Though it’s true the job search does involve a bit of luck since there may be hundreds of applicants for a coveted position, there are ways you can begin to prepare in advance (during college) to put yourself in a good spot to land your ideal first job out of college.
Nothing feels more rewarding than waking up each morning and going to a job that you enjoy doing. There are no specific steps to land the ideal first gig after college, but there are techniques you can use while still in college to gain the skills and knowledge about the industry you want to work in and possibly put yourself a leg up on the competition. Here they are:
LinkedIn opens the door to many potential links even before preparing to job search. Not only is it effective for college students and recent grads, but it will continue to be impactful as you move along in your career. The potential to find and network with many different individuals, including those in your field of interest, presents unlimited opportunities to get some advice, feedback, references, and maybe even news about a job posting via word of mouth (hypothetically).
This website also has many job openings posted daily in which you can apply to. It’s a great idea to get a LinkedIn in college and start to build a strong network that may come in handy after college graduation.
More times than not, a summer internship or volunteer work helps you stand out to employers. That is a college graduate’s substitute for work experience. Internships are like a mini-preview of a job, and doing one in your anticipated career field before graduation strengthens your resume and allows you to evaluate your interests once again to see if you continue wanting to work in that field after learning more about it.
Internships could also effectively end a job search if the internship company reaches out and extends an offer of employment at the end of one. Therefore, it’s important to put forth your best effort in these because you may be auditioning for a future role in the same company you intern for.
Because you won’t have years upon years of experience when getting out of college, joining clubs or participating in events/activities related to your field of interest at least shows that you are actively staying involved and trying to get some knowledge about said interest.
A lot of campuses have diverse clubs these days, and they can tailor to many different interests while providing building blocks for not only developing general workforce skills, but maybe even specific skills for your ideal job after graduation.
Of course, knowing exactly what type of job you want after college won’t hurt. Doing research on various fields of work that you can enter with your degree can help you whittle down the specific job titles you want to pursue after graduation.
Also, researching the career advancement track in your desired field helps. If you want to end up at a certain high-level position in the future, consider the different job titles that come before that. It might help filter a potential internship search to a specific type which allows you to begin that ascent to stardom.
Finding what your ideal job is may take some time depending on how wide your interests are. However, there are multiple ways to assess different interests, and narrow it down to a true passion. Sometimes it may require more effort or time to land a job in your field, but putting in the effort to get yourself to that stage, whether it’s through making connections, strengthening your resume, or doing some research, is worth the effort if your dream comes true.
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