While attending a two or four-year school is meant as a learning experience, college students should also consider those days the minor leagues of the professional job market.
Even though most students will not earn a sizeable paycheck until they enter the workforce after schooling, there are countless opportunities available while attending school to hone their job skills for when they have diploma in hand.
While in school, students have to be ready to enter the job market; a market that recently has proven harder and harder to crack.
Whether it is working one or more part-time jobs while attending school, doing an internship in your desired field or doing both, use any and all opportunities to market yourself to the outside world, especially as you get closer to graduation.
Among the things you should consider while still in school are:
- DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to prepare a resume Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Just because you are not graduating for another year or longer does not mean you should wait to prepare your resume. It is important to be compiling your resume as you go with internships, part-time jobs relevant to your desire field of work etc. While you are likely not to have a lot of job experience on your resume when first seeking full-time employment after school, highlighting your related experiences while in school is important. Think that internship didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean anything, think again;
- Putting together a professionally–looking Web site Ã¢â‚¬â€œ It is not just companies that have Web sites. More and more students are taking to the Internet to compose sites that highlight their accomplishments, abilities and more. Given the technological age that we live in, a well-constructed and informative Web site can give you a step up on other grads when you go to find your first serious job. Use your creativity or bring someone in who is knowledgeable around the Internet to put together a site that will attract the attention of employers.
- Compiling school references Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Your professors and those you intern under and/or work part-time under while in school oftentimes know you the best. Be sure to use those where youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had positive experiences and have permission from as references. In some cases, you may even be able to attain a letter of recommendation from one or more, thereby allowing you to better stand out among a crowded field of applicants for a job;
- Check the Internet for any negativity involving your name Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Whether it was that holiday social at school or the weekend trip with your best college buddies that got a little out of hand, make sure there are no questionable photos floating around the Internet that potential employers could get their hands on. By doing a simple Google search of your name, you can trace any negative comments or images that could lead a possible employer to question whether or not you would be a good hire for them. Also check your social networking accounts like Twitter, Facebook and others to scan for any comments and/or photos that could be thought of as controversial;
- Work with the schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alumni department Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Lastly, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be afraid to use the campus resources, including the schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alumni and job placement departments. While they may fall under different titles on different campuses, most if not all schools have an alumni department and some form of career placement center. These can be of great value to you, even if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re an underclassmen and not thinking about entering the workforce in the immediate future. Create the relationships early and mold them over time so that you have the ear of such departments for when you truly need them. You may think your schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s alumni department is just for alums, but if an employer has been happy with some recent graduates and is looking to higher, they may turn to your school in search of filling more positions. Use any and all networking options to better enhance your job prospect offerings.
While college students are oftentimes weighted down with their studies and social activities, it is never too early to start thinking about when the time comes to graduate and get a full-time job.
Start early with your preparations, and utilize the Internet, school connections and more to stay one step ahead of the crowd.
Dave Thomas, who covers among other subjectsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ vehicle insurance, writes extensively for business.com an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.