The “real world” might still seem distant, but talk to anybody who has graduated college already, and they’ll say the next year’s gonna fly. So it’s best you start training yourself now, champ, because we want you to kick that job market’s butt!
Where to start? Here are some winning college opportunities every rising senior should grab now to land a job next year.
1. Get your leader on.
You are sitting in an oasis of leadership opportunities. You look far in the distance and you see … wait … yes, an entire clubs and organizations roster at your disposal!
When it comes to applying for jobs, it often doesn’t even matter what you were involved in to build leadership skills as long as you were passionate about whatever it was. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have to be the club president. Organizing events shows that you’re killer at time and project management. Being a treasurer shows that you’re responsible and analytical. Being on an editing team shows you have an eye for detail.
Whatever it is, take those opportunities to go the extra mile and show your expertise, or your ability to help run a discussion. A leader knows, and a leader shows.
2. A mentor: Your new bestie.
You are literally in a bubble filled with experts.
Those people who talk to you excitedly at the front of your classroom? They are your new BFFs. Whether or not you’re planning to get a job in the field you are studying, you can talk to professors about what kinds of opportunities are available for people with your background and experience. They’ve probably got some wicked cool stories, too. I remember discussing life after college as an English major, and my research professor ended up telling me about her good friend, Jack Kerouac. What. These folks are happy to guide you to the types of jobs available and the types of skills you need to refine before you jump into the job market.
Also, start connecting with classmates. (Build a LinkedIn. Seriously, build a LinkedIn and start connecting with your peers before you’ve graduated, lost touch, and it becomes awkward.) Your peers might be able to help you more than you think in the coming years.
3. Visit your career center.
You may have never been there, or you may not even know where it is. But your career center is a goldmine. Are you 100% sure you have a badass resume? One that highlights core competencies and doesn’t say too much? Probably not, and that’s what your career center is for. Don’t forget they have trained professionals at your disposal for cover letter edits, networking opportunities, job search secrets, and internship openings.
4. Get a job. All of them.
Let’s just start off by saying that a part-time job/internship is one of the best opportunities of your student life. Doing an internship or having any job in college is like jumping to the top of the list of job candidates. Why? Because experience. You’ll be able to show that you can work hard outside of academia, and you’ll learn a ton in the process.
Are you maybe making copies and getting coffee? Yes. But are learning how companyculture plays into a job, how effectivecommunication works, how to drive a company’s mission, how toget sh** done, and how to be a teamplayer? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Hundreds of other grads will be applying to the same jobs you are, so get ahead and learn more soft and hard skills needed for the job before you apply.
It’s never too early to start. This year is about focus and commitment. Good luck, senior. Knock ‘em dead.