the job you want once you do graduate. So if you haven’t received your degree yet, consider finding a job while you’re still a student to improve your chances.

2. Boost Your Resume

Make sure you include ALL of your work history and experience on your resume. Many graduates are ashamed to have things like babysitting or restaurant work on their resumes as they think it’s irrelevant or might make them seem juvenile.

But babysitting shows that you are trustworthy and capable of managing others and working in a restaurant shows that you can likely handle fast-paced and even chaotic situations. So don’t count something out just because it seems irrelevant to the job you are trying to land.

3. Know What You Want

Be confident and know what you want. You’ll never land your ideal job if you are afraid to speak up for yourself and your wants and needs.

If mental health is a concern for you, for example, don’t be afraid to inquire about mental health accommodations or ask for them when you are interviewing. You want to impress potential future employers, yes, but they should also be able to impress you and give you what you need.

4. Focus on Networking

Job hunting is not just about sitting behind a computer applying for jobs. It’s also about putting yourself out there and networking.

You never know when a connection might lead to a job opportunity. So don’t be afraid to carry your resume or a business card with you wherever you go.

Talk to friends, family, neighbors, and former professors. You can even strike up conversations with people you don’t know while you are out and about in your daily life. Seeking out career events is also a great way to make new professional connections and network.

5. Build Your Leadership Skills

Pursuing self-improvement is also important when navigating the job market. Don’t just rely on the specific job-related skills listed on your resume. There are many other skills and qualities that can help you stand out and land a job, such as leadership skills.

Leadership skills are essential when looking for a job because companies specifically look for new graduates that have leadership potential. They want people that will help move them forward as a business and lead them into the future. So improving your leadership qualities can significantly improve your job prospects.

6. Be Proactive

One of the biggest mistakes college graduates make when navigating the job market is sitting around waiting after applying for jobs. You must be proactive, which means you can’t just send in an application and never check back in.

Do not expect the company you are applying for to do all the work for you. Go above and beyond with your application to show that you did your research and know about the company. Tell them what makes you stand out and what you have to offer them.

And then, even after you’ve applied, make sure you check back in and follow up to let them know that you are hungry to do the work and are still interested.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Decline an Offer

Many college graduates will be so thrilled about getting a response that they will jump on an initial job offer. But it’s important to make sure that the job and what they are offering is the right fit for you before you agree.

If you do happen to accept an offer and something better comes along, don’t automatically assume you can’t decline the initial offer — even if you already signed a contract.

It is possible to decline a job after you’ve already accepted and signed a contract. You just need to be smart about it. Thoroughly read your contract, be honest and tactical about why you’re declining, and express your gratitude for the opportunity.

Wrapping Up

If you are a recent grad, count yourself lucky to be entering one of the best job markets in recent history — but don’t let that fool you. Landing a good job still takes work. With the right mindset and effort, however, you can smoothly navigate the market and land your ideal job.

SEE ALSO: Best Paid Online Jobs for College Students

Adulting 101: Preparing for Your Post-grad Life

Adulting 101: Preparing for Your Post-grad Life

The days leading up to your college graduation are equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. On the one hand, you are thrilled about the idea of using the knowledge that you gained during your schooling in a new career that can help you become the professional you desire to be. On the other hand, after several years of having room and board and only needing to focus on your studies, it can be scary to realize that you will soon be out in the real world.

While it seems daunting at first, you can live a happy and productive life after college if you make the right preparations and get your mind in the right space. Consider these tips for staying healthy, finding a job, and relocating to a great place to live post-graduation.

Start Taking Care of Your Health

While some students watch their weight and exercise throughout their college years, others may not have had the time. That’s normal, but you might be feeling as though you need to present your best self to accomplish your goals. You can get into the habit of exercising every day by waking up early before your first class and getting 20 minutes of cardio or light weights. Not only will you start a healthy routine and feel better, but exercise can help to clear your mind so you can finish your final classes with ease.

Many students also live a more sedentary lifestyle during their college years, and they don’t always have the healthiest diet. It is also not uncommon for many young people to drink a lot of alcohol during this time. It’s a good idea to wean yourself off of beer and binge drinking. If you continue to drink after college, you can experience health problems, including increasing your chance of liver disease, stroke, and malnutrition.

Excessive drinking affects your body in other ways, such as weakening your immune system. Sick days are few and far between after you graduate college, so stay ahead of the game. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, thwarting your efforts to stay physically fit.

Leaving college can be a bit stressful, so you also need to ensure that you protect your mental health. Take walks and breathe fresh air whenever possible. Get plenty of sunlight because vitamin D can put you at ease. If you are especially worried about graduating then you should talk to a professional therapist. This can be virtually or even through your school, but don’t be afraid to seek the support you need to feel better about your future.

Start Your Job Search

Even if you have not yet graduated, it is still a good idea to start your job search or at least look at the opportunities that may be out there. This way, you’ll have a good jumping-off point once you leave school. You can take little steps today, including starting a LinkedIn page where you mention your college major. While you are there, start to find connections at your school and introduce yourself. You may be able to reconnect with those individuals when it is time to find a job after graduation.

This is also a good time to start building your resume. Since you likely have not yet had a job that connects to your college major, you can instead focus on listing the current skills that you can bring to an organization post-graduation. Try to focus on leadership skills, organizational skills, and soft skills. For example, your sense of empathy will help you better understand the needs and desires of future clients.

You can also take this time to get your foot in the door of a company you would like to work for after college. Start by researching career fairs in your neighborhood. Research the businesses that will be there so you are knowledgeable when you introduce yourself. You can also contact companies and ask about potential internship opportunities. You may not be paid in these positions, but if you impress the management, then you could get hired down the road. There are many online letter templates available that can help you stand out when contacting these companies.

Look at Potential Places To Live

Since you will need to leave the dorms when you graduate college, you will want to start looking for a place to live. If the only option is to live with your parents, then that’s okay. Living at home allows you to have the services that you require and to save money for when you eventually move out on your own. Plus, with the safety net afforded by your parents, you could even try to start your own business and take bigger risks in your search for success.

If living with your parents is not an option, then you will need to look at other options for yourself. If you have a potential job lined up, then you should look for apartments that are nearby, so you don’t have a long commute. Even if you cannot live in your childhood home, you should live close so you can stop by when necessary to have a family meal or do some laundry.

When looking at potential neighborhoods, you should also research important factors such as the economy and crime statistics. If you are a member of a specific community, then you will want to do this and other research that lets you know the atmosphere of the potential locale. Some of the best cities for LGBTQIA+ folks, for example, include West Hollywood, CA., Austin, TX., and Providence, RI. These places don’t have as many issues with housing discrimination, and there is a higher presence of queer-owned and queer-friendly businesses. If you want to move to a welcoming neighborhood, look for similar signs that you are choosing the right place.

As you can see, there are many steps that you can take to make the transition from college to the real world as easy and comfortable as possible. Consider these tips and tactics, and you’ll feel better in the years to come.

SEE ALSO: 3 Tips for Realistically Starting a Business in College

3 Tips for Realistically Starting a Business in College

3 Tips for Realistically Starting a Business in College

College students tend to get stereotyped a lot. Those stereotypes include everything from laziness and partying every night to living off of ramen noodles and pizza. While you’ve undoubtedly had a late night or two and your diet might not include five-star dining, many of those stereotypes are overblown.

In fact, you might have a hard time striking a school-life balance when you’re juggling classes and a social life. Yet, that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to start a business in college. One 2019 survey found that 70% of college graduates would prefer to start their own business, rather than work somewhere else. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you don’t necessarily need to wait until you graduate to get your business off the ground.

But, how can you make a new business work while maintaining your grades, social connections, and classes? Let’s cover a few helpful tips to start your small business.

1. Turn Your Idea Into a Business Plan

If you’re thinking about starting a business, chances are you already have an idea in mind. However, your first step needs to be making sure that the idea is a viable one. Is it something someone else is already doing? Are you fulfilling a need or want? Should you get started with something else to get your foot in the door of a specific industry?

There are countless startup ideas for college students and recent graduates, so make sure your idea is something unique and useful, or consider tweaking it before you officially launch your business.

Once you’re ready to move forward with your idea, it’s time to build a business plan. That can look different for every small business out there, but there are a few key components that every business plan needs, including:

  • An executive summary
  • Business description
  • Funding/financing options
  • Financial projections
  • Market analysis

Your business plan is crucial for a few reasons. First, it will keep you organized and make your mission clear. Let it serve as a motivational tool for yourself and any employees you choose to bring on.

It’s also a good thing to be able to show potential investors or anyone who might want to support your business. The more people know about who you are and what you’re doing, the more interested they’ll be in helping or getting a piece of the pie.

2. Build Your Brand

When you start your own business, you’ll automatically have to wear many hats. You might be an expert in a certain product or service, but that’s only one component of building a successful brand.

One of the most important things you’ll need to learn is how to market your business. Thankfully, most college-aged students are relatively tech-savvy. You can use what you already know about social media to start building a following and boosting your digital word-of-mouth advertising.

Building your brand might require reaching out to other people or hiring gig workers to get things off the ground. For example, your business will need a logo that helps you stand out. You can create a professional logo by using an image library, your own artistic skills, or by hiring a professional. If you don’t know where to get started, working with a pro is a solid investment.

Yes, working with freelancers to help with marketing can increase your upfront costs. However, if you’ve got financial backers, this is exactly what you should be using them for. Alternatively, you can pay for everything out of pocket by working a side job. There are plenty of online jobs that pay well and will work with your busy schedule. If you need a little boost getting your brand in front of people, it’s worth it to invest in the right people and ad placements.

3. Be Ready to Make Every Decision

When you own a business, no matter how successful it becomes, every decision will eventually fall on your shoulders.

As you grow, you can delegate certain responsibilities to others. However, at the end of the day, you will always have the final say in how your business works. It can be a lot of pressure on one person, and it’s important that you’re ready for it. If you want to feel confident in your decisions, use a few helpful steps to make the process easier:

  1. Identify the decision
  2. Gather your information
  3. Look for any alternative solutions
  4. Weigh the evidence
  5. Choose from alternatives
  6. Take action
  7. Review

Eventually, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and have an easier time trusting your gut when it comes to the choices that impact your business.

Is starting a business in college easy? That depends on how much work you’re willing to put in. Will it take a lot of time and effort? If you want it to be successful, most likely. However, by starting a business now, it could be fully up and running by the time you graduate, setting you up for financial success and independence right away, rather than having to navigate a job search.

So, if you have a great idea, a solid plan, and a strong drive, use these tips to get your business started. You never know if your idea could end up being the next “big” thing.

SEE ALSO: College Dating: 5 Ways to find Love on Campus

Leadership Skills that Help You Land a Job After College

Leadership Skills that Help You Land a Job After College

College is a great place to learn the ins and outs of your chosen major, but it empowers students to build more than technical skills. You can also use your time in college to develop valuable soft skills that are easily transferable between careers — including those required of strong leaders.

When you’re getting ready to graduate and start finding a job, many of your potential employers will evaluate your potential as a leader. Students who learn, practice, and excel in their leadership skills are viewed by managers as highly capable of taking on diverse positions, contributing more to their companies, and taking on higher-level roles over time.

However, the ability to lead isn’t something you can simply put on your resume. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate the right skills during your interviews to impress the companies you’re applying to. Here are the leadership skills recruiters and hiring managers value most, as well as how you can develop them while getting your degree.

Modern communication skills

Leadership has changed a lot in recent years, but communication remains one of the most sought-after skills across industries. Applicants with strong resumes can lose out to less qualified job candidates if they have poor communication skills. On the flip side, great communicators can win significantly more job offers than their competitors.

Modern communication skills must be comprehensive. In addition to being great at written and verbal communication, today’s leaders need to be technologically literate. Video meetings and other remote communication channels (like Slack and email) are now the norm. Consider joining a public speaking course, speech and debate group, or career prep program in college to practice your ability to choose words and gestures carefully.

Being culturally sensitive in your communications is also becoming incredibly important, especially as businesses implement more diversity and inclusion initiatives. College is the perfect time to interact with people from different backgrounds and listen to their feedback.

Organizational skills

While technical skills allow employees to successfully complete tasks, organizational skills make you capable of taking an entire project from ideation to execution. Businesses are looking for organized leaders who can carefully identify goals and keep track of their progress to ensure their projects can end successfully. Leaders should be able to delegate tasks, follow up, and avoid stalled projects with ease.

In college, practicing organizational skills is simple. Challenge yourself to stay on top of your assignments while taking part in extracurriculars. If possible, take on leadership roles within those extracurriculars and work toward ambitious (but feasible) goals each semester.


The business world is shifting faster than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic — which forced many workplaces to quickly go virtual and develop creative strategies to stay afloat — proved the importance of adaptability as a leadership skill. Job candidates who are able to smoothly adapt to new tasks, software, teams, and work cultures (rather than resist change) are highly desirable in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.

A large part of being adaptable is the ability to stay calm and work through stressful situations. Since shifts in your work environment can throw you into unfamiliar situations, employers want job candidates who can keep a level head and excel in the face of change.

One way you can develop your adaptability is by finding healthy outlets for stress. For instance, you can implement meditation into your daily or weekly routine to practice healthily dealing with stressful situations after college. Start meditating during your midterms or finals and see if it’s the right outlet for you.


Empathy is another leadership skill that’s increasingly prized in the workspace. As more companies become employee-focused, recruiters and hiring managers are seeking leaders who can contribute to a positive work environment — particularly as the current worker shortage continues to impact their ability to find qualified employees. Great leaders must be exceptional at listening and collaborating with diverse peers and managers.

Volunteering can be a great way to practice your empathy skills in college. Challenge yourself to work alongside and serve populations that you don’t normally interact with and step into their shoes. Practice entering conversations without any expectations and be curious about the people you speak with.

Land your dream job

Landing a job right after college is no longer a simple matter of demonstrating the industry skills you’ve developed. It also requires you to show off your soft skills — the ones that allow you to act as an exceptional leader in any role. Soft skills give you room to grow within a company over time.

Start by developing your communication skills, making sure to practice increasingly prized skills like video calling and empathetic listening. Plus, learn how to be organized in your work and adaptable to new (and potentially stressful) situations to increase your value in the eyes of recruiters and hiring teams.

SEE ALSO: 5 DOs and DON’Ts for Landing Your First Job After College

4 Types of Engineering Careers for Graduates

4 Types of Engineering Careers for Graduates

Graduating from college is an exciting time, but there are now many tough choices ahead. While many students know that their college choice can affect their career prospects, they don’t realize that the path they take after they graduate can have a major impact on the rest of their lives.

Your professional career can be subject to change, but getting it off to the right start is the best approach for anyone who wants to achieve real success.

The type of engineer you become depends on your degree choice and the experience you earned during college. After all, if you took computer sciences, then you’ll need to go into the computer engineering or technology sectors. Alternatively, if your degree was in electrical engineering, then you’ll probably be looking at jobs in this niche.

Still, there are many options within these specific sectors, so you need to make sure that you choose the right one for you. It also depends on what you want to achieve from your new job and where you want to end up in the future.

Here are some of the main types of engineering careers that graduates can explore after finishing their degrees.

Starting A Career In Private Sector Engineering

The private sector is a great place to start your engineering career, particularly if you’re aiming to make money from your new role. The average salary for a US engineer is around $91,700 per year, but in the private sector, this can rise astronomically, particularly if you choose a lucrative field such as oil and gas. So, if you’re looking to become financially successful and enjoy many perks, then private sector engineering could be a great choice for you. There are many privately-owned companies seeking engineering talent, so you should explore job fares while at college to find suitable prospects to start your journey.

Entering Into Public Sector Engineering

Another option is going into public sector engineering. This means working for a company that is partially or wholly owned by the government. It can also mean working for the government directly, as a paid advisor or on projects the government is handling itself. As a general rule, public sector employees earn less than their private-sector counterparts, but the public sector does often offer competitive rates of pay. There are also many opportunities for advancement, so you could earn the status and expertise you’ve always craved by working in the public sector. Again, the best way to identify and explore public sector engineering jobs is to visit trade and job fares and to network within the engineering market.

Owning Your Own Engineering Business

Working for yourself is the holy grail for many graduates, and while it might take some time, you could eventually achieve the success you crave by starting your own engineering business. You’ll be able to set your own schedule and choose what projects you take on. Starting an engineering business can be challenging, and you’ll need as much expert support as you can get. So, you’ll need to explore a range of services. One important service that you should look into is engineer insurance. You can find a variety of engineering insurance policies to fit your business needs. This type of insurance is specialized for engineers to protect their careers and business. These policies will get you coverage to protect you from legal fees and damaged vehicles. Commonly, they will cover general liability and workers’ compensation. With support from experts who understand your market, you can get your new engineering business off to a flying start. It might take time for your business to earn the success you crave, and running any company is hard work, but it will pay off when you achieve the reputation for industry excellence that you and your team deserve.

Becoming An Engineering Consultant

If you want to work for yourself but don’t want to become a business owner who manages large projects and expansive teams, then becoming a freelance engineering consultant could be the ideal solution for you. Working as a freelancer is a cost-effective way to work for yourself and find the flexibility you want from your career. You’ll be able to assist on projects and share your knowledge and expertise, then leave the on-site team to their work. Becoming a respected consultant can take time, and it’s usually the product of many years of hard work. But, after you’ve built up an impressive resume, you can get yourself noticed by many large organizations and start sharing your engineering knowledge.

In Summary

Finishing an engineering degree is just the beginning of your career, but it’s also a time of great change and many choices. This article should help you to understand some of the types of engineering careers you can explore so that you can make an informed choice. You’ll then be able to find the perfect role that suits your aptitude and skills. Take the time to research each of these options in more detail to understand which one might work best for you. There’s no hard and fast way to find the right option, but by doing your research, you can give yourself the best possible start to your engineering career.

SEE ALSO: How Do I Become a Civil Engineer?