Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How to Graduate Ahead of the Game


Graduating college is going to be one of the most exciting times of your life because unlike high school, you made a choice to go to college, and it was your dedication and hard work that earned your degree. Too often, however, panic sets in immediately after graduation because students realize that they don’t have a plan. Many of these students hoped that the future would simply fall into place for them, but, unfortunately, without planning and hard work, this is rarely the case. Don’t fall victim to this sad situation.
Instead, follow these tips while you’re still in school to ensure that graduation is followed by you moving up in the world, not moving back into your parents’ basement.

Use career planning resources.

If your college is like most schools, then it probably offers some great career planning assistance. Often staffed at least in part by recent graduates, your school’s career planning resources can provide some extremely valuable services that are utilized by far too few students. These services are usually free and can help you with everything from practicing your interviewing skills and dressing professionally, to creating the perfect resume (which is arguably your best weapon for securing a job after graduation). Career services departments also often have access to job posting databases that are otherwise available only to users who maintain a paid subscription. It’s never too early to see what you can do to start planning for your future, so visit your career services center today to ask how they can help you prepare for the working world.

Get an internship.

Many college students apply for internships only because they are a necessary component of their department’s graduation requirements, but internships are an often overlooked resource. Many companies offer full time positions to their interns, provided the intern has performed adequately, so even if your major doesn’t require you to get an internship, consider doing so anyway. Even if you have already completed your internship and were not offered a job, you should still inquire after vacant positions, regardless of how long ago your internship ended. Employers often give priority to former interns because the individual is already familiarized with the workings of the company.
Finally, although some internships are, in fact, unpaid, you should not turn them down for this reason alone. Consider these unpaid internships an investment in your future. Not only will it reward you in the form of necessary job experience, but the boost it provides to your resume could also result in a huge increase in the salary you receive after graduation.

Attend job fairs.

If you think this tip seems like common sense, you’re right, but the sad fact is, very few students take the time to attend job fairs. They may intend to, but then more immediate concerns like homework or socialization take precedence, and job fairs are left forgotten. This is incredibly unfortunate, because attending job fairs is an extremely effective way to help secure a position for after graduation. It’s a very basic arrangement: Employers in need of new hires set up a stand at a job fair, and interested parties (usually college students) attend the fair to make connections with these employers and discuss the requirements of the job.
These employers would not be present at the fair if they weren’t in need of new employees, but many of these vacant positions are advertised exclusively at job fairs, meaning these opportunities are limited only to the fair’s attendees. Furthermore, these job fairs are rarely cheap, but, as a college student, the cost of your attendance is covered by your school. If you wait until after graduation to attend job fairs, you probably won’t have the luxury of attending for free.
Using career planning services, applying for internships, and attending job fairs are all great ways to ensure that your future is well planned for. It may not seem necessary to begin planning today, but the earlier you start, the less post-graduation anxiety you’ll experience. By taking advantage of these resources, you’ll be well ahead of the game by the time you graduate.


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