Tips for Finding Your First Job After College

first job after college

Finding that first job after college can be hard. These tips can help.

Following your last finals and finally saying goodbye to college, the real world hits you pretty quick. While I am sure you can remember many late and difficult nights meeting deadlines during your studies, job hunting becomes the next big challenge in your life. Finding that first job after college can be a full-time gig in itself.

This can be a difficult time for many graduates. As employers look for experience, and you seek to obtain it, you may feel discouraged or lost as you apply. But, before you throw in the towel, here are some tips for finding your first job after college:

  • Update your resume. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many recent college grads miss the mark on this one. Do a little resume audit, and make sure it is updated with recent relevant information. Include your grade point average (GPA) and any college or other activities, including community volunteering. It is commonly recommended to attempt to keep your resume one page long, but this can be difficult. Try not to exceed two. Always update it when you gain new skills. You don’t need a new job to attain new knowledge. Examples include learning a new language or website coding in your now free time. These talents should be added on your resume.
  • Look for internships. Opportunities are often right under your nose. If you are having a hard time finding internships in your area, try to create one for yourself from a company in which you’d like to work. Internships are a great way to build experience that you can include on your newly updated resume. Even if you have a couple internships under your belt already from college, you may need to do more until an employer takes your bait.
  • Follow up with your connections. Throughout your college years, you’ve been exposed to connections you may not even realize you have. Reach out to old professors from your major to see if they can inform you of available positions.  If you completed any internships that did not lead to an employment opportunity, follow up with them to see if there are any openings or if they can provide you with a reference. Networking is a great way to find a new job without using a resume. Friends and families can also be a part of your job network. Be sure to ask for help as you continue the job hunt. Not to mention, you can check with your Alma mater’s career office to check on any upcoming opportunities.
  • Attend career fairs. Face to face interactions still prove to be effective. Being able to talk to potential employers in person is important so that you can ask questions, make a first impression and discover jobs that will match your skill set. Many colleges host these career fairs, but you don’t always need to be a college student to attend them. Check local community boards and websites to see what job fairs may be coming up in your area.
  • Be flexible. Jobs do not need to be black and white. If a company has room for growth or potential for you to utilize your degree, you should consider applying even for positions outside of your field. For example, if you are hoping to make it as a social media manager in a big corporate company, try applying for a front desk or assistant position first to try working your way up. Don’t worry if you do not get nor find that dream job after college; if they were easy to obtain, everyone would have a dream job.
  • Don’t rely on one resource. There are multiple resources you can use when applying for jobs. Sites like Indeed.com as well as your local career center are just a couple examples. The more you are able to distribute your experience summary to potential jobs, the better your chances of landing one quickly after college.
  • Personalize your materials. You will have a better chance of standing out to employers if you personalize both your cover letters and resume to the job listing. Don’t talk about your gardening skills in the cover letter if the job is for writing English papers. Make sense?

One of the most important things to remember during the application process is  to keep applying. You may face rejection, but this is a normal part of the process and should be expected. Keep going anyway, even though it can be a daunting task. Stay positive and remember that every time you get your resume out, you are regularly exposing yourself to new opportunities. Practice makes perfect, and the more you apply, the closer you are to landing  that first job.

What tactics did you take when applying for your first job after college?

What You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home can be both exciting and stressful. It’s typically a sign of a new adventure ahead, whether it is moving to a new area for a job or even downsizing to start a new milestone in your life.

With the real estate market flourishing right now, depending on where you live, you may have an easier time putting your house on the market now than you did in previous years. However, regardless of how well the market is doing, you still need to be aware of some do’s and don’ts of real estate. Here is what you need to know before selling your home:

Speak with a professional.

Even if you are selling your home on your own, hiring a real estate attorney will be helpful to have some legal eyes look over your contracts and paperwork. Catching any flaws before any sales are finalized can help to save you money in the future.

Put it online.

Online house listings make your home even more visible to the public along with providing quick updates regularly to browsers.

Hire an inspector.

You’ll save yourself so much time and energy by having a qualified individual come in and inspect your home. You should consider doing this before you even put your house on any listings or begin showing it so that you can strengthen your sale price by making any repairs or updates as needed.

Focus on curb appeal.

Take some time to improve the curb appeal of your home in order to attract more buyers. Invest in some simple landscaping and keep your lawn tidy (if applicable), raking leaves in the fall and clearing your sidewalks of snow in the winter. Think about what attracts you to a new property and apply this concept to your own home.

Price your home in line with both the area and market.

As tempting as it may be to price your home that extra 100 grand you feel it is worth, doing so may turn off potential buyers. You can attempt to go a little above market price, but talk with a trusted professional on what they would advise.  If you are in a location that has many individuals selling their home, you will have a hard time attracting a buyer if your price is out of range.

Have your paperwork ready.

Being as prepared as possible will help keep things flowing as best as possible when you are ready to put your house on the market. You’ll be able to answer any questions about taxes, the property and the like with ease by having any and all documents associated with the house on hand. Different questions may arise not only from the potential buyer but also from your listing agent or attorney.

Get rid of the clutter.

Before you even start showing your house, clear out your closets, get rid of clutter and make it look even extra homey by adding in some house plants in various rooms. The key is to show space to those coming to consider buying your home. If they can not only imagine themselves living there but see how much space is available, you will be helping to boost the sales process along so that you can move on with your new adventure.

Hire your own real estate agent.

Although an added cost, having your own agent is a great way to obtain the price negotiations that are favorable to you. Agents representing buyers have more of a loyalty to their client instead of helping you sell your home, so they will be trying to get the best deal for their customer. Thus, if you have your own agent, you’ll be able to counteract professionally with rates that are close in alignment to your selling goals.


 

Selling your home can be intimidating (and nerve-wrecking), but by following the above tips and doing your research, you will gain a much better handle on the process. Just keep these in mind with each real estate sale.

Nine Cheap Travel Trips

Cheap travel tips

Cheap travel tips

A vacation doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. If you are a traveler on a budget, these cheap travel tips are for you.

With concerns of rising air fares, baggage fees, cost of gas and more, taking time to travel can seem financially daunting and unrealistic when everyone wants you to save and think about retirement more. The truth is, you can most certainly still travel on a budget.  Here are nine easy cheap travel tips, some of which I use myself:

  1. Travel off-season. This is probably one of the easiest ways to save on your next trip, especially when flying. You will find that the rates are lower right off the bat when you plan to leave when others are typically not. Savings will also be found in rental cars and accommodations. If your trip depends on warm, nice weather, I would recommend comparing and contrasting prices in the fall and spring.
  2. Bring your own food. Are you going on a road trip? Pack your own food to avoid extra spending on stopping at restaurants or fast food joints. Plus, you’ll get to your location faster by saving time. My boyfriend and I often hit a lot of ground when we travel, and our most recent trip was a road trip. We were able to save time and money by bringing our own meals for the road.
  3. Leave during the week. The weekends are unquestionably busiest for traveling, which means higher prices in air fare, car rentals, hotels and the like. By generally choosing to fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you can make your vacation cheap. Always keep major holidays in mind, though, as that does change things.
  4. Opt for a bed and breakfast. When my boyfriend, Ryan, and I decided to travel to Seattle in 2014, we knew this trip would not be cheap, mostly because of both renting a car for a few days and needing to stay in hotels for four of the seven nights of our excursion. Ryan was not too keen on the idea of a hostel (another inexpensive option) due to none with privacy being available, so I began looking into bed and breakfasts. I found a happy-medium, located right by downtown Seattle in the Cultural District, The Panama Hotel. It is technically a hotel but has a bed and breakfast feel. It also holds much history. In fact, it is the only remaining Japanese bathhouse still standing in the United States. We stayed here for the first couple nights at the beginning of our trip, and we were able to save money while also being able to walk through the downtown area. And, speaking of which…
  5. Put on your walking shoes. If you are trying to save as much money as possible on your trip, make a plan to walk as much as possible. Even in the age of the sharing economy with Uber and Lyft, try walking. You can still use that extra $20 for your next meal. Remember: cheap travel is the key here.
  6. Get the biggest bang for your buck. Ryan and I have been able to do multiple trips because we often incorporate the great outdoors in our travels. We will stay a few nights in a major city then head out of town to a national park or outdoor area that interests us, which helps us to keep expenses low while traveling. In addition to be cheaper, it also allows us to experience so much more.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for a refund. If you noticed a cheaper deal with another hotel company or car rental after booking, you can cancel your current agreement to go for the lower rate. Just make sure you do it in enough time and read the terms on your receipts. Many hotels allow a 24-hour cancellation notice in order to receive a refund. Others might require a minimum of 48-hours.
  8. Fly out locally. Instead of flying out of a major city’s airport, you may be able to save by flying out through a regional airport. Be sure not to rule it out when doing your price comparisons.
  9. Use an app. I am still learning about all the awesome apps there are you can use to find the best deals along with last-minute reservations. I am sure you are aware of useful tools like Groupon, Airbnb and LivingSocial, but some others include HotelsTonight and Air Help, which helps you with airfare compensation. You can also manage travel points through TPG To Go.

Part of cheap travel is to also know peak times in the areas in which you want to travel. Going with my point listed above, you can expect to spend more on travel costs during the area’s busiest times.

By keeping your budget in check and using these little tricks, you can fit a vacation that not only suits your schedule but your wallet as well.

What would you add to the list?