Written by Robyn Shulman
Landing a good job today is quite different than it was even 5 years ago. The competition is fierce, more students are attending college, and technology has played a tremendous role in the employment world. Many students in college will find they have better chances of landing a job in their chosen career field by using the 5 following strategies during college and after graduation.
- Online Reputation Management: Students of the Millennial Generation have grown up online in a personal venue. However, it is imperative to move from the personal to professional realm very early (including junior high and high school). Students must go through their online presence to assure their reputation is free of inappropriate images, text messages, comments, conversations, and any other online Internet interactions an employer may deem inappropriate. Once online, the virtual world takes hold of everything, even if deleted. Students must keep their online reputation professional.
- Personal Branding: Students can create their personal brands via social media networks. They should be networking on professional media sites and using personal media sites to engage connections. During college, students can reach out to others in their field of interest for mentoring, shadowing and/or to simply learn from others. Students should be building their brand by using domain names and websites that showcase their unique talents. There are various free sites that students can use to create a positive online social presence.
- Blogging: Students can use a blog to showcase their knowledge and talent. Writing is a free online platform students can use to demonstrate unique skills and differentiating abilities. Employers can see that a student is taking time out of his/her day to share their work, help others, and make a difference in the world. Writing also provides a vast audience for networking globally. Students may find employers contacting them before they even finish school.
- Internships: Internships are a great way for students to learn and get their foot in the door of a company. Students should always use these opportunities as they come along. They will gain great experience, learn, find experienced mentors and will also be able to show off their work ethic. Internships also provide the great stepping-stone on a student’s resume. The networking capabilities and opportunities during an internship can be priceless.
- Volunteer: Volunteering is another great way for college students to land a job. During school, many students choose not to work, and that is okay. However, giving a few hours a week to a place of future interest really shows the employer that the student is highly interested in the field and/or company. Like internships, volunteering can pave the way to future opportunities, networking events, finding mentors and gaining great hands-on experience in their chosen field.
Although the economy is highly competitive, students can stand out from their peers by using any or all of the techniques mentioned above. Passion and talent will take students far, however, they must understand that finding a job today has a lot to do with who they are and how they present themselves online and offline. Landing a great job takes time and effort; simply sending in a resume while waiting for the phone to ring is no longer the easy gateway to employment.
What other ideas or strategies have you found to be successful?