This month, students at colleges and universities across the country will walk across the stage, shake their school president’s hand, and suddenly become a college graduate. The Class of 2012 is growing every day, as schools celebrate commencement exercises and grant degrees that students have been dreaming of for four years—or more. With that degree in hand, the Class of 2012 might be wondering what’s next. Here are some tips for the newest college graduates:
- Don’t panic. If you don’t have a job lined up yet, it’s OK. Establish a plan to find a job. Don’t rely on job search engines alone. Target specific companies in your industry or city. Write cover letters specifically to these appealing employers, showing your enthusiasm as a new graduate. Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself, so make a focused effort every day.
- Be open to alternative plans. You might need a paying gig to cover the rent, but an internship can be the first step toward a full-time position in your field. A part-time job combined with a 20-hour-a-week internship can help you pay the bills while building your experience, which can lead to full-time employment in the not-too-distant future.
- Maximize your summer. If you’re continuing your studies in the fall, don’t waste your summer. An internship can be valuable down the road when you’re looking for a job. Enjoy your time off from school, of course, but find a quality way to use your time as well.