So you’re in the home stretch of college, cruising through your last semester, cap and gown are ordered, and your parents have made arrangements to attend your graduation. Now, do you know what comes next? If not, then it’s time to kick it into high gear and figure out what you’re doing, because if you don’t, your part-time college job might turn into your full-time post-college job.
Here are 5 tips to help you kick-start your career after college.
Get a Killer Internship
One of the best ways to really get your name out there and start shaking hands with the right people is to find the right internship well ahead of your graduation. If you know what kinds of businesses you would like to work for after college, then these are the businesses that you should start working with while you’re still in college. You might spend a lot of time making people coffee and going on lunch runs, but you only need a couple of key opportunities to show off your skills in order to land that job once you graduate.
Predict the Next Frontier
If you want to really stand out from the crowd, then you have to be thinking like a pioneer. Most college students spend their four years learning about the foundations of their subject and how it developed into what it is today. However, the question your potential employers want you to answer is how you can lead them into tomorrow. That’s why you always have to be thinking ahead, and if possible, you want to stake your claim in the market before you even graduate.
Establish a Rapport with Your Department Chair
Most college students will be building relationships with the professors who are teaching the courses they are majoring in, but you can always go a step further. For example, if you are studying physics at University of Southern California, you want to not only connect with the professors that are giving that program its reputation, but you want to be gunning for a letter of recommendation from the head of the entire department. This is the best way to demonstrate that you really mean business.
Develop Your Online Presence
Most college students are very active on social media, and many of them even have their own websites, but how many of them are maintaining those channels with their careers in mind? Most of them are still posting photos of themselves partying and going to music festivals. However, if you really want to impress employers, you want to show them that people are following you online because of the knowledge you are contributing to your field of study.
Apply to Jobs Early
In the end, almost none of this will matter if you don’t get your CV out to employers as soon as possible. You want to make sure that your name is on the top of their list from the very beginning. Most employers go through the process of reading dozens of applications and holding interviews every year and they all want to get through it as quickly as possible. So the best way to make a great impression is to make it as easy as possible for them to feel confident that they’ve found the right person before you even graduate.