• By Tyler Berkheimer

Tips for soon-to-be graduates: How to navigate the post-college world

Graduating college is a significant achievement in one's life, and graduates have much to be proud of. For soon-to-be graduates, the hunt for your first job and living space is imminent. This article includes helpful tips to ease your transition into the working world.

Firstly, ensure you have an accurate, up to date resume that highlights your relevant work experience, skills, and achievements. Under CCU’s Career Services website, you can find examples of resumes and cover letters as well as tips for how to improve them. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, career services are providing virtual appointments. Students or alumni can contact career services at 843-349-2341 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule a virtual appointment.

CCU will be hosting a virtual job fair on Apr. 29, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can register under CareerEco’s website at the following web address: https://www.careereco.com/events/CCU. I encourage anyone who needs help with a resume, cover letter or any other career related questions to contact Career Services; they have been extremely beneficial to me and will certainly be able to assist you as well.

A resume will most likely be the first impression a hiring manager will have of you and that is why it is important for your resume to be polished. A cover letter is often requested additionally, and the letter is a way for you to further explain your skills and experience in relation to the job you are applying for. Try to list specific reasons why you are right for the job, as well as experiences that you have had that have provided you with the insight and skill needed for the position.

References are also vital to any job application. References give employers a better idea of how you may fit into their company, based upon how others summarize their experiences with you, whether working or personally. References can include former bosses, co-workers, classmates, or even professors. Be sure that whoever is listed can vouch for your work ethic and other qualities your employer may be seeking.

Secondly, do not expect to land your dream job as your first job. It is unlikely you will end up exactly where you want to be right out of college, but use this time to further strengthen your skills and gain basic job experience. Even if the job you get is not exactly related to your field of interest, the job will provide valuable learning experience that may transfer to your next job.

Utilizing Linkedin can assist in networking and communicating with workers in the field of your interest. Keeping in contact with these people may help you learn more about relevant jobs or job openings.

My third tip concerns housing and financial advice. You may have had a roommate during college, so splitting rent with other people may not seem like a new experience. Renting alone can be expensive, and you could find yourself paying a good portion of your income to housing. A generally recommended rule of renting is to find a place with rent cost at 1/3 of your monthly income. There is absolutely nothing wrong with temporarily living below your means until you can earn more money to afford a different place.

One of the most important tips is to create a budget. Budgeting is vital to figuring out finances and controlling spending habits. In my experience, maintaining a budget has helped me spend less on non-essentials and in turn start putting the extra money into savings.

My final piece of advice above all else is to remain hopeful and positive during the post-college transition. It is a bittersweet time. You are graduating college, and that is a great achievement, but you are leaving behind the place in which you’ve formed many friendships. Keeping in touch with classmates will help you and your friends during this transition. I wish my fellow graduates luck during this stressful time. The Class of 2020 at Coastal Carolina has certainly endured a lot, and I believe the adversity will make us all stronger. Chants Up!

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