4 Things Every College Student Should Be Doing Now

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Your four undergrad years are a busy and brief time packed with social fun, class projects, papers and juggling jobs and school schedules. In today’s struggling economy, many students are also saddled with the stress of life after graduation. A depleted job market and significant student debt can make the future feel overwhelming and uncertain at best.


For students who are serious about preparing for the best possible shot at a career after college, there are luckily a lot of important steps you can be taking even now during your undergrad education. Here of five things every college student should be doing now to work towards a career after college.

1. Reading in Your Field

A fantastic first step to take is to begin reading the journals, periodicals and other publications relevant to your intended career. Make sure you are well-informed on current trends in your industry or in the shifting dynamics of your field. This will help you know what to look out for as you enter the job market. It also increases your credibility as a candidate because you know what is going on and have already demonstrated a commitment and interest in your field.

2. Interning or Planning to Soon

Though college is already busy, internship opportunities are a fantastic way to build your resume, make future connections and develop real-world skills. Experience is a key factor in being qualified for a future job. So make sure you can get as much as possible under your belt.

Working for free might sound discouraging. But if you look at it more as an apprenticeship to teach you new skills, you will see the incredible value in an internship. Plus, internships are available across the country and the world, so use this opportunity to travel to a place you’ve always wanted to try living and working at.

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So smart college students should start setting up a profile now and spend some time making it look good. Don’t be afraid to include a photo. Even if you think it makes you look young, companies can connect a face with your information and this adds to your credibility as a real person rather than a digital personality.

Also, use your LinkedIn profile as a place to show off your significant class projects. Don’t upload every essay you have ever written, but if there is a major assignment relevant to your field, feel free to offer it as a sample of your work. This is a great way to demonstrate that you are already taking advantage of the experience that you have in college.

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Finally, start connecting with professionals now. Professors can write you recommendations. Peers you meet in class will grow up to become your connections in the business world after graduation. If you ever meet a special speaker or any other professional on campus, connect with them to start building a good network now.

3. Creating a LinkedIn Profile

37% of job recruiters in a recent survey “identified professional networks as one of the most important sources for hiring,” reports Mashable.com. Reportedly, 90 out of the top Fortune 100 companies also utilize LinkedIn’s corporate talent solutions. However, many college students don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet. And those who do often haven’t spent a lot of time developing the profile to be as dynamic and useful as possible.

Read More: Why Students Need To Get LinkedIn?

4. Conducting Informational Interviews

An informational interview is “an opportunity for you, the job seeker, to learn about someone else’s job, organization or company. It is not—and this is critical—an opportunity for you to ask for a job,” explains The Chronicle of Higher Education. Not only is an informational interview a great chance to build connections with real world professionals, they can also help hone in your career interests and recommend networking steps to take. And because, as a currently enrolled college student, you are not on the prowl for a job quite yet, professionals will be much more likely to take the time to invest in you and share their experiences.

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During this kind of interview, you are simply gleaning information and lessons from the interviewee’s experience in their field and at their company. This is a fantastic way for you to find out what the day to day looks like in your intended career. This can help point you in the best direction for your skills and interests or solidify that you really want to get into that field. Learning from another professional’s experience can also help you to identify steps you need to take in order to end up where you ultimately hope to be.

Additionally, the interviewee will probably be able to give you other connections to people in their industry that will help you when you are looking for that first job.

About Author:

Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who is currently researching South University accreditation info and the trend of online education. You can connect with her on Twitter.

Image Credit:  www.educationconnection.com

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