With graduation season right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your job prospects once you finish college. When you’re standing in your graduation gown with a diploma in your hand, you need to remember that around the country and the world, there are many young people in your same situation. Lots of these graduates will have similar experience and education and will be vying for the same jobs.
You may be facing a tough job market, but you have an advantage over other job seekers, as university graduates are among the age group most likely to be hired. Organizations are interested in hiring young people, as they are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and have lots of energy.
To get on the right track and land a moneymaking job right after college, follow these tips:
Creating a LinkedIn profile as early as your senior year of high school is important. Gen Y expert and author Dan Schawbel predicts that LinkedIn will remain the leading professional social networking for the foreseeable future.
Even if you don’t have any work experience, list where you attend college, what you perceive your skills to be, a summary of your career interests and any extracurricular activities, including accolades or awards. Include any jobs that you’ve had, even if they are not related to your field of interest, including babysitting or summer camp, as these show your entrepreneurial spirit and show that you can shoulder responsibility.
Most employers aren’t looking through Facebook for potential employees, so get over the idea that having Facebook/Twitter/Instagram means that you have enough social media presence. That said, it is common for potential employers to look up candidates on other social media platforms, to get a more well-rounded idea of that person. Make sure you clean up your social media profiles to avoid recruiters and potential employers from finding unflattering, unprofessional photos (like you doing a keg stand at a frat party, for example).
We understand that you want to start making money as soon as you graduate, which is why having a few internships under your belt is a great starting place. These will offer you great hands-on experience and if you do a great job, you’ll have the upper hand if a position becomes available within the company.
Internships are also a great way to build up your professional contact list and boost your networking skills, especially if you haven’t done the proper networking while in college. Make sure to make a great impression and be eager and hardworking.
Once you have decided your career path and have made a list of the jobs you want to apply for, you need to make sure your resume is up-to-date. Your resume should have more than the degree you’ve earned, your summer jobs, internships and part-time jobs. Use your resume to make a stronger statement about your desired career path. Think about what you can offer an employee, and make your resume an effective marketing tool.
Use your cover letter as an opportunity to sell yourself to your potential employers. Do some research on each company you are applying to and personalize your cover letters. Address the letter to the appropriate person and show your work to your employers by making statements that show you’ve done your research, such as “[Your Company] has grown to be a market leader in [industry] and I believe it would be a great opportunity for me to join the team.”
This may seem like the most obvious way to get help with your job search, but studies reveal that only 29% of students use their college career office. This is a missed opportunity, as the office can connect you with alumni that work in the field of your interest who can act as a mentor and can help you get a job. Take advantage of the resources available, such as any alumni databases, where you can get career mentorship with alumni of your college.
You already know that having a college degree pays off, as on average, college-educated workers earn more than twice as much as workers that only have a high school diploma. If you are interested in making money, understand that your field of interest might not give you the opportunity to make lots of money especially right after graduation. It’s a smart idea to look ahead at jobs that have a high-earning potential right out of college. You may have to branch out a bit, so always keep an open mind.
Most importantly, be resilient and don’t give up! You never know what may be around the corner.
Jim Raychrudhury is a freelance writer and passionate blogger who likes writing articles that cover career and education related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family. Connect with Jim on Twitter.