Four years sounds like a long time. 8 semesters sounds far more fleeting. 8 semesters give or take one or two additional semesters is the amount of time that the majority of college students have. You want to spend this time creating experiences for yourself that you can add to your resume and discuss during the job interview. There are far too many activities, clubs and programs at most schools for you to spend that time just going to class. It is your responsibility to use that time wisely. In many ways that means you will develop yourself holistically into a candidate that employers will want to hire. Dont’ waste time by thinking that you have alot of time. You will learn soon that those 8 semesters go by very quickly. Spend the time you do have getting most of your college experience. This means getting involved in ways that are meaningful.
Are you the student who ONLY attends events that targets your major? For instance, if your major isn’t in the title of the event you don’t show up or if your major isn’t mentioned in the job description you don’t apply. Unless an event or program specifically bars your attendance or participation I’d like for you to consider using every recruiting activity on your school’s campus as a way to showcase your brand and learn about the various opportunities that companies offer. Events and activities are a good way for you to practice communicating your message. The more events you attend the better you get at meeting people and expanding your personal contact network. You may also be exposed to new industries and companies and ways to utilize your major that you not have previously considered. Don’t limit your job search experience by simply focusing on events that apply to your major. Think outside of the box and expand your horizons just a bit by participating in something that doesn’t seem to relate to your area of study; you may uncover an area that becomes a new interest.
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.