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Tips for College Students (aka my future clients)

The job market is improving for those graduating from college these days especially for those who plan well. Here are 4 tips to improve your chances of landing a great job:

1. Think of your resume as a direct extension of you. It has the power to open doors or slam them shut. Go to your career office for free templates and advice. Really spend time on it. Share your draft with friends, family and professors until you get it right, and be open-minded to constructive criticism. When you are happy with how it looks be sure to save it as a PDF file so it does not get edited when you send it out to prospective employers.

2. It’s never too early to start using Linkedin. If you are not familiar, it is like Facebook, only for work and professional networking. Never post anything that is less than completely professional. Write your profile then join relevant job groups such as your college group, groups associated with your major and other focus groups that you may be interested in. Most colleges/universities also have alumni groups which can be very helpful if you are looking for a summer internship or even an introduction to potential employers.

3. Skip the beach lifeguarding job during college summers and focus on landing an internship in your major. Even unpaid internships, if you can afford it, will give you great experience and make a big difference down the road when you graduate. Many colleges offer grants to pay for summer internships if money is a problem. This will give you the opportunity to see if you thrive working in certain environments and will beef up your resume. Network with your professors, use job boards such as Indeed. com, and contact friends/family to find connections and opportunities.

4. At the end of your summer job, ask for feedback on how you did and for advice on areas where you could improve. Ask your manager if they could be a reference for you in the future. Thank them for opening the door and giving you an opportunity to work in your chosen area. Hopefully you will be able to return the favor to other developing professionals later in your career.

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