The biggest concern facing college grads is “Will I have a job when I graduate?” In today’s economy, the competition for entry-level jobs is at an all-time high. Not only are recent grads applying for these positions, but so are people who have been in the field and have years of experience. College seniors and new grads must show employers that they have progressed from college student to young professional before they even leave college.
Take advantage of resources available to you at your college to build your portfolio. Instead of just telling potential employers what you might be able to accomplish, show them what you have achieved during internships and other experiences. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for experience as well as initiative, so take advantage of everything your college has to offer to show that you are driven and will be a great addition to their team.
Use your college years to build your network. Get to know your professors on a more personal level. Stop in to their office during office hours and discuss your career goals. They are experts in their fields; having them as a part of your network can open doors to internships and job opportunities. Not only do they see your performance in class, but taking that extra step proves to them that you are passionate and dedicated. They also may be able to introduce you to other experts in your field.
Utilize the power of LinkedIn to build your professional network. Create a LinkedIn account and use a personal message to invite face-to-face networking contacts to connect with you online. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting them and ask to schedule a short informational interview. This is how you leverage your network to advance your career. Contact them periodically so they will have you in mind when they hear of an opportunity that may be suitable for you. Finding a great career is all about “what you know and who you know.”
Having a college degree does not guarantee you a job, but if you take advantage of your resources and build your portfolio before it’s too late, you will stand out from the competition. Show potential employers that you are a young professional, not just a new college graduate. Good luck in your job search.Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people advance their careers with rewarding jobs that provide more than just a paycheck. As a Career Coach and Resume Writer, she takes the time to get to know each of her clients and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful.