Looking ahead to graduation to launch your job search means planning ahead. Much can be done by starting now. to put every experience under the proverbial microscope to test its relevance to your career goal. If you’ have not identified your goal, following these five steps will help you in planning your direction. You will begin to see patterns and common denominators of skills, interests, talents and contributions that keep recurring. Here are five steps to get ready for the career that’s meant for you.
1. Your college experience offers excellent raw material to get you started. Ask yourself where and how have I made a difference and produced a positive outcome. Call them accomplishments, results, or contributions, you will find them in class projects, term papers, internships and work/study activities you can take credit for. Keep a log of these examples for use in future resumes. Your resume will then be a strong marketing piece, not merely a laundry list of job descriptions and education.
2. When you receive positive feedback from professors and supervisors at internship and work/study programs, these comments and quotes can be used as testimonials in resumes and at job interviews. You won’t be bragging, but presenting facts about your performance. They will be third-party endorsements by people who know your work.
3. Since 90% of jobs are found through connections, it’s not too soon to begin cultivating positive relationships and networking connections with professors and supervisors. The strategy is to ask, “can you refer me to people I can interview for career advice. information or opportunities in this field?”
4. When you perform well in your internship or work/study program, you have a good opportunity to plant a seed of interest in working for that organization after graduation. If your interest is strong, be sure to speak up, express your interest and ask to be considered.
5. When preparing for the job search it helps to think of yourself as a product with saleable benefits for the employer/buyer. Even if you’re applying to a non-profit organization, your resume and cover letter must quickly answer the employer's question, "what’s in it for us?" You will be prepared for that question if you have followed step #1 above. You will have kept a log of every specific accomplishment that relates to your career. goal. In writing your resume and cover letter you will boil down the facts to brief, active statements that highlight successful results. You will then have strong self-marketing documents that attract interviews.