Category Archives: Post Grad and Career

Staying Academically & Professionally Oriented During Summer

Filed under: College Life, Education, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Summer is notorious for college students to “take a break” from school, chill out a little, and relax after having relatively high stress levels. But, sometimes we can get a little too laid back, not realizing that even though it’s summer, we still have homework. Yes, homework during the summer – and I’m not talking about summer school (but that does count too!). No matter if you’re a senior, freshman, junior, sophomore, or recently graduated – it’s crucial to always be focusing on the future of your academics and career, even when you are in need of a serious life-pause.

If you need a little inspiration on ways you can continue to work towards your life goals, here are some ideas:

1. Create A Vision Board

This is a strategy a lot of people in well-known positions use, including celebrities. Get a bulletin board and pin to it all the places you want to be able to go, all the things you would like to do, and pictures of what you want your life to look like. Every time you see it, you’ll feel that little spritz of motivation to keep focused and stay strong. It’s a good reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

2. Find A Support Group

Since you’re on Twitter and Facebook most of the time anyway, put that time to good use and find social groups and accounts to follow that support 20-somethings trying to find their way. Type in a few keywords, such as “college,” “postgrad,” “motivation,” and you’re on your way. Not hooked into social media? Type those same words into Google to bring up a variety of local support group you can join for meetings. You can share your struggles and successes with each other, share resources, and network.

3. Make A List

Create a list of all the things you have accomplished thus far. It’s super easy to get stuck in that rut of negative thinking by focusing on all the things you have to do, things you haven’t done, and things you should have done by [insert age here]. Change this around and make a list once a week of things you’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Tried a new meal at a restaurant? Add it to the list. The little accomplishments will measure how well you’re progressing. In addition, whenever you catch yourself in the rut of that negative thinking, stop yourself and replace it with a hopeful, optimistic thought.

4. Work On A Portfolio

Depending on your major, a portfolio is a crucial piece to have on hand for interviews, or for handing over to a career advisor at your university. A second pair of eyes never hurts, and if you already have one going, add to it, update it, and keep it fresh. Taking a look at it periodically is another great reminder of what it is you’re working toward.

5. Interview Someone With Your Dream Job

Is there someone in particular you strive to be like? Reach out to interview them, find out how they got where they are, and draw your inspiration from your new muse. Can’t get there contact information? Look for someone who has a position similar. Make sure when you ask them about their job, you find out how they stayed motivated. It never hurts to gain new ideas.

Do you have any secrets for staying driven? Share them with us!

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Dealing With Unemployment Blues

Filed under: College Life, Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

All college students have pretty high expectations of what is ahead of us after graduation. Since we were children, we’ve had this idea embedded into our brains that we have to go to college so that we can get good jobs. But what many of us learn when we graduate college is that finding that job post-graduation can take quite some time. Sending in resume after resume without a single response can really become quite depressing, and it’s easy to fall into a rut. However it’s important to not only to stay positive during your search, but to also enjoy the time you have off.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with those unemployment blues:

1. Be Proactive, But Not Obsessed

Sitting in front of your computer screen all day looking through hundreds of job sites and emailing resumes can take a toll on your psyche. It’s important to get out of the house and move around. You still need to live your life, so do not dwell just on job searching! Go take a walk, enjoy some sun, and remember to take job hunting one day at a time.

2. Set Small Daily Goals

Don’t make your everyday goal be “find a dream job.” The odds of that happening right away are not too great and you’ll just stress yourself out more. Make small daily goals for yourself such as “send out five resumes” or “find three companies I’d like to work for” so that they are things that you can actually accomplish each day and feel productive doing so.

3. Take Advantage of Free Time

Take advantage of all of the free time that you now have as you are in that in-between stage. Plan out an allotted time each day to continue your quest for a job, but also take time to do things you enjoy. Go to the beach, go out to brunch, or enjoy a nice book. These are things that we take for granted when we have all the time in the world, but once you’re working a 9:00am to 5:00pm job, these will be the things you miss most. Don’t dwell on the fact that you are still unemployed and instead relish in the fact that you have the opportunity to do all these things.

4. Don’t Pressure Yourself

This can be a really stressful time and we put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves to succeed in our search to find the perfect job. However, in the long run, these few jobless months won’t mean that much. Don’t compare yourself to others and think you’re the only one who hasn’t found a job yet, or that what you find is not as good as what someone else may have been lucky to land. Don’t stress yourself out, be content knowing that you’re trying your best and giving it your all.

Most important of all, don’t lose hope. The right job for you is out there and you will find it eventually. Good luck on your search fellow graduates!

Share your job hunting tips and advice on how to stay positive with us!

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5 Biggest Resume Mistakes

Filed under: College Life, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

A resume is the very first impression you make on any possible future employers. Before you even have a chance to charm your interviewer with your wit and humor, they have to first like your resume. Therefore, it is crucial that your resume is impressive, professional, and on-point. Don’t make silly mistakes that can potentially cost you a job.

Avoid these resume mistakes and you could be on your way to your next interview:

1. Forgetting to Proofread

This is the number one mistake that job applicants make that has a huge impact on a resume review and yet can be so easily avoided. Make sure to read your resume over several times before sending out a final copy. Then after you’ve read it, have a friend read it over too in case you missed anything. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

2. Lying

Although it’s usually okay to embellish a little bit about your responsibilities at previous jobs, do not put down blatant lies. If you do not know how to use certain computer software that the job you are applying for requires, don’t say you do know how to use it in the hopes of figuring it out if you get the job! This will not work and you will just end up looking like a liar and feeling embarrassed.  Then your whole overall value as a reliable employee will be tarnished, and may even cost you the position.

3. Not Enough Detail

If you are a recent college graduate, you are probably desperately applying to 20 different jobs each day, so your natural instinct may tell you to simplify this process by creating a generic resume that you can quickly send out that generalizes your skills to apply to all of the jobs you are applying for. Do not do this. It is tempting because it is easy, but make the time to tweak your resume to be specific to each job that you apply for. Use the same key words from the posted job description to fill into your resume. The person reviewing your resume will see you obtain all the skills required for the job and may ask you to come in for an interview. It is more beneficial to send out 8 resumes that are more personalized and detail-oriented, than to send out 20 cookie-cutter resumes.

4. Rambling

More information is not always the best. Using superfluous words and rambling just to fill space on the page does not indicate more experience for the job. It may actually do more harm than good. It’s good to keep a resume short to the point. As the saying goes, quality is better than quantity.

5. Unprofessional Presentation

Resumes should be clean, not crumbled, typed in black ink (unless you are applying for graphic design), with consistent font face and size. Your resume should not only read as professional, but should also look that way as well. It should be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also nothing crazy. Use traditional formatting and make sure it is easy to read. When in doubt, clean and simple is the best way to go.

Put some effort and time into your resume each time you apply for a job. You may be anxious (that’s normal) to just applying to any job you come across that looks decent, but don’t just throw yourself into applying without taking the time to present yourself in the best light for the position. Your resume is your golden ticket to get called in for an interview, so be sure to treat it as an important step in the application process!

Share your resume tips with us in the comments below!

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What Graduating Really Means

Filed under: College Life, Graduation, Post Grad and Career - Angelina
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Sylwia BaranBookRenter Blogger Biography

 

We count down to the days when we no longer have 10 page papers to write, when our bank accounts will have more than $10 in them, and when we finally leave our college campus for the last time and say goodbye to school once and for all after 15+ years. As exciting and wonderful as graduation is, sometimes post-grad life can come as quite a shock to some.

It may take a while for graduation to actually sink in, but graduating really means…

1. Looking For A Job

This should really start even before your graduation day because believe me, you won’t find a job overnight. It can take months to even find a suitable job, and then can take another month just go to through the hiring process of applications, interviews, and paperwork. Be hopeful when applying for jobs, but keep in mind that you will likely not hear back from a majority of the places you apply to. Don’t get discouraged!

2. Working 9 to 5

Once you finally land a job, get ready for what most adults call “the 9 to 5” schedule. Your once underappreciated student schedule of 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is now long gone. No more mid-day naps and suddenly you realize you spend most of your waking life at work.

3. Working In A Field Different Than Your Major

You may graduate with a major in Anthropology, but that doesn’t mean you will get a job pertaining to what you maybe had hoped. That is okay. You may find that after a long job search, it may be wise to say yes to the next job that comes your way, because face it – being an adult now means you have responsibilities, such as bills. Who knows, you may even really like a job you never would have before considered.

4. Waking Up Early

Morning classes were always a last pick, but now waking up early may not be an option anymore. Once you have a full-time job, you won’t be able to roll out of bed at 9:55 a.m. every morning for your 10:00 a.m. class. You will have to actually make sure you have time to dress appropriately and get to your destination on time.

5. Going To Bed By 10:00 P.M. Every Night

Once you’re waking up every day at 6:00 a.m., going to sleep early is no longer an option but a necessity in order to function. Trust me. Nights that you force yourself to stay awake like the good old days, will only have you suffering the next day.

6. Still Not Having Any Time For Anything

Even though you’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn, you’ll still find yourself with absolutely no time for anything other than work and sleep. It’s a sad reality. Even if you had time to do things, by the time you get home from work, it is very likely that you are exhausted and will have zero motivation to continue to be a productive member of society.

7. Losing Contact With Your Friends

Those people you promised to be friends with forever as you departed Graduation will probably be forgotten by December. Sorry, but it’s true. You’ll jump into your busy work lives and the lack of free time and the distance makes it a whole lot harder to stay social. If you are lucky, you will have a few friends you will keep in contact with, but daily hangouts will be reduced significantly. Just remember, this is normal for everyone.

8. Paying Off Loans

Yup, those pesky loans will now finally catch up to you. There should be a six month grace period from the moment you graduate until the first payment is due, but remember that a college education was an investment towards your future. Pay off what you can by the due dates, and everything should be alright. Don’t freak out over the total number, but think of it as monthly payments instead to make it a lot easier to handle.

9. No More Student Discounts

The next discount you’ll be eligible for is the senior discount, unless you go into the military. Being a college student really did have some perks; every penny counts!

10. Limited Napping Opportunities

Creating your own class schedule in college meant that you could perfectly arrange time in your day to nap between classes. Working full time not only changes your schedule, but in the chance that you nap when you get home from work, you likely will then have trouble falling asleep that night and then be tired the next day. There is no winning here.

11. Living At Home Again

For those of us who cannot afford to live on our own just yet, this means moving back home with Mom and Dad. Except now, it’s harder because they think everything will revert back to how it used to be before college, and you consider yourself an adult that shouldn’t be told what to do. It’s a complete struggle of power. Who wins? No one. Just take one day at a time and remember that when the day comes to move out, you will miss being at home.

12. No More Partying

You’ll be tucking yourself into bed at the same hour of the night that you used to be pre-gaming for parties in college. It may be a sad thought, but it shows maturity and responsibility. The world will not end, I promise.

13. More Consequences For Skipping A Day

We all have those days where we are tired, grumpy, or not feeling well. Deciding not to go to class wasn’t a big deal because you could always borrow someone else’s notes, but skipping work now has more serious consequences than skipping class. Skipping work, or even being late, reflects poorly on you and could even cost you your job. Thankfully, some work places offer you enough sick days or annual days that hopefully you will be able to re-group if necessary. Still, do not use them after at least being an employee for several months.

14. The End Of Summer, Winter, and Spring  Breaks

This is by far the biggest disadvantage of no longer being in school. We were truly spoiled with two month-long breaks in the summer. If and when you are lucky enough to put in for some vacation time at work, it will not be for as long.

For the Class of 2015, please take heed!  Your life is about to change drastically over the next year, and it may seem overwhelming – at times you might have a full-blown panic attack. Keep cool. No one ever said life was easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these changes. Yes, more responsibility is coming your way, but just remember that there is no better feeling than to achieve goals you have had set for so long. Do not get discouraged if everything doesn’t fall into place as originally thought; just keep working towards your desires and everything will be just fine.

Congratulations graduates! You’ve worked hard, don’t stop now!

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How To Land Your Dream Job

Filed under: Graduation, Post Grad and Career, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino BookRenter Blogger Biography

For those college seniors that will be graduating soon, you will soon be facing the real world made up of bills, expenses, and unforeseeable costs. Did I mention student loan payments? Like most college graduates, the next thing to achieve is a full-time job to ease these worries. Better yet – aim for the job you went to college for in the first place, the job that will prove that getting your degree was worth it; reach to achieve your ultimate dream job.

Whatever your career interest is, here is some job hunting advice that will help you land your dream job:

1. The Resume

Make sure to get your resume as perfect as you can. The key to a great resume is to make it appealing to the company you are applying to. Try not to overload your resume with information. Keep it simple and concise. The key is to highlight your accomplishments, the work you’ve done, and the extracurricular activities you’ve participated in. Look at some resume examples for comparison and make sure your resume stands out with maybe a hint of color, a unique design, or something that will catch the eye of the reviewer (but do not go too drastic because that will scare them away). Always proof-read! Nothing looks worse than representing yourself as a horrible speller (it’s simple mistakes that can really make a difference). Always have a few people look it over and ask for their input. Another good tip is to always put the same key words from the job description and listing into your resume so the reviewer will see you are qualified for the job at hand.

2. Social Media

Social media is definitely a great resource to finding employment positions. Make sure to create a LinkedIn account because a lot of business professionals tend to look for candidates and post jobs here. LinkedIn is essentially a place to grow your network and to have your resume online for other business professionals to see (and evaluate if you would be a good fit for their team). Though social media can be a great source for finding employment, it can also hinder you from getting jobs if you have content that an employer could find questionable, such as inappropriate clothing, alcohol/drug use, profanity, etc. The best thing to do is to clean up your social media profiles (yes, all of them, they can all be found by a simple Google search) prior to applying to any jobs. Google search your name and see what you find. Would you hire yourself based off of what you saw?

3. Dress To Impress 

Once you’ve landed an interview, now you have to dress to impress! The way you present yourself can make or break an interview. A potential employer usually decides within the first few minutes (based on your appearance, fair or not) if they are interested in you. You want to look presentable, professional, and as someone they can see working in their environment. Do your research on the company and see if they are more business casual or if they wear more business professional attire. Although, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Ladies, stray away from any skirts that are too short (anything more than 2 inches above the knee) or massive high heels. Avoid any clothing that may be too tight, too flashy, or too revealing. Keep it as neutral as possible with minimal jewelry. Guys, a nice button-up, dress pants, and shiny dress shoes will do the trick. Denim should absolutely n ever be worn to interviews. Ties and blazers are optional but definitely recommended if you want to make a great first impression. See the above photo for examples on what to wear for business professional and business casual interviews.

4. Interview

The interview is the most nerve-wracking part of the entire job hunting process. My best advice is to walk into the interview with confidence. Make sure you’ve done your research on the company and familiarize yourself with the type of work they do. This is definitely the time to talk yourself up, but at the same time do not sound overly confident. You want to stay relaxed and calm during the interview. Be as personable as you can and just have a conversation with the interviewer. Rehearse potential interview questions and answers the night prior so that you can mentally prepare yourself. It is a good idea to ask someone to do a mock interview for you so you can do a practice run. Make a great first impression by having a good, firm handshake (not too hard) at the start of the interview. Bring a portfolio of work samples to show the interviewer hands on what your experience is. At the end of the interview always have three question to ask the interviewer to clarify any concerns you may have, but to also show the employer your level of interest. Be sure to send a thank you note or email to your interviewer to leave a lasting impression. Feel free to follow up with the employer if a few weeks have passed and you haven’t heard back. However, keep in mind that sometimes filling a position can take a while and this may come across as too pushy to some. So just remember, patience!

Create a resume, set up a LinkedIn, clean up your social media accounts, dress professionally, prepare for an interview, and you will be that much closer to landing your dream job! Don’t get discouraged if you do not get the job right away, it may take several attempts before you get anywhere. Do not lose your confidence! Each time you apply for a job, you can learn what worked and what didn’t and use it towards applying for the next position. Once you land that job, you will truly have earned it!

What is your dream job? Have you landed it yet? If so, how did you do it? If not, how do you plan to? Share with us in the comments!

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