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What To Do in College To Help You Snag a Job Once You're Out

Don't wait until you're closing in on graduation to start thinking about how to get your first "real" job. If you are strategic and actively seek out resume-building opportunities as a student, you will be better positioned to grab a great job once you've earned that diploma.

Do the following early and often: Find practical, hands-on opportunities. Take advantage of internships, job shadowing, and paid work experience to help you decide if you like a particular field and make you a more competitive candidate once you apply for a job. Curate your digital profile. What image are you projecting online? It's time to come across as a grown up. Employers will invariably Google you, so make sure that you like what they'll see. In addition to cleaning up any unseemly posts or pictures, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is polished and up-to-date. Take classes outside of your major. In choosing your electives, consider classes that will give you experience and skills once you enter the workplace. In addition to acquiring hard skills such as computer programming or a foreign language consider taking classes that will help you in any career such as communications, public speaking, finance, and business. Network. Use your time in college as a chance to meet people--lots of them. Every fellow student and faculty member that knows you is a possible path to a job after graduation. Learn about your school's alumni network as strong ones are a source of lifelong connections. Make yourself known to people in fields of interest by joining industry associations and arranging informational interviews. Refine your elevator pitch and know your ask. In finding a job, you will need to know how to succinctly tell a potential employer who you are in a manner that emphasizes your greatness in an un-obnoxious way. You will also need to clarify what you are looking for career-wise and be able to articulate it. Both of these typically come into sharper focus after some trial and error. Be open. Spend your college time exploring different industries you could work in, as well as different roles you might be eligible for once you graduate. Your ideal job may come from left field, so be open to possibilities.

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