What to do while you’re living in your parents’ basement

By Tim Pate

What NOT to do as a job-seeker

Graduation is looming, and you don’t have a job in line yet. No need to fret; you’re not alone. Plenty of college students spend a little time unemployed before finding that elusive position. Graduates who find success in their job search aggressively seek opportunities and make the connections that others miss. So instead of becoming a master video-gamer during your time off, here are some tips for finding that job as quickly as possible. You and your parents will thank me.

1. Improve your social media presence.

Facebook and Twitter have been fun channels through which we have interacted with friends throughout college, but now it’s time to use these platforms and more to your advantage. First, clean up your personal sites: take down your party pics, commit yourself to clean and sophisticated language, use a professional photograph for your profiles, and sculpt your biographies so that they reflect the best version of yourself.

Then start posting content that is relevant to your interests and the career you want to pursue. Employers want to see that you actually care about your career – demonstrate your passion over social media.

Once you’ve done that, think about exploring other social media sites and learn how they can further serve you in your job hunt. Use LinkedIn as an online resume. Post pictures relevant to your career goals on Pinterest. Showcase your photography on Instagram. Keep a blog that documents your job-seeking activities. Do whatever you think might help you stand out in the eye of a recruiter.

2. Continue self-educating.

Just because you’re done with college does not mean you’ve finished learning. No matter how great your education, remember there is a world of information waiting to be discovered. Read industry magazines and blogs (and share and comment – see advice above!). You can also read up on fields that are only peripherally related to your focus – you may end up diversifying your knowledge and skills.

Another great way to learn and stay fresh on what you learned at Colorado State University is to pass your knowledge along. Offer to tutor students studying what you studied and you’ll retain that information. Tutoring also gives you experience to add to your resume, thereby making you a more desirable candidate for recruiters.

3. Freelance or volunteer – it’s all about networking!

You can also add experience by doing freelance work or volunteering in your desired industry. Say, for example, you’re a marketing graduate but you haven’t found a full-time marketing gig. Who’s to say that new restaurant in your hometown couldn’t use some discounted marketing work? There’s no harm in offering to work a freelance job, and you might even make a few dollars while you’re at it.

More importantly, you continue to build that ever-important “Experience” section of your resume. Doing freelance work shows initiative to employers. You may even make a connection through your freelance work that leads to the full-time job of your dreams.

4. Make applying a full-time job.

As I said at the beginning of this post, jobs come to those who work for them. If you are not actively and determinedly reaching out to employers, they won’t notice you. While some people are lucky enough to find a job with the first company to which they apply, it takes others dozens of applications and interviews before opportunity knocks. Don’t get discouraged. Your hard work and your investment in an education are on your side. Being patient can be hard, but complacency won’t make the time pass any faster. Go find the job you want and don’t stop proving why you deserve it.

Remember that the College of Business has resources to help you find your first job. The Career Management Center is a great place to find job postings and other tools to help you showcase yourself for employers.

How is your job search going, graduating seniors? What are you doing to prepare for the real world? Do you have any advice for underclassmen that you wish someone would have told you? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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3 thoughts on “What to do while you’re living in your parents’ basement

  1. My greatest tip for out of uni crowd is to pick up a skill or new hobby that is not school related. If you are interested in something you can later apply towards a job that’s an even better solution! For me it was creative writing, once I got out and put myself out there for fun, it was easier to do it professionally as well.

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