Stages of the Post-Undergrad Life

Post-undergrad life can be confusing for everyone, especially until you at least know what you want to do next. As a recent graduate who completed her program in December and got the diploma to prove it just last week, I’ve had time do some research and self-reflection since December. I’ve come to the realization that post-undergrad life consists of different stages until you find your way, especially if you are stepping into the real world a little uncertain as to what you want to do with the rest of your life. If you already have a plan or a job lined up, then that’s amazing! The truth is, though, about two-thirds of college grads struggle to launch their careers, making life after graduation very disorienting, confusing, and even disappointing. I can assure you, looking at not just me but also what my friends are going through, everyone is more or less experiencing the same thing.

Right after graduation is when a well-deserved break feels right. So take some time off and don’t rush into starting the job hunt just yet. You deserved this! You will eventually find a job, so why not take a couple of weeks off and enjoy the city with your friends before everyone goes to other sides of the world.

When you feel like the time has come, start by updating your resume. Before I officially started my job hunt, I had my resume and a cover letter template ready. By now, I’m sure you know that you should customize your resume and cover letters to each job you’re applying to, but I’ve found having templates to be very useful. If you work off of a template, you don’t have to start from scratch every time you sit down to write a cover letter. Be careful, though; this still means that the cover letter has to be customized to the job, because recruiters can understand the difference between a customized cover letter and a generic one. I usually have an outline ready, so when the time to “fill in the blanks” and add little tweaks comes, I can do that and have my customized cover letter ready. It’s also important to note that once you actually start applying for jobs, consider taking your resume and a cover letter to the CaPS to go over them with someone. There is no such thing as over-editing when it comes to your resume and cover letter; it always helps to take a second opinion, especially from someone who doesn’t really know you. After all, recruiters do not know who you are and try to arrive at conclusions about you just by looking at your resume and cover letter.

Do not forget that job hunting is a full-time job itself. It takes time to find the kind of jobs you are interested in, do some reading on the company, customize your resume and cover letter, and finally submitting that application. Do not overload your days with job applications – I’ve done that, and I can tell you that it’s not a great idea. The goal should not about the number of applications you submit, but about the quality of them. One well-prepared application is worth way more than a day of sitting in front of your laptop, applying for jobs just for the sake of applying (believe me, it’s better for your mental state too).

Don’t be too hard on yourself; finding the job opportunity that seems right for you and getting calls back take time. Stay positive, keep applying for jobs that seem interesting, and talk to those around you – you never know where the right opportunity will come from! Good luck!

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