Job Success Tips for College Students

How can College Students become Job-ready?

Are you in your junior or senior year of college?  Prepare yourself for the job market now and don’t let the recession bother you.  As a college student you might not find too many jobs.  But, you can build a strong foundation for a future career.

Here are some tips for college students to lay a foundation while in college.

How can College Students be Successful in the Job Market?

job successA challenge for many college students is gaining experience.  Training new employees, is expensive so companies often prefer to hire people who have the work experience, if they are available.  So, how does a college student find a job?

Attitude Goes a Long Way

College students who have the motivation and who can work hard and smart can overcome the “experience” block. One key factor that employers look at is attitude. Often a future employer will choose the candiate with the stronger work ethic over one with more experience or better credentials. Become a hard worker, don’t expect to laze around and get paid for it. Show energy, enthusiasm for the job, a friendly attitude and be willing to learn. You can’t fake this, it must come from within. If you enjoy what you are doing you will have the right attitude. Don’t think of work as a drudgery that you have to do so you will have money to live on weekends. Think of it as an opportunity to do interesting stuff, meet interesting people and learn new things.

Gain Skills and Experience

Make the best use of your junior and senior years to gain the skill and experience to enter the world of work.

Remember the mantra, “the sooner you gain skills and experience as a student, the smoother will be your route to employment.”

Select Projects that Add Value to your Skills: School projects give you an excellent opportunity to add depth to your experience.  Choose projects that employers like to see on your resume.  Let your projects be a proof of your talent.  Think of your projects in the same way as the work you would do in a company.  That is, you’ve got to carry out your project work in a professional way and gain solid technical, leadership and other skills. With a good attitude toward success in your projects, you will be able to get good grades.  A better GPA also helps further your job hunt.

Hone your Communication Skills:  A world of opportunities opens for you if you can write and speak well. Opt to present your project to the class.  Write the project reports, user manuals and the like to better your writing skills. Be aware that strong communication skills help you not just while in college, but also throughout your work life.

Get an Internship:  They may be competitive and few, but you should try to get one.  If you find an internship and impress your employer with your work (and your attitude), the company may even hire you. Learn and contribute as much as you can in your internship stint.  Go the extra mile in your work to showcase your dedication and skill.  One of your internship goals should also be to sharpen your interpersonal skills. If you excel in your internship, the employer will be more willing to consider you for a position or give you a glowing reference.

Get an On- or Off-Campus Job:  This is another route to gaining experience.  It’s great if the job is related to your field of study.  Even if it isn’t, any job well done, can help you make your resume stronger.

Volunteer Work:  Volunteering can showcase you as a person who likes to work, is generous and caring.  Personnel departments evaluate resumes with an eye on the interest for work, responsibility and other.  Volunteer work can be a great avenue for you to gain experience and build a positive image in the mind of the employer. Just like the above picture, would you be willing to wear a hot stuffy costume and act like a fool to gain experience? Would you work for bananas?

If you follow these steps you will be well on your way to getting the job you desire. Remember  the old saying, Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude.”  A good attitude goes a long way toward getting (and keeping) a good job. Another mistake college graduates make is expecting to start out at the top. Yes, you just graduated from college and you are smarter than your non-college educated friends. But you are still young and inexperienced. So you still have to climb the ladder of success. Be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. Often if you are willing to take any job at the company of your choice you will be able to demonstrate your dedication and you can move into other jobs as they become availalbe. Or you can find a position at another company easier. An employed person has a much easier time finding a better job than an unemployed person has in finding any job at all. So don’t fall for the mistaken idea that a job is “beneath you”. It is a starting point from there you can prove yourself.

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Photo credit: Job Success by clanlife on flickr

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Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+