There’s No Time Like the Present: Preparing for your Future Career
Is it really the end of August?! Summer is winding down and many of you have already headed back to campus. You may be gathering things for your dorm room or apartment, planning for those early fall social events or scouting what football games are a must-see this season! It’s important to seize every opportunity to enjoy your time on campus, but you should also be taking advantage of the time you have now before joining the rest of the working world. If there’s one thing we know, you have to put in the work to turn your dreams for the future into a reality.
As you start ramping up for your fall semester, don’t forget to include planning for your job or internship search. Career events hosted by universities typically start in September, so better to prepare now than when you are also faced with starting classes and meeting academic deadlines. Here are some tips to get ready for your search:
- update your resume and LinkedIn profile
- reconnect with recruiters you’ve met previously
- research companies and industries that you are considering
- invest in professional attire
The first step in preparing for your job search is to have an updated and well-written resume. To ensure your resume stands out, don’t be too creative with color and fonts, but focus on using keywords related to your field and highlight applied skills. Also, employers are looking for future leaders, so include details about leadership positions held in student organizations or clubs, sports teams, class projects, philanthropic efforts and previous employment. Once you have your resume written, make sure to use spell check and have it reviewed by someone in career services. It is also recommended to have references ready if requested.
After completing your resume, create or update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is the largest online networking platform used by the business community, and it is critical to start building your professional brand while still in college. For starters, make sure your profile picture is professional. In other words, don’t use a picture taken on the beach on spring break! Next, start building your professional network by connecting with peers in your major, professors, your professional references, work colleagues and recruiters. When sending a request to join someone’s network, include a brief personal note about why you are asking to join their network, and they’ll be more likely to accept! Once you’ve created a profile and started to build your network, review your online presence by Googling your name. Be mindful of what you post on all social media because that represents the brand of you in all situations!
Utilizing LinkedIn can help you reconnect or find recruiters with companies you are considering. Reach out to recruiters you’ve previously met and inquire about timelines for applications and when they might be visiting your campus. Before reaching out to recruiters you have not previously had contact with, research the business and industry to get a feel for their culture, corporate values and locations. Then, do a self-assessment to see if the company’s culture and values align with your values, passions and career goals and determine if you would be willing to relocate to where they do business. Doing industry and company research as part of your job search preparation will also help you target those company recruiters you want to talk to during career events. Finally, be sure to invest in professional attire so you are ready to meet those recruiters!
The best time to prepare for your job or internship search is now. Preparation breeds confidence, and confidence will help you get that interview for your dream job. Your future self is dependent upon your planning today!
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