The “real world” isn’t too far away for college juniors and seniors. For most, this will be the most exciting part of their lives, as it is reminds them of the greater independence that awaits. However, this certainly comes with great incertainty, too, especially given increasing reports that more than 53% of college graduates are underemployed or unemployed. This is certainly disheartening news for students, as they went through four years of schooling, only to feel as though it hasn’t helped them.
According to David Pinkley, founder of Resume Sage, this is exactly why students should start their job hunt the summer after their junior year. In fact, Pinkley explains that students should not only be looking for a job, but they should be lobbying for a job when they graduate; promoting themselves to network contacts, prospective employers and the like.
He explains that it is all in the introduction. “Don’t make people ask,” he says, but instead make a clear and succinct introduction for yourself that includes things like your class year and job aspirations. Having something like this prepared will set you apart from the rest.
Students should also have a sense of humility and understanding that their degree, while impressive, is really only the beginning of their learning experience. Pinkley explains that students should have an understanding that their experience is limited and they have much to learn. This should be accompanied by a thirst for knowledge and an enthusiasm for learning. For Pinkley, this will set college graduates apart from the others, in that students who have this skill set will be easier to work with and will work to successfully complete a job.
This is not to say that this entire process isn’t intimidating once students make these changes. However, students should not give up, as they can demonstrate to prospective employers that they have the desire and perseverance to learn what they need and to do the job well. All it takes is motivation and hope