As I'm searching for that elusive job, I've realized (okay, I've known for a while now) that I need an online portfolio. (One outside of LinkedIn). So I finally bought a web address (through Wordpress) chose a theme (Editor) and launched it. The first page you see when you open it is the "About Me" and easily accessible through a sidebar menu are my resume, writing samples, design samples, and online media samples. I uploaded a picture of myself, edited a few things, and then added it to a few job applications. Hopefully having this available will help me to get a job. At the very least, because my profession requires a portfolio, this is a good thing to have. Have you created an online portfolio for yourself?
As I've been looking for a job or an internship for after college, I've learned how many employers desire writing samples and portfolios as well as a resume. Because I was a communication major, we didn't focus a ton on having a portfolio (not as much as design majors), but in my design class, I found myself wishing that we had done more design projects for my future portfolio. Now that I have to actually have a portfolio, instead of a list of things I would put in one, I find myself thinking about emailing professors and mentioning that little fact to them. (Sorry future students, I promise you'll be thankful in the long run.) So my advice to you is to take some of your work, preferable design and writing samples, and get it all together for a portfolio. See what you got great grades on or you are proud of and put it into a folder on your computer labeled "portfolio." That way, when you need it, you've got it.
Same with a resume, get it all updated and perfect BEFORE you need it. It is so nice to just have to submit the resume and not have to spend time stressing over it before it is due.
Do all of this before hand, and you'll be thankful you did.
Now I've got an email to write to former professors :)
There's a whole list of documents you probably have that are outdated or expire at some point. Some are easy to forget about if you don't use them very often, like your passport. My passport expired about four months before I was going to go to Canada for a weekend. I realized this too late and had to cancel that trip. So I had to renew it, which was easy enough, I just couldn't go to Canada when I originally wanted. Take a few minutes and go see when the expiration date on your passport is. If it's soonish, you might want to start thinking about renewing it, just so you have it and don't have to think about it for a while.
Your license. My best friend didn't realize that her license expired on her 21st birthday. I feel like most people know this.
Your resume. I can't stress how nice it is to have a finished resume before you actually need it. Then all you have to do is attach it and you're set. It's so great to just attach it. So go work on your resume and get it perfected. You'll appreciate it later. I promise.
It saves a lot of worry and panic if you keep up on these things.
Is there anything else you can think of that you should keep updated?
I've been a bit bored with all of my free time. It's been about six weeks since graduating college and there's only so much Netflix you can watch before you're sick of everything electronic. So with my free time, I've decided to: 1. Pick up a little internship work. I'll be doing marketing/social media work for a local business. It'll be about 10 hours a week, which is enough to break up some of the monotony, but little enough to still give me free time. And bonus, it'll go on my resume!
2. Start (and hopefully finish) a summer reading list. I know, it's a bit late in the summer to do this, but it's only July 1st. I haven't used my Goodreads account in a while, so I'm going to use that to find some books to read.
3. Go over my resume again. I had it pretty great, but once I graduated college, I had to update a few things on it. It's something that can be easy to forget, and while I always go over my resume before I send it out, it's good to go over it before you need to.
Side note, go over LinkedIn profile. Some of that information was outdated and needed to be updated.
4. Work more around the house. I'm going to paint a wall in my room, and paint a stall in our barn. Neither are very hard, but it'll take some time. There are some other projects I hope to do later this summer as well.
5. See a few places in Washington State. I want to go to the Ape Caves by Mt. St. Helens, go to the Hoh Rainforest, and go to Mt. Rainier. I've even got a few hiking books from the library to check out other places to go in the state.
Do you have any other suggestions on how to keep yourself occupied?
I've been annoying the Career Services office here on campus with all the resume edits I've done. Well, I haven't annoyed them, but I have gone in four or five times. And you wouldn't believe the changes I've made to my resume. If any of you out there are close to graduation, or a year or more away, I recommend that you get your resume polished to a shine. Before they took a look at my resume, it was okay, but now I feel that it's perfect enough that I can start applying to jobs and internships. So take my one little piece of advice: get your resume finished before you need it. Trust me, you'll be thankful you did.