Words By Nicole Scopelliti | Photo by Trevor Meyer

You made it. Congratulations on earning your degree and surviving all of the trials and tribulations of the college experience! Although you have just spent many years hitting the books and earning stellar grades, the work is far from over. It’s time to tackle the post-grad job search. It’s easy to be intimidated by this daunting task, but with strategic planning, you can remain sane, motivated and — most importantly — happy.

Create a daily schedule. College students are accustomed to a rigid routine. Post-grads, however, may not be. Say goodbye to the stresses of homework, 8 a.m. classes and long lines at office hours. Say hello to free time, and a lot of it. The key to succeeding in the post-grad job search starts with strategic scheduling. At the start of each day, make a list of what you would like to accomplish. I set a goal for how many resumes I’d like to send out each day; I suggest aiming for at least three to five resumes per day. I also allot time to polish my professional portfolio and other materials, and of course, I allow myself plenty of time to sift through job postings and research potential employers. Although you may not be taking classes or working, think of the time between 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. as your workday. During those hours, it’s time to hustle. To maximize my efficiency and further establish a routine, I try to leave my home during the day. Consider heading to your favorite coffee shop or to the library while conducting your job search. By leaving your home, you will be less tempted to stay in bed, and more eager to land the job of your dreams.

 

Take care of yourself. The post-grad job search is stressful and emotionally taxing. You will feel overwhelmed and lost, and it’s okay. Although you may be tempted to spend all day behind a computer scouring the Internet for open positions, it is vital to take care of yourself. Reserve time to participate in some form of physical or creative activity each day. After sitting at a computer for a while, I find it beneficial to head outside and go for a hike or do some yoga. Remember to stay hydrated and well fed to cultivate clear thinking. Remind yourself that although you are a recent graduate with professional goals and ambitions, you are also a human being.

Allow yourself room to grow. The post-grad job search is all about trial and error. Maximize your potential by remaining open-minded and consistently striving for excellence. Always be open to improvement. If your strategy didn’t work out the first time and you don’t land the job, don’t get discouraged. Analyze your resume and cultivate a plan on how you might improve it. Practice your interview skills and expand your professional network. Build a personal brand by creating an online portfolio and web page. If you’re willing to put forth the effort, your professional aspirations are guaranteed to come to fruition. What are you waiting for?