Dr. Crystal Green Brown teaches career and internship courses at LIM College in NY, New York, and the Woven Incubator in Charlotte, NC. She is also the Founder and Certified Career Coach for AskDrCris Consulting and Amazon’s #1 best-selling author of Visual Prayer: How to Create a Spiritual Vision Board. Green Brown earned her Ph.D. from Kent State University in Curriculum Development with a specialization in Career Development. As a career researcher, she has worked in the career development field for more than a decade and developed a unique career identification model that guides job seekers to identify their dream job and position them to thrive in their best-fit work environment. With 99% results from her research, this career identification model now serves as the basis for her career development strategy consultations and has produced a 97.5% client success and placement rate.
Not all college graduates land a position after graduating, and of those who do, only 27% work in their desired field. College students can land a dream job before or by the time they graduate. But success can be attributed to the level of commitment and the extent of preparation. College graduates can enjoy working in their desired field if they put a few strategic plans in place and commit themselves to implementing measures before graduation. Because of my experience helping 100s of college students and clients, I’ve identified some of the best ways to help upcoming college graduates best prepare for landing their dream job.
Attending networking events hosted by colleges or events specific to a student’s desired field will offer opportunities to meet like-minded professionals. College students should also attend industry conferences, join professional organizations, and consider volunteering for community events. Getting involved in the community, either through volunteering or participating in local events, can provide opportunities to meet professionals in their field.
Students can also utilize LinkedIn. This social media platform is a great tool for networking with professionals in their desired fields. Students can connect with professionals, join groups related to their field, and even reach out to professionals directly for advice or inquire about job opportunities. Handshake, similar to LinkedIn, is an online career management platform for higher education students and alumni. It is quickly becoming the #1 way for college students to find jobs and interact with potential employers. College students can use Handshake as a tool for networking as well.
Connecting with alumni can be a great networking resource. Alumni can share advice and encourage future graduates to prepare for the job market.
To gain the best benefit from networking, college students should maintain constant contact with industry professionals, alumni, and anyone that could impact their chances of landing a dream job.
A mentor can provide valuable guidance and support as a student navigates the job search process. Mentors can offer insight into the industry, provide feedback on resumes and cover letters, and offer advice on networking and interviewing. Additionally, a mentor can help students to make connections in their field, which can be crucial in landing a dream job. Mentors also provide career advice and can help students understand the skills and experience they need to develop success in their chosen field.
Internships are a great way for students to develop skills and professional experiences before graduating from college. Students gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields, which can make them more attractive to potential employers. These opportunities allow students to explore different fields and gain insight into different roles. Some internships may develop into full-time positions upon graduating or provide students with clarity if a role turns out to be less attractive.
Primarily, internships provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen field, such as teamwork, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, and time management. And offer a competitive advantage, as many employers prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience.
Identify Dream Job Organizations
Students should consider developing a list of desired organizations where they would prefer to land a position upon graduating. Research these organizations and familiarize themself with the company culture, values, mission, and vision. Identify if the organization’s goals and values align with yours. And question if you are more or less excited about joining an organization after gaining insight. Students can use resources such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Handshake, and the company’s website. It’s also helpful to conduct informational interviews and talk to people in the industry or alumni who have experience working at a specific organization.
A resume is the best marketing tool to introduce yourself to a potential employer. Develop your resume and cover letter for the specific industry where you seek employment. Highlight skills and experience relevant to the desired job.
Use a professional resume template to ensure a polished and professional look. Include a personal summary that briefly shares your professional background and highlights the most relevant skills and experience.
Contact information should include a professional email address and only share the city and state where you reside. A home address is not necessary. Also share a contact telephone number.
Use bullet points and clear headings to organize skills and experience. Include keywords throughout that matches the job description. Highlight accomplishments by including metrics or quantifiable data to showcase achievements in previous positions. Include relevant education, certification, and training received.
Add extracurricular activities or relevant volunteer experience to demonstrate character and work ethic. Limit the resume to one or two pages, ensuring it is clear, professionally formatted, and easy to read or scan. Double-check spelling and grammar for errors. Before applying for a position, ask a mentor or professor to review it carefully.
Landing a dream job, or at least a position in your major is possible. Just start early, stay committed to the process, and prepare.