Career Tips for College Students: 4 Prerequisites for Career Bound Collegiates
The first day of class is over and for many millennials this is the last year to get it together as campus life as you know it is coming to an end. This time next year you hope to trade in your graphic tees for a suit jacket and collar shirt. Just like your freshman level coursework was to prepare you for you thesis projects, your final years of college are to prepare you for life as an entry-level employee. Take this time and use it wisely because this will be the content for your resume. Your activities (or lack of there of) will be what is included on your cover letter to a potential employer and an empty word doc isn’t how you will land that corporate gig you hoped for.
Make an appointment with career services.
Many if not all colleges have career services centers that offer support to help you in your transition from college student to career professional. Services include resume writing assistance, interviewing skills training, career fairs and internal job boards with postings from potential employers. Career services counselors are great resources for aide as they are employed by your institution to do just that, help you prepare for life after college. This department also offers speaking engagements hosted by professionals and leaders in various industries that give a slice of life account about the company and job opportunities.
Create a resume
So I guess you are wonder how exactly am I supposed to create a resume when I lack industry specific job experience? Yes, that is the expectation and you do have experience, you have transferable skills that you have acquired through your volunteer work and student activities. If you have planned events for your class, you have experience in event management. Maybe you created flyers for a campus play, you have graphics and marketing experience. Makes sense right? Now for the fun part, an empty resume is not appealing to a potential employer, so formatting your resume accordingly can make the difference in a job offer and an unpaid externship. There 3 basic types of resumes – chronological, functional and combination. My initial recommendation for college students is the functional resume as it highlights your skills rather than specific job experience. However, it is best to research the resume format that suits your experience best.
Connect and stay connected with your classmates
This is an obvious way to connect with your industry peers, but it also most often forgotten. More than likely, your classmates have been group members and you’ve been able to establish rapport whether through your amazing or uneventful work ethic. These relationships are fundamental, as your classmates will soon become extensions of your network. You will find many of them will have jobs at companies or with agencies that may be of some assistance to your company or you personally. Connecting with classmates with the same interest should be a definite on your to do list.
Become a peer to a professor
When you first entered your campus you may not have realized that your professors were more than just resources for knowledge they were professionals with networks. They have attended and spoken at conferences; written books; and appeared as guest correspondents on media shows. Your professors are heavily armed with networks that could catapult you onto the path of a dream career via a simple intro email. You are one of many in their classrooms, so its important you take charge of the relationship and make yourself visible. Schedule a time during their office hours to have a conversation on your goals and request their assistance, you will be surprised how willing they will be to assisting you. Your success is a reflection of their tutelage.
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Jai Ferrell is a former corporate entertainment marketing executive turned self appointed social scientist commencing an experiment via Corporate & Unemployed. CorporateandUnemployed.com a social blog chronicling the journey to entrepreneurship or something like it in life after living a career.
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