In between the parties, classes and late night meals, at the end of the day, college students will always be concerned about their next step in life. It seems far off when you’re in your freshmen year, but soon enough the internships begin and job applications are soon to follow.
I’ve found that so many students feel overwhelmed and confused by the job hunt. It’s not as scary as it seems, but the process shouldn’t be taken lightly. As I begin my own job search, here are three tools I’ve found to be incredibly useful in my career preparation.
Start With the Career Center
If your campus is fortunate enough to have a career center, don’t squander the opportunity to take advantage of it. Career centers will typically help you refine your résumé, prep for interviews or narrow down your job search. The earlier you see them, the better (I’m talking to you, freshmen). Often, there will be an advisor specifically for your major that can navigate the industry with you and make sure you’re on track for success.
Show an Interest in Your Future
Taking advantage of outside learning experiences that can connect you with friendly professionals. Forming a relationship with these people can connect you with others who are hiring and help you refine your skills. I’m reminded of a recent event I was a part of in which the CEO of a major company visited campus. Students who were willing to take their future into their own hands were able to setup informational interviews with the CEO over winter break! Who knows where that might take them, all because they showed an interest in their career. Be proactive in learning, don’t just join the right organizations, find unique opportunities to make yourself stand out.
You’re a millennial. Like it or not, you’re expected to navigate technology and hold yourself to a professional standard in the real world. Start by building a professional image on social media. I’ve found Twitter to be a great way to build your personal brand and network, while LinkedIn is a strong contender for keeping up with networking contacts. But when it comes to sites that connect students directly with major employers, CollegeFeed takes the cake (our Internet handle cousin!).
CollegeFeed allows you to build out an online profile that acts just like a digital résumé. Once your profile is complete, they’ll shop you around to employers that you’re interested in. We’re talking about some big names here, from Google to Facebook and IBM. The site is just for connecting students to employers, and they’re taking care of the hardest part of the job search: getting in front of the hiring manager. I highly recommend getting started as soon as possible.
Questions on your job search? Don’t be afraid to ask questions in the comments or send an email, I’m always willing to help another student figure things out.