For college grads getting started in the job market, 2021 presents an interesting set of never-before-seen challenges and opportunities.
We asked pro tutors on Wyzant for their advice to help you get centered, get motivated, or maybe even get a mentor, once (virtual) commencement is done and it’s time to get started on your job search.
“What’s Your Advice to College Grads Entering Their Careers in 2021?”
“In music performance after graduation, I realized that there was so much more to learn. My college provided only a sliver of what my area was all about. Whatever your career is, once after your graduation, you will learn so much more out there. Keep learning.”
“Remember that you never stop learning. Expect to buy and study technical books, take short courses, and master new skills throughout your career.”
“Reading and listening are essential components of learning. To succeed, read fast, fast enough to understand and move forward, and if you have time, listen to audiobooks, lectures, and even debates about the topics in hand. Doing this will help you succeed and this is how I got 98% in my American History class at college. Good luck, everyone!”
“Read a book at night before bed. The more information you read and absorb, the easier it will be to connect with somebody else’s passions and interests — especially a potential employer.”
“See your education as a lifelong experience. Always continue to study and strive to learn more!”
“I suggest to major in something where there is always a high demand, and these are high level math, sciences, chemistry, and engineering. Have something to fall back on.”
“Military service is a wonderful first step to help you in your life choices!”
“Congratulations! A college degree exemplifies that you possess the maturity, patience, and drive needed to thrive within a competitive society. In order to retain the character traits that got you through college, you must dedicate yourself to lifelong reading.
“Nobody remembers everything they learned in college; however, in accordance with your degree and your goals, you should aim to keep some degree of old information fresh. The ability to comprehend new information efficiently is directly proportional to one’s existing knowledge base.
“Also, consider the relationship between one’s mental and physical well-being with the drive and willingness to be a lifelong learner. A healthy diet and a little daily exercise will enable you to more effectively deal with the stressful life that comes with being a well-educated person. Best wishes to all of you!”
“Do something you love and that you worked hard for to gain wisdom and experience. Setbacks are just signposts for changes in either action or perception; endurance and flexibility are your best friends.”
“Seek your dreams – but also don’t be afraid to do something you didn’t plan – use every opportunity to grow!”
“Don’t let the unexpected get you down. Jump up and use what you know to keep yourself in the job market. Get out of your comfort zone. Move into a new job type, location, or go back to school and learn a new skill.
“Keep on using the old knowledge but never stop learning. Remember today’s knowledge will slowly become obsolete and today’s job will not last forever.”
“Do not feel pressured to land a full-time job right after graduation. You will have a lifetime to do that. Take a break if you need. Volunteer for a cause you care about. Intern at a company you are interested in working for. Travel (when it is safe to do so) and work abroad. Brush up on some old skills and hobbies. Go at your own pace so that you can pave a professional journey that’s yours.”
“Continue to learn, even when you land your first job. Talk to senior employees and ask them for ideas on skills and knowledge to build in the coming year. Your skills, knowledge, and experience are the key attributes which open doors for your future!”
“There’s a big difference between confidence and arrogance. Stay humble and realize that even though you’re out of school, your learning journey has just begun. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It shows you’re engaged, which leads to trust, and facilitates an understanding of both the specific task at hand and the bigger business picture, which leads to impact.”
“Whenever you have a meeting with your supervisor, there are three possible outcomes: your supervisor has (1) less to do, (2) more to do, (3) the same amount to do. Always look for ways to produce outcome (1).”
“Network, network, network! Networking is the single most reliable and tried and true method for getting that first job and advancing in your career.
“No matter what career you pursue, be sociable, meet others in your field, and exchange your business card. Network, network, network! Best wishes for college graduates entering the workforce in 2021. Stay positive. And, oh by the way, what did I say? You got it: Network.”
“First of all, congratulations on achieving your well-deserved, hard-earned, high-priced (in more than one means of the term) college degree! May you be able to relish its merits every year of your professional life and career going forward to the fullest!
“The best advice that I can provide for you, speaking as an educator with more than one decade’s worth of teaching and tutoring experience combined, is to always keep your own natural interests and talents as your top priority when choosing new jobs and careers for yourselves. As important as earning a livable income remains (especially by the 21st Century’s rollercoaster-like economic standards and trends nationwide), money should never be the reason to take on a new job or career of your own.
“Always keep an open mind and pair of eyes to new opportunities that (you feel) would add to your life and working experience in meaningful ways not only to help you build your career and professional outlook, but also utilize your skills and abilities to give back and profoundly contribute to your community both online and off. This includes volunteer opportunities which are equally beneficial to paid employment for the above reasons and many more.
“Here’s to you and all your (near-) future success, fellow workers! Welcome to the wondrous working world in whatever form(s) it may take for you! Good luck; keep up the great work; and always make sure that you feel truly gratified in your selection of employment going forward!”
“Continue to embrace learning. You may discover a different path – or even a new career – if you keep your mind open to opportunities.”
“Landing the career of your dreams requires thinking outside of the box when crafting the perfect, eye catching resume.
“Do not just resort to listing what your previous job/internship requirements entailed. Elaborate upon what you did to make your company/position successful. List managerial recognitions, awards, productivity, increased sales, collaborations with team building operations, etc. anything that makes you stand out from the career seekers pool.
“Be sure to also include extracurricular activities, volunteer/community service positions, accomplishments and aptitudes. Really dig into your potential and reach deep inside for what makes you uniquely qualified for the position you are seeking.
“You should also utilize these tips for your cover letter while placing heavy emphasis upon what you will do to benefit the company you are applying for. A resume is your first impression, make it one that any employer will be sure to remember!”
“Get some advice and help from a tutor to put together a professional resume, to learn how to write cover letters, and to prepare for the interviewing process. An experienced tutor can help you get started and land your first job.”
“Be ready to interview with respect, clarity, and politeness whether it’s online or in person. Be ready to apply your education, skills, ability to learn and balance activities. Private companies are just that, private, their practices are not typically taught in your classrooms but your ability to be open, flexible, and again apply your education can indicate that you would be a strong fit to their mission. Many companies have a mission statement, and it is a good idea to learn these and what they mean before interviewing. Do your research.”
“Don’t be afraid to follow up after job interviews. And when you aren’t offered a position, humbly ask what you could have done better. This feedback is key to not repeating the same mistakes in future job pursuits.”
And 8 Tips for Your Personal College-To-Career Journey
“1) Whatever you do, do what you love doing and your work won’t seem like a job and you’ll never “watch the clock”. If you’re in a job and do find yourself watching the clock, find another job/career that’s aligned with your strengths and passions.
“2) Find a way to serve others in humble and unexpected ways and you’ll be happier. Keep your eyes open and many opportunities to serve will arise.
“3) If you have trouble finding a company that wants to hire you, start a business: find something that needs to be done, some sort of unmet need, and do it. Services businesses are the easiest and fastest businesses to start. Develop a “portfolio” of services to others by just helping people solve their problems/challenges and see which services you can grow over time.
“4) No matter what your circumstances, make a daily list of ten (or more) things you’re thankful for that day.
“5) Never stop learning. Incorporate reflection into everything you do: what worked well (that I want to continue doing)?, what could be done better next time (that I can try another approach)?
“6) Risk more. Try more new things. Savor life. Focus on things that are long-term/everlasting.
“7) Be honest and truthful. Do the thing that you know is right. Always.
“8) If you commit to something, see it through. Be careful what you commit to, don’t overcommit. Also realize that some of the most cherished and beautiful things you will experience in your entire life are an outcome of having committed to something and seeing it through even challenging periods. Don’t fear commitment, respect it.”