Okay, so like most college students you're thinking good grades, internships, graduate. In that order. With a few extracurricular activities sprinkled throughout to make your resume perfect.
Newsflash: That is your plan plus millions of other students' throughout the world. What they didn't prepare you for was how you are going to make yourself stand out from the crowd. How are you going to brand yourself to be different from the rest? You may think you have everything figured out until you're literally up until midnight or later filling out resume after resume, perfecting your cover letters, gathering references and you hear NO RESPONSE from the companies you have applied to. Sometimes you won't even get an email stating they received your information.
So now what? Your professor never scheduled "How to get a job" on their syllabus did they? You thought it was going to be a smooth ride?
Sixty percent of college graduates can't find work in their field. So again, what are you going to do to place yourself above the rest?
Students tend to think while in the classroom they are learning everything they need to know to be successful on their job. I have spoken to so many people who have made the statement that you don't actually learn your field until you're actually working in it. To gain an advantage, take the time to actually work somewhere. Employers find students more suited for the job when they see they've had real job experience. It shows you're equipped for the work place and you're able to show competency.
Sometimes not being able to find employment is beyond your measures. I have seen plenty of application requirements list everything you know how to do until you scroll down and they ask for 30 years of experience. (I completely exaggerated the years, but you get the point). Why is this listed under "entry level/college graduate" positions? They are "entry level" for a reason.
Another big tip is to network! You never know who knows who or works certain places that can help you land the job you want. You can also get another degree. If all of your competitors only have a bachelors in your field, double them in knowledge and go for your masters. Generation Y has the label of being "lazy," so change that and show people what you can do.
In my opinion Generation Y should have the label of "go-getters." I have met so many talented people who decided they wanted to make their own rules of work, not let someone tell them they aren't "qualified" enough for a position and are successful entrepreneurs. Believe me success doesn't come over night and you have to work for it.
What are your plans to secure your job after graduation?
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