Preparing to Graduate? Learn How to Use UCS in Your Post-Grad Life
May 4th, 2012
While the summer after graduation is great time to get some much-needed rest, it‘s also a perfect time to take actions that will prepare you for the transition from undergraduate education to the world of work or graduate/professional school. These major life transitions always have elements of adventure — and with any good adventure comes exciting opportunities as well as tenuous moments. We want to be sure you are aware of the resources the U.Va. career services community offers you and remind you of important steps you can take whether you are…
- Working on clarifying your career goals and interests
- Initiating or continuing your job search for employment
- Thinking about or preparing to attend graduate school
- Planning a post-graduation/gap year adventure
Working on clarifying your goals and interests
- Please call 434-924-8900 to arrange an appointment. We can meet with recent graduates through Monday, August 3rd. If you will not be in Charlottesville this summer, you may request a telephone appointment.
- Consider taking a career assessment to help you identify specific jobs related to your interests (Strong Interest Inventory) or personality (Myers-Briggs)
Initiating or continuing your job search
- Invest in books about transitioning to the workplace such as: “The New Professional” (Holton), “Now What?” (Lore), “No More Ramen” (Aretakis), “You Majored in WHAT?” (Brooks), and “Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads” (Curran).
- Use your graduation money or gift certificates for business attire and accessories or a print or online subscription to your favorite career industry-related journal/magazine (i.e. Fast Company, Psychology Today, The Wall Street Journal, etc)
- Research potential fields, industries, and employers. Identify relevant periodicals and trade journals to understand the current industry issues. These journals often have job openings as well. Having this insight really makes a difference in interviews!
- Develop a search strategy for each prospective industry and/or employer. Find ways to connect with employers at career fairs, through On-Grounds Interviewing, and by using UCAN.
- Approach each job individually. Tailor your resume toward the specific job and create compelling cover letters that reflect your unique personality and tailored to the specific situation. Consult UCS counselors for review and critiques.
- If your resume is on CAVLink, update your CAVLink profile through UCS‘s website to make sure you receive announcements about opportunities in the career fields and locations that interest you. http://www.career.virginia.edu/cavlink/
- Divide your job search strategy into a month-by-month plan. UCS counselors can help you make it realistic and workable, outlining what you might do and where.
- Complete the On-Grounds Interviewing tutorial to determine if this service supports your job search strategy. If so, incorporate it into your job search strategy for relevant industries and employers. http://www.career.virginia.edu/ogi_tutorial/
- Google yourself, because your potential employers might! Adjust the profile settings in your Twitter or Facebook accounts to have more control over what employers see when they search for your profile.
- Planning to wait a while before you search for a job? Get your plan down on paper so you don‘t lose momentum and research your target industries and jobs to assess the impact, if any, of waiting to conduct a job search until after graduation.
Thinking about or preparing to attend graduate school
- Prepare your personal statement. Check with UCS for help on researching schools and preparing winning personal statements.
- If you feel you will be needing letters of recommendation, start thinking about opening an online credentials file through Interfolio, with letters from previous or current supervisors and/or professors. This usually applies to students planning to attend a graduate or professional school or seeking academic employment. http://www.career.virginia.edu/students/grad.php
- Identify references and get their permission to use their names. Make sure they are clear on your strengths, accomplishments, and goals by giving them a copy of your resume; obtain written references if needed.
Planning a post-graduate/gap year adventure
- Clarify why you are going and set expectations before you leave.
- Keep a journal or blog so you can reflect on your experience later.
- Connect with U.Va. alumni in your new location or consider using Skype for informational interviews.
- Volunteer for opportunities to build your skill set and demonstrate continued interest in the career field you are targeting.
- Check out Going Global through MyUCS for cultural advice, travel warnings/advisories, embassy details, and career related information.
- Take advantage of UCS resources now! You will only have access to career counselors for one semester following graduation.
Congratulations on your next step in life! We hope you’ll help us help future UVa undergraduates by completing the First Destinations survey you received in your email on April 11th. Your experience can help us to improve programs and services for students like you!