So you’re in college now. You (kinda) figured out what you want to do with your life and you’re excited for the day when you finally graduate and you won’t have to pull an all-nighter before a big exam.
All college students have dreams and aspirations from when they graduate. Some might dream of being entrepreneurs and start their own business, other long for the stability of the corporate life. Me? I was contemplating both, but decided working in a corporation is the way to go at the beginning.
However, as many recent graduates will tell you, job hunting is harder than it looks. You are competing with hundreds of other graduates that are just as smart, motivated and eager to start their careers as you are.
So what can you do now, before you’re in the position of searching for a full-time job to help your chances?
1. Figure out what YOU want
If you’re for instance in second year in a business bachelor you must have figured by now what things you like and dislike. Are you more creative or more analytical? Do you enjoy spending hours crunching numbers or does it sound like hell to you? Figuring out earlier than later what is your preferred area in your degree will help you tremendously. Why? Because it makes you seem like you got your sh*t together and you are not just a lost college student. It makes you chose projects, jobs and courses purposefully to achieve your goals.
2. Who’s your ideal employer?
Now that you’ve figured out that you’re more of a marketing gal rather than an accounting one, is time to figure out who would you like to work for. This is the time to consider your own interests (are you interested in fashion, new media, investment?) as well as the industry as a whole. For instance, some industries are perceived as being super fun (wouldn’t you want to be a part of launching a new Chanel lipstick) but also have the reputation of being super stressful with tight deadlines and bitchy employees.
Here research is key!
3. Apply, apply, apply for internships and student jobs
Now you know what you want to do and who do you want to do it for. Isn’t that perfect? Now the only thing that’s left is to get hired. Easy peasy right? 🙂 Make a list with all the companies you’re interested in an keep an eye on job openings on their website. Prepare one paragraph for each company saying why you want to work for them. Here, a tip is to look on their webpage at the “values” or “about us” section. Take things that you genuinely find cool about that company and include it in your motivation.
Be pro-active about your internship/ student jobs. Send unsolicited applications, stalk (not really, just add) relevant people on Linkedin. You do have Linkedin, right? Show that you’re passionate, that you have already thought about your career and what you want to do in life and mostly importantly, that you’re willing to learn.
4. Make it happen!
If finding a job in your preferred area is too hard then expand your horizon a little, while always having in mind your final goal. If no one is hiring (and trust me, employers are often blind to real talent) then start freelancing. Get in touch with businesses in your city and offer your services for a small fee at the beginning or even for free. Create a portfolio, make a kick-ass presentation site, write about your ideas on LinkedIn, go to networking events and just create your new “career persona”.
In other words, fake it till’ you make it and never let anyone say you’re not good enough!
Until next time, keep slayin’!