Saturday, April 4, 2015, PM | Leave Comment
Long gone the time when a college degree guarantees a job in your chosen field after graduation. In fact, even a master degree today offers no such guarantee.
Here is a startling fact: in 2013, 8.8% of college graduates are unemployed. A much larger group, 18.3%, is reported to be underemployed. This means they are working at a position and pay rate below their academic qualification.
The number just proves the harsh reality of how competitive the job market is.
For today’s market, if you wait until graduation, or even as late as the senior year to think about getting a job, you may be too late.
So how do you make sure that your dream job will become a reality after graduation? The answer is simple: start to do your prep work as early as freshman year.
Ace all your college classes
While a good academic record alone cannot guarantee a good job, it is still an essential part of your education. Many freshmen think they can skip class and work on their assignment at the last minutes, now that they are in college.
However, the damage to their GPA cannot be reversed once the semester is over.
Having a good academic record shows potential employer that you are willing to learn and not afraid of putting in your best effort.
By attending your college classes regularly, you will also find that the coursework is often designed to simulate a professional working environment.
A college class often provides a great opportunity to develop different desirable characteristics, such as team work, presentation skills, and the ability to work within deadlines.
Get connected to the right people
In college, you are practically placed into a group of like-minded people, who are inspired to be in the same professional field.
It is true that some of the connections you make in college will be the most lasting ones in your life. Plus, these are the people that you will be most likely to run into during your professional career.
Therefore, it is a good time to get yourself connected to as many people as possible, from fellow students to professors, from career advisors to guest speakers from local businesses.
Start building your resume
Most often, we hear recent graduates complain about the endless circle of dilemma: you cannot get a job without experience, and cannot get experience without a job.
This is actually not true, and the myth lies in the assumption that you cannot get experience without a job.
The truth is that, you can start building your resume and gaining experience in college. Experience does not necessarily mean a full time position.
You can start applying to internship at local businesses, especially ones that need extra help in certain seasons.
Alternatively, non-profits such as church, charities, art projects, and other organizations are always in need of a helping hand.
From bookkeeping, tax filing, tutoring, or project management, there is surely a need for whatever field you are interested in.
The key is to actively approach potential employers with eagerness and demonstrate what you can do for them.
In the end, with all the fresh graduates leaving their school every year with the same enthusiasm to find work, what will set you apart from your peers?
Start thinking and planning for your career in your early college years will definitely show your effort and pay off at the end.
After all, strategic thinking and hard work are often what employers look for when hiring new candidates.
Vanessa is a professional blogger and copywriter, who is passionate about education, lifestyles and travelling topics.