After a large investment in your education, you want to reap the rewards of a college education with a well-paying job. Unfortunately, a degree does not guarantee you a job. A career search involves a lot of planning and hard work. Use these tips to avoid the pitfalls that many college students make and find a job after you graduate.
Do an Internship
While you are still in college, complete an internship. Learn about a variety of positions available within a professional industry. Think of yourself as an employee and adhere to professional procedures. Many people find direct employment through their internship. Even if a position is not available, you can still make valuable contacts to help you find a job at another company.
One of the best ways to make yourself more marketable in the job market is to earn certification. Some employment opportunities in the job market actually require it. This means whatever field you are planning on going into, it would be smart to get a certification that shows your employer that you are qualified for that position. For example, if you are looking to become a health care aide you will need to receive some sort of certification. Many schools offer programs for people to receive the proper training and receive their certification.
Find a Mentor
A mentor provides guidance for achieving your career goals, and studies show that women, especially, benefit from having a mentor. Research people in positions of interest to you, and reach out to those that share your interests. Formal mentoring networks exist in some locations to help you find a potential mentor.
Reach out to Alumni
Every college keeps a list of alumni and their current occupations. A request to the alumni office can present you with a list of people within a chosen field, common major, or geographical area. Choose alumni within your area of interest and setup information interviews. Ask them about their career experience, to shadow them for a day, and to help you expand your professional network.
Use the Career Services Center
A university’s career services center is often one of the most underutilized, yet most valuable, resource for students. Introduce yourself to the office and discover resources as a freshman. Continue to reach out for help throughout your time at college. Most career centers offer resume assistance, mock interviews, job posting, internship placement and general advice for getting out into the job market.
Start a Blog
Upon graduating college, you should have the tools to write well. Combine your writing skills with your industry knowledge to create a blog. Make sure it is an online presence that you want future employers to see. Show prospective employers that you can keep abreast with the latest industry news while using your analytic skills to find interesting angles on current events. Use your blog to network with other bloggers within the industry and through social media.
Begin your job search before you graduate to maximize your potential to find a job. Stay motivated while you begin your first career search. Keep your expectations realistic, and find a job that offers plenty of career growth to help you eventually achieve your dream job.