College graduation is right around the corner and for many, this marks one of the most exciting and liberating moments experienced in our lifetime. If you’re one of those college seniors, be sure to take some time to celebrate and reflect on how far you’ve come. You’ve spent the last 17+ years in school and that’s a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but now it’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it to the ‘real world’. After all, setting yourself up for future success is the reason why most of us go to college in the first place. And yes, this is bound to cause a bit of apprehension, but finding your first job out of college doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Visit the Career Center
If you’re a college senior, you probably know about the existence of your school’s career center. It’s possible you’ve even visited it once or twice, and if that’s the case, pat yourself on the back. Career centers are one of the most important services offered by colleges or universities, yet they’re severely underutilized by students. Advisors are there to help you to draft a killer resume, practice interview questions, put you in the know about amazing internship opportunities, and even help you to land your very first job. So put that tuition money to good use and meet with your school’s career center as soon as possible.
Beef Up Your Resume
For many of us, resume writing is no easy task. Even seasoned professionals have a hard time putting their experiences and accomplishments down on paper. But the process becomes even more daunting when you’re a soon to be grad with little to no work experience under your belt. If you’re going for your first job it’s completely fine to include things like academic achievements, clubs you participated in, sports you’ve played, and any volunteer work. It’s also important to tailor your resume to the job you’re seeking, so listing any courses, projects, or research you’ve completed that are relevant to the job will make your experiences more visible to hiring managers.
Land an Internship
After you draft a resume, it will be much easier to land an internship. Internships are a great way for you to get an idea of what a job looks like before taking on a full-time role. They can help you to realize what aspects of a job you excel in and enjoy, so you narrow down exactly what you want to do in the future. With many companies, internships even have the potential to turn into a full-time position. Your college career center can be a great place to find out about these opportunities, but there are plenty of online job search sites to help you get the ball rolling.
Network with Professionals
Professional networking is also a great way to find out about internships and other career opportunities. Attending networking events hosted by your college or by a company you’re interested in will put you in direct contact with professionals in your field. Ask questions and use this time to learn more about the industry, the day to day of the job you want, and how others were able to get their first job in that field. To avoid losing touch with the contacts you’ve made, it can be beneficial to join a social networking platform, such as LinkedIn. Grow your professional network by adding professors and classmates.
The employment rate in the US is currently around 4%, but for college grads, it’s nearly half that, at 2.1%. By earning your bachelor’s degree, you’re greatly increasing your ability to find a great job and how much you’ll be paid. Using the career center at your college and networking are two of the best ways to help you land the job of your dreams.