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Phoenix Forward magazine

What to do after you graduate from college

What to do after college

Once you’ve crossed the stage, accepted your diploma and turned in your cap and gown, don’t just sit there smiling — it’s time to make all your hard work count.

You’ll want to do everything possible to put your degree to work for you, says Phoenix Career Services Career Coach Joy Harris.

Here are six things new graduates should do immediately:


Update your resumé.

Add your new degree under the education section of your resumé. In addition, insert relevant experience gained during your studies, such as through internships, as well as awards and school projects that highlight your skills.

“Not everything listed has to be paid work experience,” Harris notes. “Volunteering can be relevant, and so can coursework you accomplished, which demonstrates that you are disciplined or dedicated to the field.”

Join an alumni chapter.

With 22 chapters in cities across the country, the University of Phoenix Alumni Association offers membership in regional chapters where you can participate in networking mixers, sports outings, community service projects and other events.

Meeting other University alumni can help you seek advice from peers in your industry when you need it, and learn about professional organizations to join or conferences to attend.

Change your LinkedIn® profile.

It’s critical to update your LinkedIn information with your degree, Harris says, noting that you never know when a potential employer may see it.

Fill out your entire profile in detail, she stresses, even if you have no work history in your field. “Look for experience where you demonstrated transferable skills,” she says, “such as leading a team in a project.”

Modify your Facebook® page.

If you’re in the job market, Harris notes, know that employers check Facebook accounts to see what type of people they might be hiring.

“Clean up your profile by deleting photos or status updates that don’t reflect on your character positively, such as photos which include alcohol,” she says. Consider creating a professional Facebook page for the public, and set a separate social page for privacy.

Create an About.me® profile.

You can generate a single online identity that ties all your profiles together on the About.me site, Harris says. It takes about five minutes, and you’ll have a visually appealing online business “calling card,” she notes, that includes your degree and career goals, and links to your other social media sites.

And since your name will be in the URL, your profile will be easy to find in a search. Add it to your signature at the bottom of your email messages, Harris advises, so your contacts can click to view it.

Use Phoenix Career Services.

Learn how to write cover letters and prepare for job interviews on this site, where you’ll find a wealth of resources for newly minted graduates. It’s best to be well prepared by doing your homework before you see your dream job posted and find yourself scrambling to put together your best application.

The portal also lists more than 35,000 jobs posted by hundreds of employers nationwide, so it’s key to upload your resumé on the site so potential employers will see it.

Related article:

LinkedIn is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corp. and its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries.
Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
About.me is a registered trademark of About.me Inc.