Some people think life is like a video game: You move through the levels while collecting your points, weapons, and whatever you’ll need for the next level. Then you repeat the process as you move through the game. Others feel like the school years are just prep time for the first level of that game, which starts when you enter the workforce after graduation.
College students preparing for their job search after graduation start feeling like the game is getting pretty intense. The months before graduation are so full of finals and wrapping up loose ends that the next level, entry into the workforce, gets put off.
But just like those games where you wander past objects and find out later that you should have picked them up, there are things you need to collect before you get out of school.
Does your school offer any help with resumes and career counseling?
Look into it! Take advantage of whatever guidance or career help they offer. A college career center can be a gold mine of career tools. You just have to dig around and see what little nuggets you can find.
Do you have professors or supervisors who would be references?
Get their contact information and permission to use their names. Many professors teach part time while working full time. Ask them if they know of any companies that may have openings. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask! It’s a lot easier to do this while you are on campus, instead of waiting until you get home and realize that you never asked the people who would be ideal references for permission to use them as such.
Have you done any volunteer work, jobs on campus, internships, or summer employment?
Collect the contact information and the skills you used. You might not think your summer job as a nanny, or for a local park will have transferrable skills, but they do. Leadership, organization, budgeting, relationship building, and project management are all great skills to add to your resume. Get really detailed about what you did at your internship. Chances are, once you start jotting everything down, you’ll realize you did way more than you thought you did.
Gather everything you have and put it in a binder to use as an interview portfolio. If you have pages of references, projects you want to show off, or samples of your work, add it to your portfolio to offer during the interview. The things you’ve done during college count so make sure you add all the pieces. You will end up with something you will be proud to show off during the interview. So, start gathering your game pieces!