Good jobs come and go, but great ones only appear every so often. Landing a great job, especially immediately after college, may seem near impossible, but preparation and determination can increase your odds of finding one.
We spoke with Andrew Pearl, co-owner of Precision Résumés, to get his best job tips for college students for increasing your odds of landing a great job.
Join a New Club
Engaging in extracurricular organizations and volunteer work lets you gain experience in your intended field and meet people in the community. Pearl says to embrace these opportunities, because “many employers and recruiters view volunteering on the same plane as a paid job, and you can use that to your advantage.”
Seek out organizations related to your field to meet others interested in the same things as you and to get the opportunity to work on projects that’ll be résumé boosters. You can also join clubs that will help you develop your skills, like a drama or debate club to help you hone your interview and presentation skills.
Attend an Industry Networking Event
Make connections, meet potential employers and learn more about your intended field by attending networking events. Pearl says networking is critical when you’re trying to find a job, regardless of whether you’re an entry-level job seeker or a top executive. Networking lets you make connections with people who can introduce you to employers looking for interns or for full-time workers.
Step Up Your Tech Skills
Technology is constantly developing in today’s world, and tech-savvy workers are in high demand. Pearl suggests enrolling in a class to develop your skills and give yourself an edge over other job candidates. Possible subjects include mastering Excel or basic coding. Classes can be for credit, through a career services seminar series or even online, at sites such as Lynda.com.
Create a Portfolio
While in school, it’s hard to gain experience within your intended field because your energy is usually focused completely on classes. But you can take that work and package it into a way that gives potential employers a sense of what you can do by creating a portfolio of your projects, Pearl says. For each project, describe the challenges you faced, actions you took to address them, and the final results.
Find a Mentor
Reach out to professors, coaches, alumni or other professionals to find a mentor that can help guide you through school and into your future career, Pearl says. Their advice can help you better understand your career options, fine-tune your skills, prepare for interviews and more. Pearl says, “Often students are resistant to reach out for help, but the majority of the time professors, alumni, deans, etc. are more than happy to help students succeed not only in school but once they graduate.”
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