What Happens After Graduation?
Tips to Find a Job
Ashley Garcia, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Graduation. Whether you are a senior finishing up your last research papers (oh, what a feeling), or are a sophomore getting ready to really jump into the psych major, the word graduation gives a mix of emotions ranging from anxiety to absolute joy.
One of the most common questions that students are asked is “What are you going to do when you finish school?” Are you going to go to grad school? Or do you need a break and want to travel? Should you get experience in the field and then see if you want to go back to school?
After graduation, the possibilities are endless. However, even if you aren’t planning to find a job right away, it never hurts to have a little career-search knowledge in your back pocket, just in case. Here are five steps that can help you prepare to get a job.
1. Have a Great Resumé
Did you do any internships? Were you on a research team for a professor? These experiences will help show prospective employers that you are ready to take on the challenge of starting your career. You want to be as specific as possible. What did you do in these positions, and more importantly, how do these job skills relate to the job you are applying for? You will also want to highlight any extracurriculars, like Psi Chi membership and involvement, that you might have participated in and include any customer service work (like being a server). Check out this article for an in-depth look on how to have an awesome resumé.
2. Write a Stand-Out Cover Letter
You want to make sure that you explain why YOU are a better candidate for a particular job than someone else. Think about what makes you stand out. How did the experiences you have on your resumé prepare you for the “real world?” This is where you can go really in-depth about what you did in each internship, job, or position you held. If you had to work to pay your way through school, then talk about that! Employers want to see that you have a great work ethic.
3. Utilize the Psi Chi Career Center
As a Psi Chi member, you get access to a psychology-based Career Center where you can upload your resumé, search for jobs, and apply online. Our Career Center also allows employers to look at your amazing resumé and contact you if they think you’ll be a good fit for their organization. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts when a new job is posted. With 1,000s of new job opportunities, you’ll be able to find something that fits your career goals.
4. Prepare for an Interview
Yeah this is really a thing. You can actually prepare for what interviewers might ask you, and knowing how to present yourself can be as important as what’s on your resumé. There are different types of interview processes, common questions, and methods you can learn about. This article gives a detailed explanation of how to prepare yourself and be more confident.
5. Don't Be Scared
When you land your first full-time job, what if you don’t know what you’re doing and you mess up? That’s totally okay. You’re probably going to be a little lost at first, especially because you’ll be adjusting to a life without school, which you’ve been in since you were about 6; It’s a hard adjustment. But if you are hired, it’s because the company thinks you can handle what they will throw at you. This article will help you with the transition from student to employee.
Conduct a Lab Experiment
Psi Chi members, what questions or suggestions do you have about finding a job or life after graduation? (member login required to comment)