Lynn Millspaugh is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, photographer and writer. She is currently working in Chicago, Illinois on a documentary film project about therapy dogs and the advancements in animal-assisted therapy today. Aside from her film project, she is a regular contributor to Time Out Chicago Magazine, Travelzoo and several other global publications.
Many college students are daunted with the idea that today’s economy is not conducive to getting hired after school. There has to be a payout for the years of stress, final exams, broadening of our minds. Ideally, the college experience makes individuals more independent and aware of their career goals. Here are the best things you can do for yourself to get hired after school.
1. Intern Early
Students know that getting an internship is important to their career, but don’t wait until senior year. Getting a job at the student center coffee shop may seem less stressful at the time, but interning at a company with wide brand recognition will alleviate job search stress later.
2. Be Smart On Social Media – Get LinkedIn
LinkedIn is like an online resume that allows you to get in touch with professionals who may want to hire you. It’s easy to fill out, and a wise idea. Say for example, you want to work at a particular ad agency as an account executive. You can connect with people in your specific position of interest or try to get in touch with their HR representative. It’s also a good way for students to help each other out by endorsing the skills of their peers and highlighting professional projects they’ve worked on as a team. Connect with as may people you can and know that you can always change your profile to keep it updated.
3. Seek Advice from a Mentor
It is important for college students to find someone who is doing what they want to do. Work with or simply get coffee with professors who are working in their field. Connect with people on LinkedIn who are in positions you aspire to be in. Realize that relationships with people are going to be more beneficial than just being a hard worker and having a strong resume. Be proud and independent, but also strategic about how other professionals can help guide you to where you want to be.
4. Get Your Money’s Worth! Use The School Resources
Seems like a no-brainer, right? You are paying loads of money to attend college, you better make the most out of it. Studies show that only 1 in 3 college students use their career center. This office can connect students with alum in their field, help with résumé and cover letter writing, and job interview preparations.
5. Join Professional Clubs and Volunteer.
Chances are your school has a Marketing Club, Finance Club or some sort of professional group in your field of interest. Publish a story in your school’s newspaper, volunteer to improve your community. There are many clubs and volunteer opportunities that have less of a barrier to entry than internships and jobs, but can lead to a full time gig.