Many different employers find that almost all job candidates for an entry-level position start to appear equally qualified. In today’s tough economy, it is important for job seekers to set themselves apart from the competition. Employers want entry-level employees to have real work experience, valuable connections, and marketable skills. Below are a few things students should consider in order to land the job they want before they graduate.
1. Go Above and Beyond a 4.0 GPA
Being at the top of your class is almost never going to hurt your chances of landing a job. However, most employers want to hire job candidates that have marketable skills rather than job candidates that have a demonstrated ability to take tests and write academic papers. Participating in an internship is a great way for students to gain the experience and skills they need to be successful job seekers. Large, international cities such as New York or can provide more opportunities for students to start their careers while still in school. According to Endeavorup.com, successfully completing an internship can help students acquire necessary professional references, highly applicable skills, and even a job. It is not uncommon for employers to hire interns or offer interns jobs upon graduation.
2. Start Building Your Professional Portfolio While Still in School
Landing the right internships is one of the best ways for students to build their professional portfolios. It is important to network with others that can vouch for skills and best fit for different company cultures. In addition, internships can be a great way to get top professional references and letters of recommendation. Employers recognize value in hiring entry-level employees that have something extra to bring to their businesses. Interns can bring the right skills and the right connections to new jobs starting day one.
3. Start Applying for Jobs Early
Students should consider filling out as many job applications as possible about six weeks before graduation in hopes of getting a job offer before school ends. It is important to recognize that many employers have to sift through hundreds of resumes, organize several interviews, and eventually choose the right candidate. It is also important to look for the job that is the best fit. If an employer is genuinely interested in hiring a job candidate, the employer will typically be open to different suggestions when waiting for the job candidate to finish school in the following weeks. It is common for employers to either extend a job offer that will start after graduation. It is also common for employers to work around student schedules for a few weeks. Combining work and finals can be a headache, but it is better than unemployment after graduation.
It’s a tough job market and the unemployment rate is dismal. Participating in internships and other work experiences prior to graduation in order to get the right job offers can benefit you in the long run. Learn a marketable skillset when interning, and be a top job candidate.