Often times out of college you get into your first entry level job — whether it truly be entry level at an organization, a leadership program or a rotational program — and spend a good amount of time “coasting.” Adapting to the real world is pretty difficult if you spent your college years primarily focused on enjoying yourself. You never know when you will need your resume. Your resume is now sort of your “ticket” to other opportunities. If you’re applying to business school or a masters program, you will most certainly need the best resume possible. How do you stand out from all of the other driven and passionate students seeking higher level education? What if another co-worker sees opportunity for you to advance and wants to share your background with someone in another area? You will need to stand out, but how? Keeping your resume up to date, despite not actively searching for a job, is good to keep at top of mind.
1. Add your first job to your resume as soon as possible.
As soon as you understand the scope of your new job add it onto your resume, regardless if you have had a significant achievement – it is a great place to start and a quick addition.
2. Join your university local alumni chapter.
Most universities have an alumni association and subsequently a chapter in the area if you move to a rather large city or not too far from your university. The alumni association might sound like it isn’t for you, but generally it is free for your first two years out of school, and they will send you cool freebies and other items from your school. These associations also hold watch parties, professional events, parties and much more – depending on what you are into there is bound to be something for everyone. Plus, it is a way to stay connected with your alma mater.
3. Join a professional association in your area.
Every industry has organizations and associations related to your field or industry. If you do not want to limit yourself to just your industry, think more high-level such as a young professionals group. Similar in scope to alumni chapters, these organizations offer opportunities for you to meet people with similar interests and passions as you.
4. Join connection groups at your job.
A lot of larger organizations that are recruiting top young talent have employee groups. Some call them resource groups or connection groups; but they are just like clubs in college or high school. Your co-workers will get together based on a similar interests or backgrounds. This also serves as a great opportunity to branch out and try something new but still being in the comfort zone of your own company.
5. Seek volunteer opportunities.
Despite not being in high school or college, it does not mean giving back is not on your radar no longer. If anything now you have three days of the week dedicated to nothing. Take some time to give back whether it is at a local church or shelter nearby. Get up, get out and make an impact.
6. Seek mentorship opportunities.
Many local high schools offer mentorship programs to those living in the surrounding areas. These maybe through a school or through an organization like Boys and Girls Club of America. You can make a huge impact by spending an hour a week mentoring a younger student.