Awhile back, I wrote that getting work experience was something college students can do to be offer-attractive upon graduation.
In response, I heard two things:
- Duh, I’m working to support myself while in school. I wish I didn’t have to. To you I say, it’s hard but will pay off in many ways. Steer toward as many career-related experiences/projects as possible.
- OK, but I’m still not sure how to find even a part-time gig. To this I offer some suggestions to consider based on my years at LSU:
Network and connect. Make the most of everything college offers. Growing a large and diverse network should be a goal during your college years.
Career services. Usually, fees paid by students support campus career services. This means you pay for it so you need to at least check out all the services offered. The earlier you register with career services the more you benefit. Let them support you as you create your first resume. Also, introduce yourself to all the advisers and then invite them to connect on linkedin. Communicate to them that you are looking for a job or internship as needed.
Faculty. Stop by during office hours and introduce yourself to every teacher you ever have. Tell them what you are interested in and leave them a resume. Don’t take a lot of their time. When you get home, send a brief follow-up e-mail with your resume attached thanking them for speaking with you. Invite them to connect on linkedin.
College, major, and department advisors. Call or e-mail these people to schedule a time to meet. Have your questions for them pretty well formulated. Their job is to help you successfully figure out the transition from student to professional employee. Tell them what you are interested in and leave them a resume. When you get home, send a brief follow-up e-mail with your resume attached, thanking them for their help. Invite them to connect on linkedin. Communicate to them that you are looking for a job or internship as needed.
Classmates and other students. Connect on linkedin with as many classmates and others you get to know during your college years. As you create your first resume, build your linkedin profile. Linkedin is (currently) a free and pretty permanent way to connect and maintain relationships over time. That’s not to say you can’t un-connect with someone if necessary, because you can.
Your network is so key.
What do you think are the best ways for college grads to be offer-attractive?