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You’ve Graduated – What’s Next?

You survived your college years and now you must decide what you want to do with your future. What are your plans? Are you considering graduate school? Are you seeking work? If you are seeking a specific job, then you need to conduct a specific job search. Do something different if you want different results. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions from Career Services:

1) Contact Graduate Admissions

If you are considering an additional graduate or professional degree, check out the University of Oklahoma programs and deadlines and connect with a specific, designated contact from each college and from Graduate Admissions.

For more details, go to Graduate Admissions and Recruitment – Programs and Deadlines.


2) Research Career Fields

  • Dedicate time every day to your job search. Treat it like you would an important appointment, class, assignment or workout session; make yourself accountable and keep track of what you find.
  • Take some time to build a list of job titles. Be specific in your search, capture the titles in a list or add to your Excel spreadsheet; write it down and continue to build this list.
  • Get a small notebook or make a list on your phone. Write down new job titles, companies and industries that people encourage you to check out, and continue to add to your list or Excel spreadsheet.
  • Explore different industries. Determine where you can work with the job titles selected, be specific and build your list of industries, and conduct research through the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*Net – examples listed below.

If you are having trouble deciding what you want to do as a future career, regardless of your major, then consider conducting more research. Here is an example of what you will find in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and O*Net.

Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
The OOH is an interesting resource to learn more about:

  • Specific job titles
  • Job requirements
  • Work environment
  • Pay or job outlook
  • Similar occupations

OOH – Training and Development Manager


O*Net Online
O*Net is a great resource to learn more about:

  • An expanded list of job titles
  • Tasks, technical skills and tools used
  • Knowledge, skills and abilities requested
  • Detailed work activities

O*Net – Training and Developing Manager


3) Build Your Professional Network

  • Continue to develop and engage through your LinkedIn account. Ask people to be a recommender, search for alumni, reach out and connect with people of interest, join groups, and follow companies.
  • Reach out to people that are doing what you want to do. Consider people you already know and people you would like to get to know; every contact matters, every action matters, every application matters. Make it matter to you.


4) Prepare and Apply

  • Make sure that your résumé and cover letter are ready to go at a moment’s notice. Consider walk-in assistance or schedule an appointment to critique your résumé or to review your cover letter that can be easily updated and changed for every position.
  • Keep a list of references up-to-date. Determine who will be willing and able to speak on your behalf, possibly ask them to write a recommendation letter or to be a recommender through LinkedIn, add to your list of references to be distributed, and choose specific references for different positions.
  • Start exploring what is available. Access Handshake, CareerShift, and LinkedIn. Update your profile, search for positions, and set up job alerts.
  • Dedicate time (every day, week, etc.) to the application process. Keep track of the positions you apply for, and any follow up regarding referrals.
  • Schedule follow up. Reach out to networking contacts, conduct employer phone calls, and set up outreach campaigns.


Still have questions?

  • Go to Handshake and request an appointment with a Career Adviser.
  • Consider walk-in assistance available Monday through Thursday 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm.
    For résumé review, bring a hard copy of your résumé with you to Career Services.


Helping you get hired sooner,

Debbie Boles
Assistant Director, OU Career Services
Alumni | Graduate College | University College | International Students | Career Resources Expert | | |

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