Tips to Help Navigate Life After College

So you’ve just finished college, or maybe you’ve been out for a little while now and have no clue as to what you’re doing. Leaving college can be daunting because unless you want to go on to do further education, you’re now supposed to be facing the reality of adulthood.  That’s terrifying because what if you don’t know what you want to do? You’ve lived as a student for a few years, and now you’ve been pushed out to fend for yourself. Here are some tips to help navigate life after college.

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Work On Your Resume

Your resume is the first port of call because you’ve probably either not looked it before going to college or you simply don’t have one. Some of us will have odd jobs throughout our school days, but many might not start their very first job until leaving school or college. So with that in mind, you want to work on the resume because this is what’s going to get you noticed and hopefully into those interview rooms for your dream job or career. If you’re refreshing an old resume, add on your education and then tweak the experience slightly to reflect what you’ve been doing in college. That might not be a lot, but every little helps. When writing your bio, keep it brief because you can always go into more detail if you need to provide a cover letter.

If you’re writing your very first resume, then you can find a simple template online. You want to make it stand out in a good way, so don’t go too fancy or complicated with the resume design. Keep it short and sweet, and ideally, you don’t want to go over two pages. If you haven’t had much experience, then it’s unlikely you’ll go over one page.

Speak To A Careers Advisor If You’re Lost

Trying to figure out what you want to do can be difficult, and there will be a point where you may feel so lost about what it is you actually want to do with the rest of your life. It’s a big ask after all. Careers advisors can be found down your local jobcentre, or you could go back to the college campus and speak to a student advisor there. They can offer you some professional advice and guide you through the options that you may have in front of you currently and what you might like to do in the future. Use this as an opportunity to discuss any worries or fears that you might have moving forward and ask questions. A careers advisor is going to certainly help you get some focus on what’s out there and what you should be doing next in order to secure a job, whether that’s something that starts off your career or whether you want to go straight for that dream job. It all depends on what skills and experience you need.

Get Your Finances In Order

Oh, the finances – let’s talk about that. When you go to college or university, the fees are going to be expensive, and so you may have a lot of student loan debt. It’s a good idea that you get a job as soon as possible as you want to start paying it back. However, it’s worth getting your finances in order and creating a budget for yourself so that you save your money to enjoy your adult life too. You can’t really afford to live that student lifestyle now. To get everything in one place, find out what you owe and who you owe it to. Try to consolidate all this into one loan if possible so you can keep an eye on it.  You may want to refinance the loan if the current one isn’t really making much headway in paying it off. Keep on top of your budget and work with what you have from take-home and try to save any extra money you can in order to continue paying the loan off. It’s going to take a while, but it’s all worth it for the degree that you got in the process.

Expect To Fail At Some Point

This might be hard to hear, but everyone fails at some point. Some fail multiple times, and that’s ok because failure is a life lesson that is certainly worth learning. Don’t be worried about failing or going into a role that you might not be enjoying a few months later down the line. That’s completely normal, and it just means you have to figure out what it is you enjoy and what you’re not enjoying. Everyone’s different, and everyone finds their feet at different points.

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It’s hard to come to terms with the reality that the role or job you wanted to go into might not be something you no longer want to do. However, that’s nothing to be afraid of, and you will certainly find the thing you want to do in life. It’s just going to take some adjustments and looking at what you are talented at. 

Seek Advice For Job interview Prep

When you’ve found the job you’d like to go for, next comes the interview prep. If you’ve received notification of an interview, then congratulations! That was half the battle and now comes the decider on whether you’re right for the role or not. Always remember that even though you might have everything they need, you might not be the right suit for the company. That’s nothing against you as a person, it’s just who might fit the dynamic a little better. Interview preparation is a little daunting when you’ve not done it before. It’s always good to get some advice from friends and family or perhaps contacting someone in that current position on LinkedIn is a good idea. They might be able to give you some handy pointers on how they performed in the interview and what they feel may have swayed the judgement of the interview panel.

Before the interview, make sure you’ve practised the way you’ll speak to people before and during the interview. It might be good to have someone do a mock interview so that you can practice some questions that might be similar to the ones asked in the interview. Think about the clothing you wear in relation to the type of company it is and always approach the interview with confidence and a smile. Don’t be boastful or try to fake your way through an interview because chances are, they’ll see right through it. Just be yourself and be honest if you don’t know how to answer a question. Ask questions back, too, when given the opportunity to do so.

Experience Is Needed

Even though you’ve just spent an ample part of your life studying, to be told that experience is valued moreover a degree is a bit of a gut punch but its true. A lot more employers will want experience over qualifications. That doesn’t mean that qualifications are useless. If you had the experience and qualifications, and someone just had experience, then who do you think is likely to get it? Don’t get too down-hearted if you lack the experience because you might impress them enough with your personality and how you come across to them, in person. There will be times where you need to start from another role and build yourself up with experience before you can go for that dream role. Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t feel like you’re missing out or starting too late in your career.

Know Who Your Friends Are

You make friends throughout your lifetime and those that you had in college, might not be your lifelong friends. The same goes for those you make in school, those in your hometown and those at work. You are likely to have a mixture and perhaps a small selection of constant friends who drift in and out of your life. Only you know who your true friends are because they are the ones you call on first to meet up for drinks. They are those people who you call in an emergency because the chances are, they’ll be there ready to do whatever you need them to do. Friends come, and friends go, and even though it might be tough to grasp, that’s adult life. We all have our careers and our personal lives to live, and that might mean that you miss seeing others for a while. However, those friends who are going to stay will make an effort to see you and vice versa.

Navigating life after college is tough, but like everything in life, you learn to adapt to the change, and you’ll find your rhythm eventually. So work on your resume if it’s a little bit out of date and speak to a careers adviser if you’re having trouble picking your career path. Sort you your finances moving forward, work on your experience and get ready for your life as an adult. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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12 Tips for Job Hunters Over 50

Originally Posted by Silvernest Team on Oct 14, 2017. This post was republished with permission from Salary.com

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The twelve tips outlined in this article will help you put the focus on your ability and attitude, not on your age.

How Older Workers Can Overcome Obstacles to Getting Hired

1. Avoid the Culture Clash

According to Scott Kane, founder of Gray Hair Management, LLC, an organization that specializes in helping senior professionals find jobs through coaching, mentoring, and networking, the issue isn’t age as much as it is culture. “Young human resources folks don’t feel that someone over 50 can mix with the current workforce,” he said. “When someone over 50 thinks like a 20-year-old, that is unusual.”

2. Dust Off Your Resume

Hiring managers should be impressed with your skills and competencies, not the fact that you graduated during the Eisenhower era.

It’s perfectly acceptable to eliminate experience more than 10 years old, as well as the dates you attended college. “Most employers are only interested in current skills and whether or not you have the necessary skills to get the job done,” said Renee Ward, founder of Seniors4Hire.org, an online career center for workers who are 50 and older. “Emphasize your skills, with tangible examples, and how these match the needs of the job.”

3. Network, Network, Network

Gone are the days when you searched the newspaper classifieds, submitted a few resumes, and let potential employers vie for your attention. Now it’s up to you to find creative ways to get the attention of employers.

Today, networking is one of the greatest skills a 50+ job seeker can develop. “There is nothing that replaces the value of face-to-face interaction,” said Tim Driver, founder of RetirementJobs.com, a career site and research organization for people over 50 that also identifies, then certifies, age-friendly companies. “Make a point to network with people who can provide referrals, so you can angle in to an employer from various perspectives.”

4. Nail the Interview

Many older workers have avoided regular interviews by being promoted up the ranks through the years, and are a little rusty when it comes to this important skill.

The interview is the place where you connect with the employer, sell yourself and show that you have the energy, passion, and excitement necessary to do the job. You’ll have to work a little harder than your younger competitors to show that you’ll fit in, so be sure to think carefully about how you want to be perceived. Then it’s all about practicing.

5. Make Age an Asset

Don’t focus on your age, but also don’t run from it.

Instead of thinking how you can defend your age, use concrete examples of your competencies and skills to show how you have a leg up on younger applicants. “In today’s job market, if you don’t meet 125% of the job qualifications chances are you won’t get the job,” Kane said. “This goes for everyone, not just the over 50 crowd.”

6. Show Them You’re a Team Player

A younger manager may have concerns about managing someone the age of their parent, or may feel that an older applicant won’t be able to relate or work with a younger team. “Older workers are sometimes viewed as stubborn, or set in their ways,” Driver said. “Organizations seek team players, regardless of age. Show you are a team player, won’t have a problem taking direction from or learning from younger colleagues, and have the energy, passion, and excitement to embrace the future.”

7. Show Off Your Tech Savvy

The ability to use technology is seen as one of the biggest differences between younger and older workers. “It’s a myth that older job seekers can’t—or won’t—keep up with changing technology,” Ward said.

Show potential employers that you can navigate technology with the best of them by carrying and using the right devices, having a presence on social media sites such as LinkedIn, and communicating via text and email.

8. Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem

In the end, what does age have to do with it anyway? “The biggest problem for many candidates is that they have difficulty selling themselves as the solution to the problem,” Kane said. Do your homework by researching the organization and identifying the issues they face. Use your skills, experience, and knowledge to show how you hold the key to solving their particular problem, and your age will no longer be a factor.

9. Take Some Online Classes

Kill two birds with one stone. “Participating in online education demonstrates you are eager to learn new things and aren’t stuck in your ways, but also indicates that you are comfortable with technology,” Driver said. You can also gain valuable employment credibility by completing a degree program or earning a certificate in a relevant area.

10. Seek Out Age-Friendly Employers

Steer clear of organizations or industries that are known for having young workforces. According to Driver, one of the common threads among the age-friendly employers certified by RetirementJobs.com is that they face problems with turnover.

“Data shows that people who are older stay on the job three times as long as people who are younger,” he said. “If you can be smart about finding companies that are facing problems with turnover, you have a solution for those companies.”

11. Stay Positive

It’s tough for everyone out there, so don’t take it personally if your job search lags on for longer than you’d like. Getting grouchy will just promote the perception that you’re a “grumpy old person.” Stay positive, keep networking, focus on your skills and competencies, and sooner or later you’ll be identified as the best person for the job.

12. Hard Work Will Prevail

When it comes to looking for work, age and experience is often a double-edged sword. Older candidates often do have to work harder to overcome discrimination, but with the right strategy, age can be a non-factor.

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Seven Ways To Craft A Killer Resume

Writing your resume can be one of the hardest parts of job hunting. Writing about yourself and showing off your professional achievements can be difficult, especially if you’re not naturally a writer. If you’re struggling with your resume, follow these tips to ease the struggle and craft a resume that will lock down that job interview and help you get the job. 

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  1. Tweak your resume for the sort of job you’re looking for. You don’t have to list every job you’ve had since you were 18. Your retail job from college probably isn’t relevant for the career you want now, so leave it off. Instead, showcase the jobs and skills that are the most relevant to the job you want. 
  2. Keep a master list of all your jobs in a document on your computer with your complete employment history. Add some bullet points of key achievements too. As you’re changing up your resume for each application, you can easily go to your master list and just copy and paste the relevant parts you need, rather than having to type them out every time. 
  3. Make your resume still makes sense when skim read. Hiring managers have a lot of resumes to read through. Use clear headings and bullet points to make sure a quick read can still get your key skills across clearly. Allow for recruitment software too. Some companies use software to search for keywords before a human sees your application, so make you use relevant key phrases to get through this stage. 
  4. Keep your resume compact. If you send across a huge document, the person in charge of hiring is unlikely to read it all. Cut the fluff out, and trim your resume down to a shorter length. Aim for about a page, and definitely no more than two pages if you’re struggling to get it to a single page. If you’re struggling to slim it down, read this guide to organise your resume in a more concise way. 
  5. If writing your resume yourself is proving to be too difficult a challenge, think about bringing in a professional. There are plenty of online services for resume writing, so you can hire an expert to write a top resume to show off your skills. 
  6. Keep formatting simple. Choose a simple font in a size that is easy to read and leave plenty of white space on the page. This makes your resume clearer and easier to look over. Separate out different section with headers, but keep the rest consistent and classic in style. 
  7. Be careful about adding too many extras to your resume. Some people advise adding extra details to stand out like infographics, but use these kind of things with a light hand. If you’re applying for a job with a more traditional company, leave off anything too flash. If you go for a job that requests the application in a particular format, make sure you follow their specifications and don’t get too wild trying to make your resume stand out.

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The Jobs You Might Not Have Thought About

When you ask children what they want to be when they grow up, they will all probably say the same traditional jobs. They will usually mention becoming a teacher, doctor, hairdresser, or vet. Even though these jobs are traditionally very popular, they aren’t the only ones out there. In fact, there are so many great jobs out there that not many people think about when they are deciding on their career.

Do you think it’s time for a new career? How about one of these fantastic jobs that you might not have thought about.

Professional Driver

Do you love going for long drives at the weekend? If so, then a career behind the wheel might be a great option for you. There are lots of truck firms, such as CRST, that are always on the lookout for both full-time and freelance drivers. As part of this kind of work, you will be able to enjoy driving all around the country and discovering new places. Of course, driving trucks isn’t the only kind of driving work, though, as you will also be able to become a limousine driver or a courier for a small local firm.

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Tour Guide

If you love traveling, then becoming a tour guide could be a great way to earn some money. This is an especially great opportunity if you have a in-depth knowledge of a specific city or tourist hotspot. You will be able to set up in that location and offer guides to all of the visitors and tourists. This is the perfect job for anyone who wants to be self-employed. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy becoming a freelance tour guide, though, as many travel firms also hire guides on a full-time basis.

Doula

Doulas are becoming very popular and are helping many women bring their babies into the world. A doula is basically a midwife with a much more holistic view and method of childbirth. They help women come up with the best birth plan that meets all of their needs and wants, and will also be with them through every step of labour. If you love babies, then this is a great job option for you!

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Brewer

Do you love experimenting in the kitchen? If so, then you might have already considered becoming a chef or a baker. But how about becoming a brewer and making new beers? The beer industry is booming at the minute, so going into this industry could prove to be very profitable indeed. If you already know a thing or two about beer and brewing, you could always set up your own company. Alternatively, why not apply to one of the thousands of breweries that now operate across the country.

Driving Instructor

Another possible career opportunity for those who love to drive would be to become a driving instructor. Then you will get to pass on all of your knowledge and wisdom to those who are just starting their driving career.

So, which of these cool jobs will you go for?

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7 Key Steps To Making A Career Change

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When it comes to your career, you may not find yourself on the right track to begin with. And that’s natural. Because when you leave school, you may feel as if you’re on the right track. You may think you know what you want. But, it’s not always easy for you to think about what kind of work or job or career will suit you for the rest of your life. But then as you get older and you start to find yourself unfulfilled with work. And we all spend a lot of time working, so it’s important for you to make sure that you find a job that’s fulfilling and that you love. Yet when you’ve started out on a certain path, you may feel as if you cannot make a change. But you can.

However, when it comes to making that change, you need to think about what you want to do and how you’re going to make the leap. Anything is possible, but it does take a lot of work. But if you know that you really want to make a better career for yourself or do something that you love, then you will want to commit to this. And the good thing is, it can be easy when you get started and enjoyable! This is how you’re going to do it.

  1. Decide What You Don’t Like

To start with, something that you may feel helps you here, is to decide what is making you unhappy or what you do not like about in your current career. Sometimes, it’s easier to start out by pinpointing what you don’t like and why you’re not happy, so that you can then start to work out what you do.

  1. Understand What You Do

And then, when you’ve worked out what you don’t like, it’s so important for you to then pinpoint what you like and what you want to do career wise. First of all, you’ll want to think about whether or not you have any passions to pursue. Sometimes it’s easier for people to know  what they are passionate about, but if you don’t it’s time to start digging out to work out what you love and what you might like to do.

  1. Do Your Research

Then, you need to start to do your research. Get online and take a look at some of the career options that are available to you. Think about what kind of roles there are and what you might like to do. Also have a look at what skills and experience you may need to move into that particular career, because that’s what you need to work on next.

  1. Top Up What You Know

But then also, at this stage you may realize that you need really look to top up your knowledge, skills, or qualifications. Maybe you need to look at doing some studies in the evening to do this? And if so, you might want to look out for well known brand schools or educational establishments to study with? It’s important for you to learn what you need to and get the right qualifications, so make sure that this is a priority.

  1. Get Some Experience

And then, you may need to get some more experience under your belt. Do you need to get an internship or do some work for free? Think about how you can start to make waves in the industry and build up your CV so that you’re ready to make a move.

  1. Network

You may then find that the next thing you need to do here, is to start networking. Because when you’re moving into a new industry, it’s so important for you to think about meeting people and looking for new opportunities. And it might be something that you’re weary of or worried about, but when you start networking, you’ll soon find your feet and get comfortable. And this could be the step that gets you going places.

  1. Make The First Step

And then, you’re going to want to think about making the very first step towards your new career. This can look different to different people. But essentially, you want to make sure that you are getting the ball rolling. For some, that may be sending out applications and going to interviews. Or it may be to build a portfolio and start building up a bit of business for yourself. But you have to get started and make it your dream career a reality.

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Do You Still Need a Resume? Yes, Even in Good Times!

Resume and Cover letter for Res Business. 7/4/2016

As I write this, the economy, especially where the availability of jobs is concerned, times are good in the U.S.A. right now and may be in a number of countries around the world as well.

Yes, when I look at Craigslist or simply look around me from day to day, I see lots of signs saying things like, “Now Hiring!”, “Help Wanted”, and “Positions Available!”.

Does that mean you can simply walk into any business establishment and they’ll simply give you the job you want if you simply ask?

No, times have probably never been that good for the job seeker. There are still things you need to do, and one of them is to have a resume.

Any employer, no matter how desperate for workers they are, will still want to know something about you before they make a hiring decision. And a resume will help you in this area.

A resume gives the prospective employer needed information about you

Remember, even if you are the only candidate for the job, the prospective employer will never be desperate enough to hire you on the spot when they know absolutely nothing about you! And, even if you are the sole candidate for a job opening, that is not likely to last long, even in the greatest economic times.

A resume tells them some basic information and gets your foot in the door. And remember, a resume allows you to “toot your own horn”! And in these good times, it can still put you ahead of the game when other competing candidates decide they don’t need a resume and can cut back on the things they felt they needed to do when job hunting was tougher and jobs were scarce.

And, having that resume in hand gives the prospective employer something tangible to work with when deciding whom to hire.

Having a resume keeps you prepared for bumps in the road

So, what if you have a job that you like and plan to stay with? Should you even hang onto your resume?

Well, today, there’s no such thing as a secure job, and it has always been this way to some extent. Even if you’re the best employee in the world, your employer could go out of business, or retire, the company can be bought out and the new owner may want to replace the staff with his or her own, and oftentimes, while times may be generally great, small “spot” recessions can come up, which can mean layoffs.

So, Yeshang onto your resume and remember to update it periodically, even if you have a job. Just having a resume, even an old one that needs updating, is better than none at all.

And, especially as you gain more work experiences and achievements, it will help you to keep track of what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved over the years. You’ll be less likely to forget that one achievement that could get you that job you’re going for now.

Also, if you are trying for jobs in differing fields, or that emphasize different types of duties, you may want to have several resumes that emphasize your different skills and experiences. Even having an old resume that hasn’t been updated will provide a foundation for creating additional resumes.

So, if you don’t have a resume, get one now. And if you do have one, be sure to update it.

Happy job hunting!

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How to Land a Job Over the Holidays

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How to Land a Job Over the Holidays

While many people like to spend the holidays lying on a couch watching TV, others take the opportunity to make some extra cash. Businesses always need additional staff during the holiday season, which makes it a great time to look for work — especially if you don’t have much experience and are just starting out in your career. Whether this is your first job hunt or you’re a seasoned seasonal worker, here’s what you should keep in mind.

Choosing a Job

When it comes to looking for work, many people like to just apply for every available job. However, this is not necessarily a smart use of your time. It is a much better idea to narrow down what you’d like to do and focus on that area. You can then expand your scope as the job hunt continues. It’s a good idea to start as soon as possible, as companies start hiring for the holidays in the fall, and being proactive may place you ahead of the curve.

Don’t think that the only holiday job is retail. There are plenty of other high-paying seasonal jobs available, so take a minute to think outside the box. If you’re still struggling to come up with ideas, this article has some great tips on how to think like a seasonal job hunter.

Also, consider whether getting a holiday job is the best choice for you. There are several advantages, but are you willing to spend most of the holidays working? Getting a seasonal job is a big responsibility, so make sure you understand both the pros and cons before applying.

Sending Resumes

For many people, creating and sending resumes is the most frustrating part of job hunting. However, it really doesn’t have to be the case. As long as your resume looks professional, it can be enough to land you a good job. That said, it’s a good idea to check out sample resumes for different industries to see what you should be aiming for.

If a cover letter is required and you’re applying to loads of jobs, you should at least create different templates for different types of work — say, one for serving and one for retail. If there’s a job that you are really passionate about, write a separate cover letter from scratch — employers can usually tell the difference, and it can set you apart.

The Interview

If the resume stage has gone well, you will be invited to an interview. This is usually the scariest part, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience being interviewed, but it’s actually a lot more straightforward than you might imagine. Jobs in each industry tend to ask more or less the same questions, so prepare by writing down your answers to them.

Some interview questions are kind of tricky, especially around the holidays. This is because companies want to hire someone who seems committed but is still only willing to work for a few weeks. Monster has some great advice on how to deal with these holiday curveballs.

Finally, don’t be discouraged. Job hunting can be a tedious process, but it is one of the most important skills you can develop. Looking for work during the holidays is great practice, and you are more or less guaranteed to find something if you follow these tips and don’t give up. It will all be worth it when you get your first paycheck.

Contributed by a freelance writer.

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