What Do Grads Need to Focus on to Get Their Dream Job?

John Krautzel
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College graduates probably don't land their dream job straight after receiving their degree. Achieving career bliss usually takes time, energy and effort before you find your "forever job." Luckily, there are five crucial things you can do that increase your odds of success.

1. Polish Your Curriculum Vitae

Professional positions after college may need a CV due to the complexity of the job. Rather than focus on the work you did in college, put as many accomplishments on your CV as you deem relevant to your line of work. For example, serving as the vice president of your honorary engineering fraternity indicates you held a leadership position in an organization. Internships, summer opportunities, studying abroad and any extraordinary things you did in college all come into play as you seek a better entry-level job in your field. Top college graduates stay active as they relate to their field of study, whether they work for pay or not.

2. Take Advantage of the Career Center

Your college's career center serves as a way to connect with recruiters and employers who need college graduates to fill positions. Mine this resource as much as possible, and do so well before your senior year. Career services staffers are there to help you network, go through mock interviews, spruce up your LinkedIn profile and land a job as soon as you have your diploma in hand. The career center can help you outline a step-by-step plan that ends with you getting a position.

3. Find Hiring Websites for College Graduates

Some employers create special websites just for college graduates, and often these sites exist outside of ordinary job boards. When you have spare moments among your senior projects, internships, midterms and finals, check in with these specialized websites to see what your favorite employers have to offer someone with a college degree.

4. Network as Soon as Possible

It's never too early to develop your network. Reach out on LinkedIn to find people who are responsible for hiring graduates. This may take a little extra research, but capturing that person's attention puts you on that employer's radar for when you're ready for work. Even if you don't land your dream job at that particular firm right away, the networking connection you make can reap benefits and rewards later in your career.

5. Land an Internship With Your Chosen Company

Experience with a company is vital to starting a career there, which is why internships are a critical part of your plan. An internship puts you in direct contact with people who work with the employer on a daily basis. You quickly learn what it takes to succeed there and what the company culture is like. Even though internships are often unpaid, you can still benefit in the long run by having a higher-paying position once you graduate.

One final note is that you must put in a top effort while in college to make this strategy pay off over the course of your professional life. College graduates already have tons of energy as they move towards the end of their educational journey, so tap into this wellspring of energy to move your career forward sooner rather than later.

Photo courtesy of t0zz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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