The classes are coming to an end and the graduation date is set, but the true work is just beginning. Now you may wonder how to plan for life after college. It can feel like one more daunting endeavor. But deciding your plans after college can increase your chances of landing a good job with future prospects in your field, cut down on debt and create a solid foundation to launch the next chapter of your life.

Continuing Education After College

You may think all that studying and pouring over papers is over. Not so. There are a few steps to getting a job after college, including polishing the resume. This can be one of the hardest parts of landing a job in your field. The resume has to shine with relevant information in a concise format. Have someone read over the final draft for grammar and spelling mistakes. Spend time on recommendation letters from college mentors, sports or dance coaches, managers or other supervisors while your college achievements are still fresh in their minds. These letters can assist you well after you have moved on from the first few jobs after graduation.

Online Presence for Future Employment

Aside from the paper resume, keep all social media and career-oriented sites, such as LinkedIn or Indeed, updated regularly. These sites are a good way to highlight accomplishments and comment on others so that you are continually networking for a future position. Employers will more than likely search your online accounts to get a read on who you are and what you find important, hilarious or offensive. This snapshot of you will enlighten the employer on your personality and interests, so be aware of what you post and the phrasing you choose.

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Advice for Students Going to College

While you are still shuffling from class to class and racking up reports on what matters most in your major, you should be plotting an exit plan. Consider what interests you most in college and which classes you look forward to or excel in. If you are finding that extracurricular or community service activities are drawing more of your attention, look deeper into career paths that include these interests. Creating plans for after college can help you plot where you hope to be immediately, six months to two years after graduation.

Final Tips for Senior Year

After you’ve brushed off your interview skills, brush up on what is appropriate business attire in preparation for job interviews. Apply to internships in your area of interests. Although most internships are unpaid, they are priceless in making long-term connections. Show a solid work ethic, be prepared, on time and well dressed and the management may take notice. This can result in a future connection with someone in a position to hire you or otherwise further your career. Plan a budget to get you through the first year out of college so that the stress of finding a job isn’t doubled by the stress of having to make rent if that dream job doesn’t show up immediately.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee has written for national and regional publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and more. The award-winning journalist has covered home decor, celebrity renovations, and sat down with reality HGTV stars to discuss the latest trends.