Happy group of university graduates at graduation ceremony

Are you a college senior ready for graduation? Use these tips to prepare for your career while you are in school.

It’s your senior year, which is not only the time to celebrate your achievements but bulk up your resume and career preparation to show future employers that you’re a worthy candidate. If you are pursuing a college degree to gain the skills employers want, keep in mind that getting good grades is not enough to impress most employers. Follow the strategies listed below to better prepare and promote yourself to prospective employers.

1. Immediately Begin Preparing for Life After College

In your senior year, you should be following through or preparing for life after college. Make an appointment with your career counselor or specialist or research online help you explore and link your interests, skills, work values, and education with hundreds of occupations and graduate school programs. You should inquire on the availability on on- or off-campus career development workforce or fair. You should start or continue to develop your mentor network. You should utilize this network to engage alumni and other professionals to get an "inside look" at a variety of careers. Learn about careers you are investigating as well as explore the relationship between your degree and your career goals.  If you haven’t already, research both paid and unpaid internships including part-time jobs in a wide range of disciplines. They provide valuable "hands on" experience, skills and future career contacts. An internship can also help you define your career goals. Other internships may be available through academic departments.

2. Gather Documentation

Many employers began interviewing college seniors for jobs that they will start after graduation. At this time, you should be taking the opportunity to practice and prepare for one of many job interviews by practicing your communication and presentation skills in addition to constructing a strong resume and a convincing cover letter. You should seek out your career counselors and/or professional assistance to ensure that you are fully prepared for each interview. Pay close attention to the do’s and don’ts of a job interview so that you can put your best foot forward!

This would be a great opportunity to gather your letters of recommendation for graduate school and find out what professors are willing to be a professional reference on your job applications.

3. Preparing for Graduate College

As a senior, finding the college or university that is a good fit and match is very important. Therefore, you should take the time to complete a graduate school application, gather the required documentation and visit the institution of your choice. You should also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to ensure that your aid will be processed (if you qualify) at the institution you are accepted into. Don’t forget to check with all institutions before their deadline(s) to be certain your file is complete. When you make your final decision to attend the graduate school that you’ve been accepted to, notify other schools of your decisions to NOT attend. As a good gesture, send thank you notes to individuals that wrote letters of recommendation for you; notify them of your success.