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Advice for Seniors Graduating College

Graduation day will be here before you know it. So to help you out, here are some tips that made things easier for me when I was in your position!

Make a Pinterest Board for Your Photoshoot

You may have already taken your senior pictures, but if you haven’t, it’s helpful to make a pinterest board for some photoshoot inspiration. You can save poses that you like, colors, outfit ideas, possible props, or even filters and edit styles. This is not only helpful for you to hone in the theme of your pictures, but it is also extremely helpful for whoever will be taking your pictures. This will help give them an idea as to what you’re looking for, and will make sure you are both on the same page. It’s also something fun to do; I make pinterests boards for everything.

Start Planning Your Party Early

Once again, you may have already started planning your party, but if you haven’t, you should start. Obviously, graduation happens right at the end of finals, which means that you may be too stressed out or busy studying to think about party planning as graduation day gets closer. Start the planning now, while you aren’t as consumed with final exam preparation.

Pinterest can be useful for this too; you can create a board with different sections to keep track of all the different elements of your party: decorations, games/entertainment, food/drinks, invitation design, etc.

Reach Out to Old and Possible Contacts

Sometimes the word “networking” can give off a bad connotation, but regardless of what you think of the practice, there is no denying that the connections you have make all the difference. If you have been in contact with anyone that is knowledgeable in your desired field, don’t let graduation day be the last time you ever interact with them. Even after you have left campus, you can continue to ask them about their own career paths, inquire about any tips/advice they have, or even see if they know of anyone hiring.

If you don’t have any previous connections (or just would like more), it’s never too late to make some new ones. Suggestions of people to reach out to: professors, supervisors/managers, fellow classmates, guest lecturers, local people who are already in your desired position, people from past internships or jobs, etc.

You can also put these possible sources of wisdom on your graduation announcement list. Let them know that you finally finished out your degree and are looking for new opportunities. You can tell them a little bit of what you’re hoping to find in a job and ask if they wouldn’t mind keeping an ear out for you.

Update Your Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn

You’re about to finish out one of the most challenging times of your life and receive a diploma you’ve worked extremely hard for. You better add that to your resume, along with any other experience you have gained recently. In addition to a resume, certain jobs may ask you for a cover letter. While you should tailor your cover letter for each position you apply for, you can still create a general template and then personalize it when you start applying to jobs..

You and LinkedIn will definitely be best friends following graduation. You’ll most likely be checking and applying for new job openings on a weekly basis. Now would be a great time to make sure your profile is in tip-top shape so that you’ll be the obvious choice for job recruiters.

If your school has a career center, you can go to them for help with any of these tasks (they’ll probably be able to help you with a bunch of other career related things as well). And unless your school offers this amenity to alumni, this may be your last chance to utilize the career center services, so don’t miss out on the opportunity.

Make a List of Job Options

If you’re going to be starting your job search right after college, it can be helpful to make a list of types of jobs to apply to! You can make separate lists to include some jobs that are what you would want your ideal dream job to be; adjacent to what you would want to do; stepping stones or jobs that would give you experience for your “end goal;” and a list for something you would be okay doing for now while you wait for positions in your desired field to open up.

Most recent graduates do not stumble into their dream jobs right away so it’s nice to have some options while you’re waiting on the perfect opportunity.

Travel and Do Spontaneous Things Now!

If your plan is to go straight into the work field, then the summer (or winter break) after you graduate is really one of your last chances to do those spontaneous college-aged adventures. Once you start your career, it may be a while before you are able to do any extended travel or truly have some time to do whatever you want. Take advantage of this “in-between” time before all of your new adult responsibilities fully kick in.

Do One Final Check with Your Advisor

In almost every single one of my posts about school, I mention that you should check in with your academic advisor(s). It may sound like overkill, but it is especially important for graduation. If you haven’t done so already, just do a quick check-in to be sure that you actually have all of your credits and to see what other requirements or tasks there are to complete for your specific school.

Make a Spreadsheet with Names and Addresses for Invitations and Announcements

This is a hack I discovered when I graduated. Instead of writing names and addresses on envelopes for endless hours, you can utilize technology and have all of that information be printed on an address label! I’m sure there are many ways to do this, but here is one: Make a spreadsheet with a separate column for everyone’s first name, last name, address, city, state, and zip code.

You can then download an extension that organizes all of that information into label formation. At this point, you can either have a company print the labels for you, or if you have some patience, print the labels out yourself.

Here are a few websites that can explain this better:

For myself, life post graduation has been such a wild ride, but I’m so grateful for everything I have been learning and experiencing. I can’t wait for you to join me in the freedom!




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