College students make thousands of decisions during the college years. Many of those decisions are relatively small and unimportant. However, there are decisions that directly affect the success that students achieve as they look for a job.
If you would like to land a good job when you graduate, your answers to twelve questions will determine your employment success or failure.
1. Which College Will You Attend? – When the college you choose is well known and respected in your field of study, your prospects increase. Since the best employers are attracted to college programs with good reputations, that should be a consideration as you evaluate you college options.
2. What Career Direction Is Right For You? – When students select a career direction where they already have some related experience, found that they have previously been successful and really enjoy what they are doing, they have identified a direction that is very likely to work for them.
3. Which Major And Minor Should You Select? – Wise students select majors and minors that directly support their career direction and the jobs that exist within that field.
4. Will You Seek A Part-Time Job? – Generally, employers prefer to hire someone who has some work experience, especially work experience that is related to the jobs they are offering. Job-related Part-Time, Summer, Co-Op, Work/Study jobs and Internships can all improve your chances for employment after college.
5. Will You Participate In Campus And Community Activities? – If you do not participate, what are you going to talk to the interviewer about? Good grades are important, but not the only consideration. Activities are your opportunity to show people what you are capable of doing.
6. Will You Build A List Of Accomplishments, Successes and Experiences? –
Employers look for examples of your potential. By being active, you increase the number of opportunities for you to do things that are related to your career direction. Like it or not, employers compare candidates. Students with impressive accomplishments, successes and experiences usually receive the job offers, while the other candidates are eliminated.
7. Will You Learn How To Conduct A Successful Search For Employment? – Most students are never taught how to conduct an effective and comprehensive search for employment. That means that you may very well have to do this on your own. Without this knowledge, you will miss out on many opportunities.
8. Will You Place A High Enough Value On Job Search Preparation? – Preparation is the key to student employment success. There are literally hundreds of things that students can do to improve their success rate. Students who do not devote the early years to the need for job search preparation will severely hurt their chances for success.
9. Will You Impress Potential Employers And References? – This is an important goal. If you choose not to do and say the things that will clearly demonstrate your capabilities and potential, there will be little reason for employers and references to act on your behalf.
10. Will You Demonstrate Your Capabilities? – There are only five places where you can demonstrate your capabilities: In the classroom, during campus activities, in the community, at work and in your leisure activities. Whether and how you excel is a choice that you make.
11. Will You Build Relationships With Professors, Employers, Community Leaders, Business Leaders and High Potential Students? – You choose who you interact with and who you associate with. Hopefully you recognize that you will need others to talk about you, write about you and help you in ways that will support your employment goals. However, they will only help you if they know you well, like you, have knowledge of your performance and you have given them reasons to want to help you.
12. Will You Do Your Best Work? – This is the most important decision you will make. No student can hope to find employment success by doing little to help him/herself. Only by recognizing the critical steps and doing everything possible to help yourself can you hope to attract great interest and attention from the employers with the best jobs.
Most students have seven or eight semesters and three summers to prepare for the senior year job search. The decisions that are made during that time period are critical to the employment outcomes that result. Your achievements show others what you can do and who you are. Therefore, the decisions that you make with regard to these twelve questions will determine your success or failure as you pursue your employment dreams.