10 tips to help you make the leap from convocation to career

Networking, self-care and much more for life post-post-secondary

Congratulations! All those hours spent in class and labs, on course work and projects, and studying and writing exams have been worth it. You've graduated – gainful employment and future prosperity, here you come!

We've dug into our archives to help you make the leap from convocation to career. From marketing yourself to self-care to much more, here are tips from alumni and staff who put in the hours, did the projects, wrote the exams and, just like you will, saw it all pay off.

1. Become a master of LinkedIn

how to use linkedin to get a jobLinkedIn has 900 million users all around the world. For those who know how to make the most of this professional networking tool, that can mean a lot of opportunities.

Recruiter Shannon Neighbour (Marketing '00) has ideas on how to do it.

2. Get an awesome headshot

headshots by Jeanette SesayIt takes less than a second for a viewer to decide how much they'll trust a person based on seeing a face.

Leave prospective employers with the right impression with these simple tips from photographer Jeanette Sesay (Photographic Technology ’10).

3. Networking for introverts

networking for introverts illustrationMost job opportunities never even get posted. How do you find them? You get out there and meet the people who know about them.

That's not always fun if you're an introvert. To make it manageable, try these tips from human resources expert Chantelle Svensen-Lewis (Marketing ’01).

4. Perfect your handshake

Know that you will be judged on how you shake someone's hand. Too hard sends one undesireable message, too soft sends another. The technique in the gif is another situation entirely.

From JR Shaw School of Business instructor Keven McGhan (Finance '89), here's how to apply the Goldilocks of grips.

5. Write an awesome resumé

how to write a great resumeGleaned from employers and HR staff who participate in NAIT's annual Career Fair, these seven tips are the foundation of the one-pager that tells a hiring manager everything they need to know about why you're the one for them.

Here's why spelling still counts, why it's OK to brag (if done right), why you shouldn't have a goofy email address, and more.

6. The cover letter is not dead

how to write a cover letterAs a companion piece to that resumé, the cover letter is a useful tool for promoting your personal brand, says one NAIT academic adviser. But it’s not actually all about you.

The key is to align your story with that of your potential employer. This article takes you step by step through the process.

7. Keep calm as you search on

how to start meditatingCompetition is a big part of landing a job, and competition is stressful. A simple, effective and inexpensive way to deal with that stress is through meditation.

Not sure how to do it? Yoga instructor Amanda Bell-Tardif (Personal Fitness Trainer ’09) has tips.

8. Have a positive attitude

how to have a positive attitudeWhen you're not meditating your stress away, relieve it by changing your perspective.

A positive attitude comes with practise, and it's worth the effort. Research shows that positive people have better mental well-being, a stronger immune system and even live longer.

These six steps from a NAIT instructor can help you adopt a worldview that will benefit you in everything you do.

9. Be a good person

how to be a good person and also successfulDuring an address to a previous graduating class, NAIT honorary degree recipient and investment adviser CJ Woods undid the myth that nice people finish last. 

In addition to the need to be positive and proud of yourself, Woods empasizes the importance of listening, showing gratitude and giving back.

Check out these seven tips that none of us, whether we're looking to land that dream job or are lucky enough to have found it, can afford to forget.

10. Celebrate!

illustrated soup, hamburger and doughnutYou've done it! The least you can do is treat yourself.

Gather some family and friends and head to a great restaurant (allow us to suggest one from this guide where fellow grads do the cooking). Raise a glass to mark the occasion.

You've earned it.

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