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You are somewhere in your (hopefully) four year college career and, if you’ve not already figured this out, the experience is likely to be different than you envisioned when you began. Whatever your major (and no matter how many times you change your major), your ultimate goal is to have a career in the field of your choice (which is hopefully your dream career). But your four years of college may not be enough to land the job of your choice. Graduation does guarantee a job. On the contrary, your college diploma just means you are now qualified to look for a job. But why wait until you graduate. Why not get a head start on the job hunting process? To do this, you need to add a second major as early in your college career as possible. Your second major should be Job Search Preparation.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Major – No, this is not about taking “Your Major 101“, this is about understanding how and where your major is applied in the working world. Now is the time to explore the types of careers and jobs that use your major. Use your college years to research companies, connect with industry groups and start to build the network you will need when you graduate.
Experience, Experience, Experience – Need I say more? Education is great, but experience is even better. Use your four years at college to get some work experience in your major. This can be done in many different ways. Internships (as many as you can do), Work/Study, volunteering, etc. There are many ways to get experience before you graduate and hands-on experience is what will give you an advantage over those graduates who’ve not done the same.
- Ways to get career-related experience during college
- Internships as Career Experience
- How to Find an Internship
Job Search Marketing Toolkit – If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you are familiar with my Job Search Marketing Toolkit approach. While most of the “tools” look like they are geared towards experienced workers, this is not always the case. You should start building your resume, cover letters, interview skills and elevator speech now (see the next topic for Networking). Yes, these tools will change as you gain experience, but by creating these documents early in your college career you will have well defined tools by the time you graduate.
- Critical steps for building a resume in college and landing a job after graduation
- 5 Tips for Creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile
- Building Your Resume for Life After College
Networking – Build Yours Now – It is never too early to build your network, arguably the most valuable tool during your entire career. So, you may ask, how do you build a network in college? Everyone you meet potentially becomes part of your network. Your family, your classmates, your roommates, your professors, and so on. Build your network now.
- 6 Ways to Network While You’re in College
- 6 Links to Networking for Job Search – It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You
- Tips on How to Network While Still in College
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,