What is your dream job and what does it take to get there?
This is a difficult question for some to answer, but it’s important for students to start planning for future employment before graduating and entering the job market.
Samuel Tilmon, assistant director of career services, said that he believes it’s important to start building a network with employers, faculty and other students before graduating.
Career fairs can play an important role in this process, even when a student is currently employed.
“Career fairs can establish connections that will be useful when you graduate,” Tilmon said.
Going to career fairs put students in contact with employers who may contact them later when a job opening occurs.
Expanding your network with faculty is important because professors might be willing to be a reference on résumés, as well as give practical advice on where to look for a job.
It’s important to network with other students as well because these students might end up in positions in the future that could be helpful to have a connection with.
In addition, they might have connections that could also help with the job search.
Tilmon also believes it’s important to start building a résumé right away through leadership experiences such as volunteering and being involved in student organizations
“These experiences help you grow as a professional,” he said. “A résumé is about all of the stuff you have done before.”
Students should regularly update their résumés to reflect the type of career they desire.
“Research companies you are interested in, and see what their requirements are,” said Tilmon.
There is country-wide or even global competition for the jobs that students might be applying for, so if a company is only seeing a résumé, it’s important that it is an accurate and impressive picture of the student or graduate.
“The goal isn’t to be in the top half, or even the top 10,” Tilmon said. “Make sure you’re the number one person.”
Another thing to consider is that a college degree is much more versatile than many students believe.
“Not all students understand the power of a degree and its versatility,” Tilmon said. “Look at all of these other options and start branching out.”
For example, having a degree in accounting does not mean restricting a job search to firms needing only accountants.
Having good people skills is essential to landing a dream job.
“People hire people they like,” Tilmon said.