College plays a vital role in preparing you for your career. From the knowledge and skills that you learn class to the networking opportunities that are offered to you in your chosen field of study, there are many resources available to help you get a headstart on your career.
Are you doing your best to prepare yourself for your future career? Read below for our top tips to build your dream career while you’re still in college:
While the contents of your resume influence the hiring process, employers really want to know that you have the skills required to do the job. If you are interested in a specific career field, what can you start doing now that will make your experience attractive to future employers? Check out different internship opportunities. If you must work at a job unrelated to your desired career field, can you volunteer on campus or for a local organization that will provide you with information and opportunities relevant to your desired career? Can you earn an extra online certificate or ask for an opportunity to job shadow a professional in your chosen industry? Not only do these activities show proactivity and passion, they can also be starting points for potential internship or job opportunities after graduation. Plus, these experiences will grant you a variety of real-life scenarios you can reference during job interviews.
Along with a solid grade point average, employers are keenly interested in how you’ve spent your time outside of class throughout your college career. Have you taken steps to improve yourself personally and professionally? If you haven’t already, then identify an interest or hobby outside of academics into which you can invest your time. Did you run track in high school? Research if your university has a running club. Animal lover? Consider volunteering at the local humane society once per week. Can’t get enough of the classroom? Ask if you can apply to be a Teaching Assistant in your department. While it may seem impossible to add anything to your already full plate, employers will be impressed you’re already learning to balance your work and personal life.
Put in the Effort
Many college graduates make the mistake of assuming a college degree will lead to an automatic job offer, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Scoring a career you love is a competitive process, which means you need to do everything you can to stand out. Apply to jobs early and often, customizing your resume and cover letter to match your experience with the job requirements. Do you have extra materials that will prove your expertise? Send them along in your email! Your materials are your first introduction to your potential future employer, so be sure to make them impressive, accurate and as close to perfect as you can.
Being a good listener is a skill that is highly underrated in the workplace. Listening builds trust, helps facilitate learning and cultivates excellent communication skills. While it may be easy to zone out and surf the internet in class, fight the urge and actively listen instead. Employers will be able to tell if you didn’t listen in your classes, and it will show when you aren’t able to execute job responsibilities they are expecting you to know. Practice honing this skill now, so that you can reap the benefits later.
College has an important purpose beyond lectures, papers and homework – achieving a successful career in a field you love! By following these tips, you’ll be prepared to not just survive, but thrive after you accept your diploma.