Looking to land a job straight out of college or university?
While there are many reasons to pursue higher education, landing a decent, good-paying job in the future is probably one of them.
After spending 4+ years investing time, money and effort into getting a degree, you don’t want to spend months struggling even to land an interview. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many new graduates.
However, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for the job market and optimize your employability, even while you’re still studying.
Here are five tips to landing a job straight out of college.
It’s Never Too Early To Start Building Your Resume
Once you graduate, you will be thrust into a pool of new graduates, all seeking work, often in the same industry as you. If you want to get noticed and get the job of your dreams, then you need to stand out in the crowd.
This means you should aim to start building your resume as soon as possible. You also need to work as building one that is not only impressive but also unique.
Alongside good grades, internships and volunteer work, you’ll want to include any experience that might be relevant. And that might help you stand out from other new graduates.
If possible, see if you can add more stand-out accomplishments like a cultural exchange experience, a second language, a martial arts degree, or even a stint as a sports captain throughout your time at college, which might highlight your leadership skills.
Having a variety of accolades and experiences like these will help you catch your potential employers’ attention.
This is especially true for students taking non-vocational majors, like philosophy, literature or history of art.
While your degree is a valuable and worthwhile experience, it’s often unlikely that employers will hire you based on it alone.
Networking is not necessarily shallow people bragging about themselves and exchanging business cards. It can be about genuine interactions and bonding between people. People who subsequently decide to collaborate and help each other out career-wise.
Just think about how many people land interviews and jobs because of a friend’s referral.
Finding opportunities to meet people and giving off a good impression of yourself (both professionally and socially) will be immensely helpful when it comes to getting a job. Especially straight out of college or university.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to look into all kinds of networking.
This includes, but is not restricted to, organized networking events where you can meet people working in your industry. As well as joining community groups, clubs, social gatherings, academic societies etc.
Show up, know your stuff and stay open-minded. You might find doors opening up that you’d never even considered.
Start an Internship
Relevant internships will accelerate you on your career path.
Hiring personnel is expensive, and when it comes to dishing out serious salaries, employers want to be sure that a candidate is worth the investment.
Taking on interns is relatively low risk for employers, as they don’t cost much, and there is no pressure to hire them after.
However, if you can convince an employer during an internship that you can be an asset to the company. Then, you might well secure yourself a job after graduating.
Even if you don’t land a job with the company you intern for, the work experience will prove invaluable. You can earn yourself professional references to use for future job applications.
However, not all internships are paid, which poses a challenge for many students who rely on having an income. In this case, you can try seeking out paid opportunities or additional financial student aid to help you out.
Choose Your Major Wisely
Suppose your principal aim is to pay off your student debt and have a comfortable financial situation as soon as possible after school. In that case, you need to prioritize choosing a major which will ensure your employment.
The fact is that majors like Engineering, Computer Science and Nursing yield far better employment rates than, for instance, Classics or Comparative Literature.
While you shouldn’t sacrifice the things you love, it’s still good to keep in mind that not all majors offer the same employment rates.
Keep Your Expectations In Check
When you’re fresh out of college or university, the reality is that you’re probably not the best candidate for most positions. Especially when you’re up against experienced professionals, you might not always make the cut.
With that in mind, instead of aiming for the stars from the get-go, try pursuing more obtainable jobs with entry-level positions at first. And then, aiming higher once you’ve got some experience under your belt.
The Bottom Line
Being at college means you’re already on the fast-track to steady employment. Therefore, it’s best to make the most of your education and take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you.
This way, you really can’t go wrong when it comes to landing a job after your graduate.