Tips for the Recent Graduate


Lauren Archuletta is an alumna from the University of Colorado Boulder. Graduating in the spring of 2013, Lauren received a Bachelor’s of Science in journalism and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish language and literature. While at CU Boulder, Lauren participated in and held a number of leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including the university’s student paper and multi-ethnic clubs

Congratulations, graduates. You’ve successfully completed your tour of undergrad at your respective college or university. Just weeks ago you walked across that stage, cap decorated with Greek letters or heart-felt thank you notes to your parents for helping you get this far. You waved to your parents, shook hands with the dean as you were offered your diploma and then probably celebrated the rest of the day with your friends.

Now it’s been a month since graduation, and you’re realizing that you have to be out of your apartment by the end of the month. You need a plan.

For a few days you will undoubtedly consider jumping right back into school in pursuit of a Master’s degree in a chosen field. There’s no shame in entertaining the idea, we all do it. For at least the past four years, school has become like a security blanket for you. Your friends were there, you developed bonds with professors during office hours and your entire life centered around your MWF and TR classes.

If you do, in fact, decide to immediately go on to graduate school then you should immediately start applying for the spring semester, since you probably already missed the deadline for the fall.

In the case that you decide to enter the workforce, it’s time you start polishing your resume and doing your research. Don’t just start sending out your resume that you haven’t touched since your second-semester internship sophomore year. Your future may depend on that one-sheet document, so it needs to be pristine.

Upon submitting your resume for any job, you will be competing against dozens if not hundreds of people for the same spot, and your first hoop to jump through is the look and feel of your resume. Make it stand out with your header, or perhaps with a small design. Do not get carried away with different font sizes and types; if your resume has too many distractions it will immediately be discarded.

Your resume will also not get a second glance if it is more than one page. Never submit a two-page resume to any employer. That’s great that you have a lot of experience, but it’s best if you can make it all fit on one page.Your resume should be clean. Make sure that everything is aligned properly, and that you’re presenting your experience, skills and education in the best way possible.

While you’re making your resume pretty, keep in mind one of the most important rules: don’t lie. Don’t say you’re proficient in the Adobe Suite if you’ve only used Photoshop once.

Following these tips will get you started on the right track. It’s up to you to determine your career of choice.

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