Outside of college being a time to master key skills and coursework related to your field of interest, it’s also a time to grow and mature professionally. The immediate goal after college is to get a job in your field and prove that all your hard work in college wasn’t in vain. However, in today’s economy more and more college graduates are finding it harder to gain employment. Below are five experiences that all students should have before walking across that graduation stage.
1. Internships: Scoring an internship has to be one of the most important and beneficial professional experiences during your college years. Internships will not only give you experience in your desired field, but it will also allow you to gain contacts and get a better idea of what kind of job you want post graduation.
2. Resume Workshops: While all resumes are subjective and no one resume will be perfect in everyone’s eyes, having someone assist you to create your resume can help you better organize your professional experiences on paper and prioritize which skills should be listed. Attending resume workshops will also give you a clearer picture of what it is employers are looking for when they pick up a resume from a potential employee.
3. Career Fairs: Most people wait until their senior year to attend college career fairs, which can be a huge mistake. With several companies attending college fairs for intern recruits as well as job candidates, it’ll be a huge bummer to realize your senior year that resources to land an internship with a reputable company have been at your fingertips since freshman year.
4. Mentorship: Just about every young professional has had someone in their career field who looked out for them and gave them the 411 on how to successfully make it in their industry. Having a mentor who has had more professional experience than you is vital in any profession because the advice they offer and business contacts they have can easily put you two steps ahead of the game when it comes to looking for a job.
5. Mock Interviews: You’d hate to be great on paper, but a professional disaster in person. Having mock interviews will help teach you the key steps to successfully marketing yourself, and it will help ease your nerves when put on the spot to talk about their past work experiences.