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Top 5 Things to Do

You’ve earned your degree and left your alma mater’s hallowed halls. However, between searching for a job and moving out, you’ve realized that you need a little help embarking on post-college career. Here are the top five things you can do to succeed during your first 30 days of graduating college.

1. Polish your resume.

For your job hunt, make sure you update your resume with your most recent career and contact information. Also, craft a cover letter that highlights your best skills and attributes, and tailor it for each job opening. It’s a good idea to have family and friends proofread both documents and offer pointers.

2. Make job hunting your career.

If you aren’t going to graduate school, you should make your job search a regular habit. Check out web listings daily, and ask your friends and family to report possible leads. Submit your application to as many job openings as possible. Your college career center is also a good resource, even after graduation. While you’re on the internet, remove questionable content from your social-networking profiles; employers do check them out.

3. Figure out your goals.

Make a list of goals—especially for finding a job and moving out—for your new phase in life and set a time frame for reaching each. This will give you a good starting point and path for the future. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, that’s OK, as well. But don’t be afraid to try something different and make a mistake. You’ll inevitably make mistakes—just learn from them.

4. If you live at home, establish ground rules.

If you need to live with your parents for a while, offer to pay rent and take care of chores around the house. Don’t allow your parents take over, though: Make sure you handle your job search independently.

5. Get your finances together.

Even if you’re not making much money, you should think about how you are going to handle expenses and savings. Get a part-time job to take care of immediate expenses. Determine when your college loan payments are due and try to curb any extra spending until you get a full-time job.

Posted: 10/3/07