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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, September 28, 2023

College 101: Possibilities for Professional Placement

I’m a college senior getting ready to graduate this coming May with a degree in creative writing. With graduation right around the corner, I’m trying to get myself organized with a full-time job. My roommate cautioned me multiple times already that it was a little late to just now be figuring things out.

I hate to admit he might be right, but of the two dozen or so applications that I’ve submitted, not a single one has resulted in anything. That’s not very promising. At the same time, my major isn’t the most conducive to employment. I clearly can’t get a job as a writer yet since I haven’t been published by anything except the student newspaper.

That’s where I’m struggling the most. How do I begin? What’s the best way for an upcoming college graduate to market himself?

These are tough questions to answer without a clear understanding of your history and professional aspirations. That being said, it might still possible to offer some directional guidance. The first myth you should dispel is about timing. Contributors at The Balance suggest that those sincere about landing career positions should start as early as possible. Never underestimate the value of getting your foot in the door before anyone else.

Getting an accurate bearing is the best way to begin. Consider this list of seven steps to take when you don’t know what to do with your life after college. The list has proven extremely refreshing, especially to those under the false impression that they’re the only ones enduring this struggle. You ought to be aware that despite what the world would have you believe, the challenge of deciding what to do with your life will only grow more difficult. That’s why it’s critical to spend ample time weighing the various pros and cons.

Another sounds strategy is to research some of the most common mistakes that job seekers make. Don’t fall prey to avoidable misfortunes when there’s no excuse. Some of the items might seem rather obvious, but you’d be surprised how frequently these oversights happen. While it didn’t necessarily make the list, it’s also necessary to examine the different career paths applicable to your major.

An author at the Huffington Post published an article highlighting relevant job opportunities for creative writers. Examples include freelance journalism, copywriting, strategic communications, etc. Understand that you shouldn’t disqualify anything based on preconceived notions. It’s impossible to predict the value you might receive without any firsthand experience. Also, know that your personal brand and reputation are assets that must be cultivated and protected.

It’s definitely worthwhile to reflect on building a personal and/or professional website to serve as your digital doorstep. You’d be surprised just how often potential employers will conduct an internet search using your full legal name. Do you have any control over the content that populates organically? If not, then it’s probably time to at least entertain the idea of taking your online reputation more seriously. Researching your options doesn’t have to be a tedious exercise. Simply search for examples of the best website designs for some external motivation. Document a series of your favorite ones or the themes you find appealing. You can decide later on whether or not what you desire is realistically attainable in a cost-effective manner.

These suggestions are clearly only a place to begin. Tapping into career services is a great failsafe. It’s always in the university’s best interests to support career placement for its graduates.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -- Abraham Lincoln

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