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6 Things I Learned To Do Before Graduating
Just before I graduated, it occurred to me I was not prepared for my job search. It was a terrible feeling. Not only was I unsure about what I wanted to do, but I didn’t really know how to find a full-time job. Looking around, I wasn’t alone. Many of my classmates were in the same situation.
Not knowing what to do next, I started writing – and I didn’t stop. I spoke with friends, classmates, recruiters, professors, professionals, and anyone who would listen about my job search. Many had advice, a few had good leads, and almost everyone had a story to share.
Things To Do Before Graduating
So, what can you do before graduating that will help you land a great entry-level job?
1. Get Involved
One of the best ways you can set yourself apart from all of the other new graduates is to be involved in extra-curricular activities. It can be something as simple as a recreational sports league, or something more complex and time consuming like student government. If you are really ambitious, try to get involved in a diverse range of activities and clubs. This will show your range and depth to any recruiter you come across.
At this point, your network will likely consist of family, friends, professors, and potentially some summer job contacts. However, it is never too early to start networking. Colleges and Universities are great places to meet all sorts of people. Most important of all, you will graduate and become part of an extensive alumni network which you should take advantage of at every opportunity. Never stop networking. It’s the best way to advance your career.
3. Visit Your Career Center
The staff at your Career Center will be a great source of information in your job search. They will have contacts with companies that conduct on-campus recruiting and may even hold “meet-and-greets” with recruiters. In addition, they will likely run workshops and provide written materials for helping you on your way.
When you graduate, you will be applying for jobs and competing against hundreds of other new graduates with the same level of experience as you. If you want to be able to compete on a level above just school and marks, try to build your resume. Summer jobs, part-time jobs and volunteer work are a great way to gain experience before graduation. Not only that, but it shows a recruiter that you are both motivated and can handle the increased pressures of both work and academic life.
5. Clean Up Your Online Image
There have been many stories in the media over the last few months about Facebook profiles landing their owners in hot water. It this digital age, anything that you post online (or is posted about you) can potentially be seen by recruiters. While you are still in school, search through Google and your social networking sites to ensure any potentially embarrassing pictures or information are not found by an HR manager.
6. Have Fun
Don’t forget, you are only in college for a few years. A “Work Hard, Play Hard” philosophy is the best way to ensure you don’t regret anything in the future.
Finding your first job is never easy, but with enough patience and persistence, one can be found.
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