UPDATED June 23, 2021
So, you’ve graduated – congratulations! Years of hard work, late-night study sessions, and dedication to this goal have paid off. It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments and look forward to the variety of paths that are now open to you thanks to earning your online degree. To help you get off on the right foot, check out the following 8 things to do after college that can help you maximize your future success.
1. Update your resume and LinkedIn Profile
Now that you’ve graduated from college, it’s time to add that accomplishment to your resume and your LinkedIn profile. As you start making updates, remember a few major things:
- Be concise, and make your resume easy to read.
- Optimize your resume
- Update your LinkedIn profile
- List your professional history, starting with the most recent and relevant.
- List special skills and/or qualifications that set you apart.
- List your educational information, and include any awards, acknowledgments, accolades, and extra-curricular activities (especially those that pertain to your professional career).
2. Don’t slack
As of 2019, the employment rate was 87% for those who had at least a bachelor's degree. But whether you land your dream job right away or an in-between job that will help you get there, it’s important to stay active in your field. You can network, build your skills, and stay on top of new developments while you search for the career-level job you desire. Contact your university's Career Services department to find out what benefit they offer to alumni. Some institutions, such as the University of Arizona Global
3. Learn to budget (better)
Having a budget is one of the most important things to keep in mind after school, and it all begins with financial wellness. To achieve financial wellness, you must create a budget. Start by figuring out your priorities, like non-negotiable bills and rent. Then, set an amount for more flexible, but still necessary, expenses, like gas and food. Additionally, ensure you have enough money to contribute to a savings account with each paycheck. Your discretionary spending is the final piece of the puzzle.
4. Get a grasp of your student loans
Now that you’ve created a budget for yourself, you’ll be better equipped to pay any student debt in a timely manner. Making a plan for repayment should be one of your first priorities after graduation. You can access information about any federal loans you may have National Student Loan Data System. It’s important to note that the database does not include any private loans, so it is your responsibility to keep track of those as well. Other helpful resources include the Federal Student Aid and Federal Student Loans websites, which feature repayment calculators and other useful information.
5. Google yourself
Make no mistake, future employers and hiring managers are going to Google your name, so you should be aware of what they will find when prospective employers take to their online research. If there are things you wish to keep private, make sure you change your social media privacy settings and delete any old accounts no longer in use. If there are items on the first search results page that you don’t think best accurately depict your recent professional and academic accomplishments, try creating new profiles or publishing a blog under your real name to bring more noteworthy search results to the forefront.
Volunteering for an organization you’re passionate about can help you become a more connected member of your community. If you’re already busy with work or family, many organizations only request a commitment of a few hours per month. If you’re still searching for a job, a volunteer position can be an excellent way to make professional contacts and keep your skills up-to-date. Make sure to include any volunteer work on your updated resume.
7. Try new things
This next life chapter can be the most exciting one yet. Take this opportunity to try something new, like learning how to rock climb, taking a pottery class, or joining a local book club. Not only will you gain new skills and potentially discover a new passion, but you can make some friends and connections along the way.
8. Keep in touch
You never know when a contact from the past will come back into your life. Maintain your network by keeping in touch with professors, classmates, and former managers. In fact, a simple email every now and again with an article you think they might be interested in can be enough to keep the connection alive. You also can consider using your LinkedIn profile to develop these networks and build your personal, professional brand.
The University of Arizona Global Campus extensive alumni and professor network can be extremely beneficial, whether it’s offering professional advice or making an important connection. With an Alumni Association membership, you can take advantage of benefits such as webinars, career services, and online social communities, as well as give back to current students with mentorship or advice.
Congratulations, again, on your accomplishment. Keep in touch, and be sure to share your graduation success with others on our social media channels.