Make That College Job Count
If the first two years at college is figuring out how to navigate college, then the last two years should be spent on preparing yourself for the job market after graduation. As if classes, projects, studying, money issues, and a social life aren’t enough on your plate, you have to figure out the job thing. Here are a few tips.
Don’t Work on Campus
There are a lot of articles out there that tell you that working on campus is the perfect solution. That might be true for freshmen and sophomores looking to make easy cash and up their campus profile, but upper classmen need to concentrate on a career path. Working as a library monitor isn’t going to bulk up your resume when you are looking for a graphic design job.
Utilize the Career Center
Your first move should be to visit your college career center. There are files and files of internship opportunities at local companies. What do you think will look better on your resume, library monitor or intern at a top graphic design firm?
Also have the career center look over your resume to make sure it’s the best it can be. At this point in your life you might not have more to write than library monitor, but the career center can help you spin that a bit.
Set up a LinkedIn profile. Use the resume that the career center helped you with to create a good profile. Make sure that you have a professional photo too. Next join the associations on LinkedIn that have to do with your desired profession. Be active in the association’s forums. Don’t just ask for help; try to add to the conversation. Found an awesome book about the industry? Post it. Read a great article; put the link in to share.
Only take paid internships. Anything else is a waste of your time. You don’t expect your drycleaner to clean your sweater for free. So why is it okay for companies to ask you to work for free? It isn’t. Never work for free. No matter how new you are to the job market, you still have valuable insights and ideas. Any company knows that the new employee is valuable based off of the simple concept of a fresh mindset.
Time to Learn
Your college courses are not the real world. Yes, you are learning vital information to help you succeed in the job market, but you might still be confused as to what the job really looks like. A job at a company that does exactly what you think you might want to do is the perfect learning opportunity. Maybe you’ll realize that it isn’t what you want to do with your life. Maybe your eyes will be opened to job titles you’ve never even heard of, but realize are amazing. It will help you to navigate your career path.