It is the start of a new year, and for many college seniors, it is time to start thinking about the job they want to find after graduation. It may seem a bit early in the game to start your job search, but it is important to start laying the groundwork before graduation so that you have head start and are better able to compete instead of waiting to be one of many new graduates in June.
Here are some things you can do now to help you find the job you want after you graduate:
- Start building your professional network – Of course, by now you have networked with people you know from school, but it is a good idea to try to expand that network. With the increased use of social networking sites, it is easier than ever to do this. A good place to start is emailing people in the field you're interested in, even if you only want to let them know that you really like what their company is doing, or that you read an article they wrote. Join professional organizations, most of them offer discounted prices for students. Look for groups on campus that are devoted to topics within your field. Most of the time, you'll find that people are happy to share their knowledge with an energetic student.
- The next time you have a little bit of free time, visit the career services office on your campus - They are more than happy to help you find companies and jobs in your field. Do some research on companies that interest you and see what positions they have that might be a good fit for you. Read news articles about these companies and about new fields that are opening up in your desired industry as these are going to be hot careers in the future.
- Get creative - an internship can open doors and give you some hands on experience in your field. There are some other things too, that can give you real world experience. Start your own business, start a blog, look for a temp job that relates to your field. Read publications in your field.
- Think about your online presence - one of the easiest ways to hurt your future career is over sharing on social networking sites. Keep in mind that everything you do online is going to be available to future employers, business contacts, and clients.
- Don't rule out small companies - it might seem like a good move to sign on with a large cooperation early in your career. But, at a large company you run a huge risk of getting lost in the crowd. However, at a small company, you'll have a better chance to shine. Additionally, you'll have the possibility of making a real difference in the company's future success.
- Practice writing - it doesn't matter what industry you are preparing to enter or what type of job you hope to have, writing skills are the key to success. Join a writing group, take writing classes, and even read books about writing. Basically, do whatever you can to become a better writer.
Of course, college is still time to have fun and make new friends, but make sure that you spend a little bit of time planning for your future. And if you have no idea what you want to do when you graduate, spend some time now researching and getting some ideas so that you can get a head start on the other graduates hoping to find a perfect job.
Are you looking for a job? Be sure to visit CollegeJobBank.
By: Melissa Kennedy