Swamp Talk: Tips for Being Successful after College

By Georgia Warren

These days, a college degree doesn’t mean as much as it used to. The job hunt is more like a version of “The Hunger Games.” It’s rough out there and graduation is looming. So what can you do to prepare yourself for post-graduation success? Here are some things to get in order before you throw that cap in the air.

1. Buy a grown up outfit

Depending on what career path you are going for, invest in a suit or professional outfit that will impress someone into hiring you. You are your own walking resume, so those baggy slacks and oversized jacket will no longer do. No matter if you’re a girl or a guy, tailoring counts. Wearing oversized clothing can make you look like a child trying to be a grown up. Dress for the position you want in 10 years, not the one you’re applying for now. Guys, learn how to tie a tie and girls, retire the club heels for a more professional look.

2. Make yourself searchable

It’s probably a good idea to search your name on Google to see what pops up. Better you do it now than an interviewer later. Clean up that Facebook page and put your resume out there for potential employers to see. LinkedIn is a great way to ensure people can see what you have to offer if they lose your resume or you never gave them one.

3. Outline your short and long-term goals

When going to interviews, it’s always a good idea to know yourself before you answer questions on the topic. It doesn’t seem very professional if you stumble when asked about your goals. If you’re able to collect some ideas beforehand, you’ll come across as far more driven. It’s impressive to know exactly what you want, so even if you haven’t quite got it figured out, do your best to at least make a mental outline.

4. Kick that snooze-button habit

We all do it. But getting up 20 minutes after you should has worse consequences when you risk being late to an interview rather than missing the first five minutes of class. Getting into a productive wake-up routine will help you to feel fresh for that early-morning interview when the day comes.

 5. Stand out

Sometimes we are far more comfortable blending into the crowd and falling into norms than we are standing out. When employers have tens or hundreds of people walking through their door, you have to be different. So find what makes you, you. Whether it’s a cool experience or a bright lipstick, make sure you stand out somehow. That being said, don’t take it too far. Skip the yellow suit.

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