“It’s only a selfie.”
That’s the argument from graduating students at the University of South Florida, where school officials at USF have asked grads to not snap selfies as they receive diplomas.
A quote from the Associated Press: “I don’t have an anti-selfie bent,” said Michael Freeman, the USF dean who made the selfie rule. “I would just caution students to think there’s a time and place.”
A “time and place.” How true. Graduation is one of the most formative times and places of our lives. Soon, you will dive into the chaotic job market and join the ranks of working adults.
To help you do just that, here are 17 sometimes hard truths you need to grasp now that your focus must move from getting that degree to finding fulfilling work:
1. A diploma does not guarantee an internship, job or career. A diploma is merely a passport into the professional world. Now you’re in the jungle with the rest of us. May the best man 0r woman win.
2. To an employer, you look like every other recent grad who suddenly needs a full-time job. Unless, of course, your application promises to deliver exactly what the company needs — like this.
3. Your college coursework, difficult as it was, will never compete with someone’s real-world experience. You need skills ASAP even if they come from an internship or part-time situation. And never forget: a personal blog will make you instantly more marketable.
4. Expect to live frugally for a while. According to CNNMoney, average earnings for recent grads between the ages of 21 and 24 are around $16.99 or 8 percent lower than in 2007.
5. You finished four years of bloated, long-winded 12-page college essays. Unfortunately, the real world is busy and demands brevity. Remember: less is always more.
6. Your resume should be one page in length. Period. You don’t have enough experience to warrant two pages, much less three or four. Give employers the best one pager possible, and they will respect you for it. Need resume writing help?
7. There are three unemployed people for every job opening. It’s true. You’d better think creatively with your applications.
8. Order of importance on your resume: relevant skills, jobs/internships and then where you went to school. So stick education at the bottom and put “Skills” as close to the top as you can. Guarantee that’s the first place an employer looks.
9. “Your diploma is…permission to admit to yourself how much you still have yet to learn.” — Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson during the 2013 graduation at Rice University.
10. Your first job won’t be your forever job. Don’t think too much about whether it’s the “perfect” situation. If your instincts say it’s a smart move, then go for it and don’t look back.
11. Google’s top HR person on job interviews: “What you want to do is say: ‘Here’s the attribute I’m going to demonstrate; here’s the story demonstrating it; here’s how that story demonstrated that attribute.’” TRUTH.
12. Forget texting. Forget Twitter. Forget email. Pick up the phone and call someone. That’s what adults do in the real world.
13. To land a job, you don’t need to live in one of America’s ten best cities for recent grads. You can create opportunity anywhere you set your two feet. Again, create opportunity. Don’t wait for good fortune to fall in your lap. It won’t.
14. According to USA TODAY, unemployment for 18 to 29 year olds is more than double the general rate. Want to stand out? Go beyond. After a job interview, send a hand-written thank-you note within 24 hours.
15. If you want people to take an interest in you, then you need to first take an interest in them — like this.
16. With enough preparation, grit and confidence, you can land any entry-level position you want. Be proud of your degree, sure, but from here on out, success depends on you and not a piece of paper.
17. One more thing: “…trust me on the sunscreen.”
This spring, forget about the pros and cons of selfies at the commencement ceremony. Look up from the camera, stick it in your pocket and understand once you cross the stage life gets real, real quick.
Oh, and congrats on graduating!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.
Image courtesy of app47.com. Thank you!