Sleeping until noon, weekends that begin on Fridays and the privilege of studying are among the perks of undergraduate life, yet a benefit that is often overlooked is the employers who descend on college campuses each academic year to recruit the best and brightest for their respective companies. In fact many students ignore this access to opportunity all together. My suggestion: DONT. Chances are if you are enrolled at a college or University in the United States there are companies looking for you. Take advantage of their willingness to woo you. In order to be wooed you have to be present. Show up. This may require that you sleep a little less, invest time into your job search and wait until the Friday career fairs end before you begin your weekend, but the pay off in the form of job offer or internship is worth it don’t you think?
It’s summer vacation and many of you are either in an internship or working in various areas (retail, bartending, serving). Summer vacation is a great time to plan and prepare your self marketing strategies for the Fall.
Begin to think strategically about where you wish to be hired during the upcoming recruiting season and create a concrete plan to target those organizations. Build relationships within and outside of your business unit and organization. Research companies and individuals of interests and develop contacts. Seek advice or suggestions from indviduals who are currently in a role that you find interesting. Remember to update your resume.
One of my greatest challenges is when I encounter a job searcher or student that doesn’t have much on their resume. They’ve spent their time going to work or getting through school and have paid little attention to developing other aspects of their lives. Employers want people with skills, knowledge and abilities. Work experience and school are not the only opportunities to enrich yourself in these areas. Get involved in local charities or organizations. Volunteer and become members of professional groups. You can add value to your self and you’ll have something interesting information to include in your resume. Spend some time looking at your resume. What does it reflect? What can you add to make yourself more appealing? Is it a new skill, professional membership, language proficiency, training course, challenging project or something else? If you find that you are lacking in areas to add to your resume that means you need to get work. It is really difficult to edit or create a resume if you have limited information to add. Get something to add to your resume. This will make you more valuable and ultimately lead to interesting discussions during the interview.
What steps are you taking today to achieve your ultimate career goal?
What projects are you pursuing that demonstrates your commitment to your stated area of interest?
What are you doing to prove that you are more than just talk?
For example if you have an interest in fashion how does your resume and experience showcase your dedication to this area? What have you done that illustrates your passion and excitement for this field? For example have you interned with any designers? Do you write or contribute to fashion blogs? How about a YouTube show where you discuss fashion trends? It isn’t enough to have lofty and exciting goals, you must also demonstrate your commitment to these goals based on your activities. Your activities serve to a potential employer as proof of your stated area of interest. If you can’t showcase your interest then it’s just talk.
This is a sample college recruiting cycle based on a traditional fall and spring semester academic year. Students should be ready in the fall to interview and connect with employers. Begin early and utilize the resources your career services center has to offer.