There is no bigger transition in life than the transition into adult life. And the epitome of this transition is graduating from college and starting your working life.

Yet, most of people still go to higher education straight out of high school. In this case the transition to college is not very difficult. You are still a student, for an additional 4 years. Granted, you’ll be studying in a different atmosphere and with more freedom than before, but you are still in an institution where rules are dictated from above.

When time comes for you to graduate, that is when everything you have been so far is about to change. You are no longer told what to do – you have to choose the path in life you are going to follow.

What can you do for your career before you graduate? Here is what people who specialize in this transition have to say:

  1. Learn to interview. To answer what’s on your mind now: No, interviews are not just about “answering questions”. Interviews are opportunities for you to stand out from the sea of other applicants.

Now, some of you may wonder how you can do that when you’re just a recent graduate… well, that’s the subject of this post in Career Bright. No, you don’t need an average GPA of 4 or be the president of some club.

  1. Clean up your social media presence. Things that were fun to post while you were a student might not be favorably looked upon by your potential employers. Take down pictures of wild parties, drinking and spring break activities – or at least make them private.

And while speaking of taking things down, do the same to your answering machine’s outgoing message if it doesn’t portray the image you want to project

  1. Intern. This is probably the best way for you to get experience while still studying. And if you can get an industry influencer to mentor you as an intern, that would give your street cred a huge boost. Check out this post on Hack College on how to do that.

But here’s the catch: interning is more than fetching coffee for your bosses. Check out this post on Culpwrit on what you need to accomplish before you finish your internship for maximum impact.

  1. Network with industry peers. You’ve probably heard of how 60% of all jobs out there are filled before they are even listed. Where do these employers find those people?

Answer: recommendations from their peers. And networking increases your chance of getting one of those recommendations. It’s word-of-mouth marketing for employments!

Networking, however, is not easy. Most people – veterans included – are terrible at it. But there are a few “hacks” to get there faster…

  1. And the most important thing: Consider your passion. What would you really like to do? It’s ok if you haven’t found it yet. But if you do, get informed. Who are the leaders of the field you are interested in, what do they write, blog or tweet.

Make a list of people you’d like to talk to and companies you’d love to work for. The more you know about the business you apply to, the better you will look. If you have found your passion, and you like to write, start a blog in the area of your interest.

This will require you to be updated and will help you establish yourself as someone who is passionate about what he wants to do.

So there, 5 things you need to do for your career before you graduate. What did I miss? I would love to hear from you.

Andrianes Pinantoan is part of the team behind Open Colleges, a distance education provider with a great certificate iv in training and assessment. When not working, he can be found on Google or Twitter.

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