When looking for a job, a resume complete with one’s accomplishments and past work experience is absolutely necessary. (Jamilla Zuniga)
When looking for a job, a resume complete with one’s accomplishments and past work experience is absolutely necessary.

Jamilla Zuniga

5 tips every graduate should know to make sure they’re ready for “adulting”

May 23, 2022

After graduating from high school, you’re bound to be a little lost. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind to be ready for “adulting” while surviving in the real world.

  Create your professional email.

That’s right—“[email protected]” needs to go. Emailing potential employers means having a professional email to email them with, preferably with your first and last name included. 

Of course, unless you have a unique name, chances are that a couple of people out there share your name. If shortening or combining your full name doesn’t cut it, you can always try incorporating your city, profession, or degree instead.

 Update your profile pics.

It’s no secret that first impressions are crucial, and in today’s digital world, your profile picture may be your first exposure to future employers. Research has shown that people draw photo-based conclusions about a person in 40 milliseconds. 

So—what makes a good profile picture? 

There are a couple of do’s and dont’s when it comes to creating one. Smiling with teeth is encouraged, as well as formal wear. How you light and frame your photo matters, too. An asymmetrical head-and-shoulders or head-to-waist shot are go-tos when it comes to simple professionalism. 

On the other hand, hats, sunglasses, or shadows over the eyes can obscure your features and make you appear less trustworthy, while a neutral expression can signal introversion or neuroticism. 

Keeping all these factors in mind is key in creating the best profile picture—and the best first impression—you can. 

 Start a LinkedIn account.

Networking may sound daunting, but in reality, it is nothing more than reaching out and building relationships with like-minded professionals. With 70% of jobs not publicly listed, having personal and professional connections may be your tipping point in landing that dream job.

Thankfully, with apps like LinkedIn and Xing, you can connect with co-workers, hiring managers, and recruiters—all from the convenience of your laptop or phone. And with nearly 740 million users, the site is a great way to start establishing professional contacts outside of your usual networking events.

 Create your “base” resume and cover letter.

Resumes are often overwhelming to first-time job seekers. The number one reason resumes aren’t submitted aren’t because they’re bad, but because they’re unfinished. A “base” resume can help with that. By creating a base resume, you’ll be setting a reliable foundation for your resumes for the next decade. 

You can make a base resume even with little to no work experience. Skills-based resumes work for job seekers of all levels. By taking previous titles or positions out of the picture, you can direct recruiters to evaluate your abilities rather than your experience. 

Catering to the qualities your goal job requires is vital. Think communication, problem solving, or project management to start off the list. 

Just make sure to strive for truthful uniqueness—being able to “think outside the box” or “play for the team” is standard nowadays. 

 Secure some references.

After years of school, sports, and part-time jobs, you’re bound to have picked a favorite teacher or coach to serve as reference. References—when chosen right—show hiring managers what you’re like beyond the skills or positions listed on your resume. 

Securing a reliable reference means gaining easy access to someone who can vouch for you and give you the head start you need when applying for your next job. 


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