Category Archives: Post Grad and Career

What To Include In A Portfolio For A Job Interview

Filed under: Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Cameron Tranchemontagne BookRenter Blogger Biography

Okay new college graduates; are you ready for your next job interview? You may have a resume, a cover letter, and bought some sharp business attire, but do you have a career portfolio? Do you even know what a career portfolio is? If you want to make sure you get the job, consider building a career portfolio.

This short guide will help get you started on what to include in a portfolio:

1. What Is A Career Portfolio?

Where a resume provides a snapshot of your experience and background, and a cover letter focuses on why you’re applying for a job, a portfolio is the culmination of all of your career’s work organized in one place. It can be physical or digital, and can help fill in the gaps between your resume and cover letter, or even emphasize accomplishments and skills. It is a way to express who you are as a professional, so make sure it looks its best and presents you in the best light.

2. What To Include

The truth is, you can put whatever you want in your portfolio, but keep in mind that this is a reflection of your career, so choose wisely. You want to include things that back up your resume with physical evidence. If you mention an article on your resume, feature it in your portfolio to show your potential future employer. You should also summarize your career so far and mention what your business goals are for the next 3-5 years. Your career summary is also a good place to talk about your own values and ethics in the workplace. Include a copy of your resume after your career summary, and then get into the samples of your work and any awards or honors you may have earned. Letters of reference are also a great resource to include here.

3. Presentation And Format

Don’t forget it’s not just about the content – the presentation and organization of it all is just as important. You want it to appear like a well prepared PowerPoint: simple, straightforward, and not too elaborate. If you are creating a physical portfolio, consider buying some kind of nice organizational binder to give it that professional look. A digital portfolio may be a better option if you need to send anything in an email or include to a personal website. Digital portfolios allow a little more flexibility in design and you can always print one as a physical copy too. I recommend bringing the physical copy as a backup to the digital copy just in case anyway. Just make sure your overall presentation is professional and memorable.

Having a portfolio will allow you to showcase your skills firsthand rather than just talk about them. It’s easier for a potential employer to realize you are qualified for a job if you show them samples of work that you’ve already done that they are looking for as part of the job description.

Go get started on making that portfolio! Or, go spruce up your existing one if you already have one. It’s always best to be prepared and put your best foot forward!

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10 Things To Do After College Graduation

Filed under: Fun Ideas, Graduation, Living, Post Grad and Career - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

I don’t know about any of you, but I could not be more excited for Graduation Day! I’m looking forward to watching Netflix guilt free, sleeping in without missing class, and having some actual time to myself.  With all of this free time I plan on having, I have created a list of things to do to make this early post-graduation life both productive and enjoyable!

Let’s prepare that post-graduation bucket list!

1. Create A Savings Plan

I know this is going to make me sound like a big nerd, but I am really excited about being able to save more money now that I have time to work more. I’m excited about all the things I’ll be able to do and buy because of my newfound sense of wealth, but I also am eager to put money aside.  Now is the time to teach ourselves how to budget and take care of our money in order to make our future goals a reality. Don’t forget… those student loans are right around the corner.

2. Cook Everything On Your Pinterest Board

I cannot tell you how pumped I am to finally start tackling all the recipes I have been salivating over the last 6 months. Cupcakes, soups, and entrees, oh my! I cannot be the only one dying to break open a new carton of eggs and get cooking!

3. Travel

I traveled a bit during my time in college, but the travel bug is biting me once again and I have a huge lifelong travel bucket list.  Ireland is next on the list, but I’ll settle for a summer road trip to the closest beach.  Now that you are graduating and will have much more time on your hands, I highly encourage any travel plans you may have. Do as much as you can if you don’t have a full time job just yet because you won’t always have a lot of time off to tackle travel plans later.

4. Find A Hobby

You are going to have so much free time now that it looks like it is time to take up a new hobby! You could try yoga, fishing, crafting, photography, etc… Whatever appeals to you most! My list of hobbies to try is pretty extensive.

5. Challenge Yourself

Have you ever wanted to run a 5k or maybe a half marathon? Is there a classic novel that you have always told yourself that you would read someday?  Challenge yourself now! I personally hope to start doing 5ks again.

6. Take A Gap Year

Not ready to say hello to the real world yet? Try going on a gap year! Dedicate some time to volunteering and bettering the world.  Study Spanish in Spain or work with ocean conservationists in Australia. You can always be an adult later, right?!

7. Do Something That Scares You

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do something every day that scares you.” While we may not be able to do this every day, why not take advantage of your newfound adulthood by taking a risk? Try skydiving, parachuting, or maybe even just riding a roller coaster. Just get out and do something different!

8. Think Practically

Now truly is the time to think about what being an adult actually entails. Do yourself a favor and learn about things like insurance, retirement accounts, and how to start investing.  Seriously, this stuff does matter, and it matters now.

9. Start A Business

Are you an impressive crafter? Can you bake the best cupcakes in the area? Take your passion and turn it into a business! It doesn’t have to be your career, just something fun to do on the side.  And who knows where you could end up going with it! It doesn’t hurt to try.

10. Relax

Through everything, make sure you remember to relax. After all, you worked very hard to earn that degree. Sometimes the best thing to do with a little free time is absolutely nothing.

This is just a portion of what I intend to do post-graduation.  What about you? Share your plans in a comment below!

Congratulations on graduating!

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The Importance Of Networking And Why You Should Start Now

Filed under: College Life, Post Grad and Career, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, the term “networking” isn’t just something people on LinkedIn throw around to sound important or intelligent. If you’re new to the term, it’s simply a professional way of saying, “making friends and professional connections” with people interested or working in the same areas of study as you are no matter what your experience level is.

Nowadays, many college students just use social media to further connect with friends, family, and professionals who have our dream job. When I started seriously pursuing journalism as my major, Twitter was my favorite way to get in touch with fellow writers, editors, and other students at both my own university and others. Looking back, although I had several valuable internships using my journalism skills, I probably should’ve attended more actual in-person networking events available to me through my university. When it comes to networking, it’s important to not only start early in your college career, but to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way to meet like-minded people.

When it comes to your future, make networking your best friend. The connections you make are the people who can help further your career during or after college.

1. It Could Help You Find An Internship

Thanks to LinkedIn and Twitter, I found at least three of my college internships by networking with the editors of the magazines I was interested in. When you engage in tweets posted by the people you’re interested in, you never know where it might lead. Potential employers love seeing that an internship or job candidate already shows interest in their company. If you were the employer, would you hire the person who only submitted an application, or the person who interacted with you on online too? If you end up with a job or internship, or even just an unpaid side gig on the weekends doing what you’re studying, that’s the best way to learn and to be better prepared for when you find your permanent career.

2. You Will Learn More

Networking with individuals interested or working in a similar field of interest as you will allow you to learn more about your field that you might not normally deal with. You will learn more details of opportunities, ways of doing things, all while getting peer support. Build a strong enough of a connection and you could have a potential reference for future research or professional growth.

3. It Could Lead To a Job

Did you know 70-80% of jobs aren’t advertised? Most are found through networking. Remember the saying, it’s not always what you know, but who you know? Well, get to know more people and more opportunities might come knocking! Especially if you connect on LinkedIn, chances of finding a job are really high. Or, your connections could very well become a person of reference for your next interview! You never know!

Start networking early. If you start while you’re still a college student, you will have a great advantage come graduation.

Share your networking strategies with us in a comment below!

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7 Reasons To Have An Internship

Filed under: College Life, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Megan Lehman BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

Graduation (it is right around the corner!) means saying goodbye to classes and hello to full time jobs. As much fun as it sounds to step into the adult world, there is one more thing you need to do before graduating; complete an internship.  An internship is not just about gaining experience, it’s about putting yourself one step in front of the competition. If you’re not too keen to the idea of interning, you might want to read this blog and think twice.

Here are seven excellent reasons to work an internship:

1. Build Your Network

As you enter the adult working world, landing your dream job may not be as easy as it seems. By completing an internship, you build your network of personal and professional references. You may not want a job in the field or with the company you intern for, but the people you meet along the way may know or have just the place in mind for you. Keep in contact, send thank you cards, and set up informational interviews with these people that you meet!

2. Resume Building

Adding an internship to your resume automatically puts you into a different pile than other job applicants. You can also use the contacts you make at the internship to review your resume.  They will know just the right way to word things, what else to add to your experience, and what information is unimportant or could be removed.  Editing and reviewing your resume may seem like a large use of your time, but it will always benefit you in the end.

3. Learn Your Desires

Just recently, I completed an internship in the field that I had always dreamed about working in, along with a good friend of mine who was chasing the same goal. What did we learn? I loved the internship and everything about it, but my good friend absolutely hated it. This is another beautiful thing about internships. You don’t know if you really like something until you try it. This opportunity gives you that experience with less of a commitment than accepting a full-time job (and it saves you time to start rethinking your career move). Or, you can learn that you really like what you’re doing – which will give you much more motivation to achieve it. Learning more about ourselves is something that should never be taken for granted.

4. Test Your Skills

After just graduating from college, you will not know everything about the field that you want to step into. Internships let you test your skills and knowledge, while learning new skills and tools to apply on the job. Take every opportunity and do not hesitate or step away from a new project that requires learning something new. The point of internships is to learn and gain experience. These skills will serve you in the future and it will look even more impressive when you already know how to do it.

5. More Money

This experience boosts your resume, boosts your list of skills, and could potentially boost your bank account! This may not necessarily apply while you are completing the internship since most are unpaid, but once it is completed, the internship experience could prove your worth in terms of a slightly hirer salary than most starting positions would normally allow.

6. College Credit

There is required homework of course, but completing an internship for college credit can be one of the most fun and meaningful ways to work towards completing your degree. Some college major programs even require college credit to be earned through an internship for completion. However, if your major doesn’t require this – college credit is still probably an option I recommend looking into.

7. Job Opportunities

Many companies have created internship programs designed to hire the interns as full-time employees after graduation. Find the right company and find the right job! Start researching which companies you’re interested in and set up informational interviews with someone in the company or the position you’re aiming to be in.  Once you’ve done these things, start applying and use the name of the person you had an informational interview with as a reference!

The reasons listed above are only some of the reasons why you should seek an internship while a college student, but they should be pretty convincing I think! Share your internship stories with us in a comment below!

Get ready, get set, and get those applications going!

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3 Things You May Not Know About Student Loans

Filed under: College Life, Education, Money/Budget, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia Baran BookRenter Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

The very thought of a student loan makes most of us shudder. The complexity of it all, the stress of making payments on time, the debt that we fear will follow us around forever; this is what we think of when we think about student loans. It’s important to have at least a general understanding of loans to help minimize many of these fears.

Here are a few things that you may not have known about student loans:

1. Types of Loans

There are many different kinds of loans out there. Before you can choose the best loan for yourself, you have to get familiar with all of the different types of loans that are available to you. You can choose between getting a federal loan (if you are eligible) or applying for a loan from a private lender. Federal loans can be in the form of a Stafford loan which comes directly from the federal government, or it can be in the form of a Perkins loan which are funded by the federal government but are given out through the universities themselves. The breakdown continues even further from there. Check out this article to learn more about the different types of student loans to figure our which one is right for you.

2. Grace Period

One of the perks of a federal student loan is the six month grace period (be careful, this is not applicable on ALL loans, so be sure to do your research). After graduation, you are given six months before being required to many any payments on your federal loans. This is great because it takes some of the pressure off of you for a few months after your graduation and allows you time to find steady income. Although you are given this option, you can still make payments during this period if you would like to get a jump on paying off your loan. Contact your lender to find out if your loan offers you a grace period and check out this article for some more information.

3. Discounts on Interest Rates

Signing up for automatic payments can save you money. Many lenders offer a small discount on your interest rates if you make your payments through electronic debit. Not only is this beneficial financially speaking, but it also ensures that you will not forget to make your monthly payments as your bank automatically makes the payment for you each month. Consolidating your loans into one payment may also slightly lower your interest rates, but may actually take longer to pay off. Read about consolidating and more ways to save on your loans here.

When it comes to student loans, your biggest tool is knowledge. When you become familiar with all of the possible student loans out there and what each one offers, you will feel more comfortable with the loan that you choose. Loans are not fun, but they are available as an opportunity to invest in education and your future. Just make sure you know what you can handle and in the long run, it could actually build up your credit!

What are some tips you have about loans? Share with us in a comment below!

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