Improve Employment Opportunities After College

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By Jordan Martinez

Adding a few extra activities to your coursework assists your job search after graduation. Classwork receives consideration, but real-world experience provides a boost. Increasing your network beyond your school makes your job search easier. Knowing how to present and promote your school work increases your perceived skill level. College coursework occupies a lot of time and energy, but adding a few of these ideas makes your job search easier and faster after graduation.

Apply for Internships

Internships provide opportunities to explore your chosen career, be exposed to companies in the field, make contacts in the industry, and gain real-world experience. Your guidance counselor should be able to assist you in locating internships. You can also contact the human resources department of companies in your field to learn about what internships they offer.

Business –

As an intern, you view the daily workload and any specialization among workers in your field. You can compare your vision of your chosen career with reality and see any variations among companies for those in your industry. Many companies eventually hire interns, so if you can intern at multiple companies, you can view their corporate culture. Even if you intern at only one company, you can more quickly assess the corporate culture of a different company.

During an internship, you make contacts that you can add to your network. Networking creates mutually beneficial relationships. When you start networking in college, you may not have as much to offer as people already in the field. However, in the future, you can let those you consider good team members know about opportunities.

An internship also allows you to add work projects to your portfolio along with featured coursework projects. Even if your role is minor in a work project, the real-world experience that the project offers enhances the skills you bring to a job. So, showcase work projects in your portfolio.

Join Professional Associations

Joining professional associations may seem like something you do after you graduate. However, you can gain benefits even while attending school with access to scholarships and internships. Professional associations provide news releases, journals, webinars, seminars, and conferences where you can receive the latest news and developments in the field. You will also add more contacts to your network.

Become a Volunteer

While in school and building a career, you can become isolated from others with different backgrounds. College provides the perfect time to begin the habit of volunteering. You open yourself to people with other experiences, widen your focus from your chosen field, and gain an opportunity to feel a different type of success. Volunteering also allows you to explore other interests beyond your chosen industry.

Start Networking

As mentioned, networking involves developing mutually beneficial relationships with compatible people. You, as a student, offer less in exchange for those in your network, but as you build your career, you can recommend those people who would be a good fit for a project. You can also inform appropriate people in your network about projects and openings.

If you think networking is hard and you feel you’re an introverted type of person, we highly recommend this article on the topic –

Your professors and fellow students will be among the first people you add to your network. Your internships, professional association memberships, and volunteering can increase your network.

Networking can provide more than job information. Members exchange news releases and research, building on each other’s work. You should carefully select everyone you include in your network.

Find a Mentor

As you make contacts and network, you can ask someone compatible and someone you admire to mentor you. A mentor will listen and guide you to make your own decisions. Your mentor may be younger and may not be in your field. Don’t take it personally if someone says no. They may want to help you but may be too busy to commit. Keep looking, and you will find someone.

Build a Portfolio

A portfolio provides samples of your work. As you proceed through your college coursework, consider whether you can select a topic for the paper or project to add to your portfolio. If you become an intern, ask to be included in projects, even as an observer. Be honest about your contribution because exposure to the project adds to your experience. Only add items worth highlighting so your portfolio isn’t too tedious.

Adding these activities to your coursework will improve your chances of being hired after college.