What college students should know about the job search before graduating

You are going to hear lots of advice from different people. Some will be helpful, some will not. Below are just a few tips as you prepare for your search.

  • Find a mentor – having someone in your corner (other than your parents) to guide you during the process is important. You need someone who you can ask for advice and know that there is no stupid question
  • Continue learning – even though you graduated, you will always need to learn new skills. Employers will be impressed if you are proactively doing this, through a LinkedIn course, or teaching yourself a new program.
  • Prepare for interviews – getting an interview is hard enough in itself, you need to make sure you are prepared for it. Study the job requirements, the company, and the person you are interviewing with. Showing up prepared is a key differentiator.
  • Experience matters – just because you don’t have professional experience, or maybe even an internship, don’t discount being a camp counselor, a server, a babysitter, etc. All these jobs require skills that are transferrable in the workplace. Share the challenges you encountered and how you conquered them.
  • Expand your search – you can’t expect to land a job if you are doing the same thing and not getting results. Try new ways, i.e., look at different websites, and talk to everyone, you never know where it might lead.
  • Perfect your resume as best you can – don’t worry if you do not have the exact experience the job is asking for. Focus on building relationships so you can get an interview. If you are prepared, articulate, and can show you can do the job, this is going to get you one step closer to landing it.
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