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Advice for Every Year of College

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It’s officially August! We all know what that means: classes will be starting before we know it. No matter what year of college you’re entering this fall, keep these little tokens of advice in mind.

 move-in

Freshmen: Welcome! I am so excited for you. Even if you loved high school, try not to hang on to it too much. Also, get to know your professors and advisors! They are only there to help and want to see you succeed. Finally, don’t be afraid to try new things. This is the best time!

 study abroad

Sophomores: So you’ve got a year under your belt and you’re not so new around campus anymore. Approach each opportunity with the same enthusiasm that you did as a freshman. Use this year to get a few internships under your belt or study abroad before you have to start taking your upper level classes.

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Juniors: The past two years flew by super fast and the next two will fly just as fast so don’t miss a minute of it. Classes are going to get harder this year and you’ll get incredibly sick of people asking you about grad school. Hang in there.

 college grads

Seniors: Is it senior year already?! Make sure you’re keeping your GPA up even though senioritis is surely kicking in. Make sure your resume is in tip top shape for the job search that is quickly approaching. Some companies will even hire you before you graduate. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk across the stage with a diploma and a job waiting for you?

 What advice would you pass on to incoming students? Share your advice in the comments below!

5 Important Skills to Learn Before You Graduate

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There are some things you are definitely going to want to master before you finish college.  Finding a job after college is harder than ever and you want to be as prepared as possible.  You’ll likely start in an entry-level position and this list will prepare you for what lies ahead!

1. Photoshop

 photoshop

The world is becoming increasingly digital.  Any company you end up working for has a website and one or more social media accounts.  Photoshop is a great skill to have in your arsenal because it will likely come in handy for a great number of future projects.  Photoshop can help you create/adjust logos, flyers, newsletters, etc.  This is an excellent skill to have on a resume because potential employers will see it as a great asset!

2. Microsoft Office

microsoft office

This may seem obvious, but knowing all the ins and outs of Microsoft Office is essential.  Don’t just know how to use the basics of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, know how to use every feature of each program.  You’ll likely be using Microsoft Office a lot in whatever job you have and you’re going to want to know everything you can; it’ll make your professional life much easier!

3. How to Use a Copy Machine Extensively

Copy Machine

When you’re first starting out in your professional life, the Copier is going to be a big part of your routine.  The last thing you want is to be the person that breaks the copier or needs help using it; to avoid this, take the time to learn how to use all of the features of one of the copy machines on campus—it may not be the exact machine you will have at your future job but it is a great start.  Also look over the machine to know how to fix it when it jams and how to change the toner!

4. How to Write a Professional Email

email

 This is extremely important.  In most jobs, you will be corresponding with many different people and you want to always make a good, professional impression.  Whether it is an email between you and a co-worker, you and your boss, or you and a client/affiliate of the company, you want to make sure you come across as intelligent, organized, and professional.  This is also an important skill when you are emailing with a potential employer about an interview!

5. Social Media

social media

Learn the ins and outs of several social media platforms.  Most companies several social media accounts, so having a lot of knowledge about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. is really important.  Having these skills is also great for your resume.  If you notice that your company has yet to make an account for a social media platform that is or is becoming very popular, suggest that they make one and maybe even offer to create and run it for them.  This shows initiative and can lead to more opportunities and responsibilities!

Resume Tips for College Students

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Many college students lack experience in their field of choice.  The conundrum we hear all the time is: you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience.  Creating a resume can be really hard when you have little to no experience in the field for which you are applying for an internship or job.  Here are some tips to help you create a resume that sheds you in the best light!

hire me

  1. Keep the references to high school very minimal… stick to only the most impressive, relevant stuff.  High school experiences lack relevance the further you get into your college years.  Adding too many high school references to your resume can seem juvenile and make it seem like you haven’t done much since leaving high school.  You can, and should, keep relevant high school experiences, but once you gain enough relevant experience, go ahead and eliminate your high school references entirely.
  1. Play up responsibilities for retail and food service jobs.  If you had any leadership roles, however small, it shows initiative and responsibility.  It also shows that your boss trusted you to take on authority making you seem trustworthy and valuable.
  1. If you have any office or internship experience, make them the most prominent.  If you have enough, you can leave out retail/food service jobs entirely.  List all of your responsibilities and play up the most impressive and relevant ones.  You can also make some of the more general or menial tasks more vague and play up your most important tasks in the interview. Employers want to hear most about what experiences you have that make you a good fit for their company and the position you are applying for, so it’s okay to gloss over, or leave out, the less relevant stuff!
  1. Make a section dedicated to your skills and list all of your computer skills.  Technological skills are an advantage of our generation, so list everything you know how to do as far as the Internet and technology are concerned.  Include things like Microsoft Office, Social Media, and Photoshop; this amps up your resume and shows what you’re bringing to the table making you seem like more of an asset.
  1. If you have a good GPA and/or have any impressive academic accomplishments, make sure to include that in your education section.  This information is impressive and something to be proud of.  It shows employers that you are a dedicated, hard-working, and intelligent student that will be able to adapt to their work environment and that you can handle a challenge.
  1. List any extracurricular and volunteer activities together- this shows off your interests and well roundedness. You want to tell a little bit about yourself outside of the classroom/work to help potential employers to get to know you as a person.  This allows them to see you as a complete person and not just another applicant.  You also never know what the person reading your resume might connect with and if they happen to share an interest with you, that will help them remember you, which is always great!

Now get cracking on your resume and get yourself that internship!

Why College Internships are a Necessity Today

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As I am finishing up my own internship, I have gained lifelong skills that will beneficially impact my life as I move on to new experiences. Any internship offers something different, whether it’s new people, new atmospheres or new tasks; an internship can help you reach your future goals.

Here are my 3 points of view of how beneficial internships are.

1. THE PEOPLEyoung-professionals
Having an internship as a college student with an established company, allows you to network with people you ordinarily wouldn’t.  Meeting new people during an internship can help you make connections for a possible future career. According to Forbesinternships have been one of the best ways to get a job since 2013!  As a college student you have to make the right impression to all the right people and then who knows, you might just land your dream job! At any point in time within your current or future internship you could be corresponding with a future career connection.

MY ADVICE: When you start an internship, try to get to know who you’re working with. Find common ground for connections and most of all work hard to show them what a great intern you are.

2. THE ATMOSPHEREOlive Media Office
Having multiple internships in different places is actually very beneficial. Not only do you learn how to get to new places around your city or in a new state but you also learn how to adapt to new surroundings. Having a hands-on internship versus a behind the desk internship can be challenging at times to know what to do or how to do it. Having multiple internships allows you to distinguish the situation you’re in which future employers appreciate hearing about.

MY ADVICE: Have multiple internships that are all different from each other regarding location and type of internship. Being thrown into different surroundings makes you a well-rounded intern or future employee.

3. THE TASKSgirl_paperwork
As an intern you will be asked to complete several different tasks and duties that might require mental, emotional and physical strength. You will gain skills that you would have never thought you would know about. No worries, this is a good thing! It allows you to become more knowledgeable about how different things work and you could even gain the superlative of the “smarty pants” by the end of college.

MY ADVICE: Complete every assignment that’s given to you and even ask if anything else can be done. There’s nothing wrong with trying to overachieve for an internship.

As a college student internships are very important because they truly help shape the person you want to be one day. If you keep these three things in mind you will truly see how beneficial an internship can be.

How To Write a BAD Resume

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Nothing is more enthralling than writing up your first post college resume, right? ….Okay I am only joking about the thrills of the trade.  Let’s change things up a little by me sharing with you how to write a BAD resume in three easy steps.

Step 1. WRITE FAST.

You seriously want to be done with this horrible task as soon as possible.  Editing takes forever and you may have to find another person for a second opinion.  Human Resources will definitely know you were trying to say “shift” the 30 times you left out the f.

Confused businessman
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Step 2. WRITE A LOT.

No need to be shy- the employer has all day to read over your resume.   You should flood them with useless achievements beginning with your youth t-ball team home run up until the award winning omelet you created this morning. The less relevant the achievements are to the job posting the better.  You want to stand out!

Sleepy-Woman
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Step 3. LIE. LIE. LIE.

This company doesn’t know you.  Embellish EVERYTHING! Odds are they are not going to actually cross check all credentials you list.

surprise-man-computer

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Okay…READY? SET? GO!

*DISCLAIMER: Following any of this advice will almost guarantee you a spot in the “reject” pile for landing interviews. Only follow these steps if you would like to remain unemployed.