A college degree can set you on the path to better employment prospects. However, a degree alone is often not enough to land you that first non-retail, non-food service job. Employers will look for other experience beyond your degree to distinguish successful job applicants from unsuccessful ones. To stand out as a job seeker after college, you’ll need to start building your résumé while you’re in school — after all, most of the real jobs you apply to after graduation will require one. There are many ways to transform yourself into an outstanding job candidate while in school, although it might involve a little extra effort and a little less free time.
The most directly applicable way to boost your résumé for your career is to land an internship at the field of study you see yourself in after graduation. You’ll have experience and references from within your industry and you may even get hired permanently by the company for which you intern. Even if your internship doesn’t result in employment with that company, it still gives you the chance to see what that job is like and to get an idea of how it’s performed within a professional setting. You may even find your internships change your mind about your career goals, either focusing them or redirecting them towards something that works better for you.
Work-study positions both on and off campus don’t have to just be another way to make ends meet. Depending on the school, you could have several options open to you as far as where you may work and still meet the requirements of your financial aid package. Many schools offer research or assistant teaching positions to those in the work-study program. These types of jobs can be an excellent way for those students interested in graduate school or a career in academia to get their foot in the door, and make invaluable contacts with faculty and staff at their college and beyond. If the work-study opportunities offered to you by your school aren’t quite as vibrant and require more office-based work than you’d like, you can still take advantage of the experience by being cordial to those around you. You never know when such contacts will come in handy.
There are many places you can work off-campus that provide great work experience, too. Anything that gives you responsibilities or skills that are applicable to your career goals makes for a good college job. Even retail or food service can impress a prospective employer: students who rise to management at their establishments while in school are clearly motivated and capable of supervising others, and anyone who has managed to make it as a bartender or food server probably has people skills and an incredible ability to multitask and perform under stress.
If you want to further distinguish yourself, an on-campus leadership position is a great way to shine. Throw yourself into one or two of the organizations you consider joining as a freshman and position yourself to be an officer later. If none of the existing clubs at your school suit your fancy, start your own. Greek life can also provide a great deal of leadership experience, too, as members of fraternities and sororities constantly engage in self-governance and philanthropic activities. Participating in on-campus leadership activities is also a great way to begin networking and making contacts that can help you land a job, or at least some fantastic references, once you’re out of school.
Volunteering, especially if you get really involved in the organizations to which you give your time, can also add some sparkle (and meaning and depth) to your college résumé. For most students, college is the last time in their lives they won’t have to work, so choosing to take their precious free time and give it to a charity shows compassion and commitment, two things that are likely to be valued by a variety of employers. Especially if you plan to work in the non-profit sector later, volunteering can be invaluable. It allows you to gain familiarity with the causes you support, and also gain experience and references that can serve you well later. our volunteer position, like your internships, can even lead to full-time employment later.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
June 25, 2019
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing to advance the development of high-quality, "white-collar" apprenticeship programs, run by business groups, colleges and other entities. The Department of Labor also announced awards totaling $183.8 million in Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grants. The "earn while you learn" model will enable individuals to acquire skills without accruing any student debt. [...]
June 18, 2019
Harvard revoked more admissions offers - this time involving 10 students who participated in a Facebook group called "Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens." Jokes about abusing children and the Holocaust and insulting comments about different racial and ethnic groups were found in the group, according to Inside Higher Ed.
Earlier this month, Harvard also rescinded an admission offer to Kyle Kashuv who, when he was 16 years old, used inflammatory and racist language, including the N-word, right before the Parkland shooting at his school, Stoneman Douglas High School. The shootings have since "changed him and made him more mature," he claims. Kashuv became famous for his conservatism, pro-gun and pro-Trump activism which he believes, represent a different view on how to prevent future, like tragedies.
In a recent Twitter post, he apologized for his past comments and stated that, "We were 16-year-olds making idiotic comments, using callous and inflammatory language in an effort to be as extreme and shocking as possible...I'm embarrassed by it, but I want to be clear that the comments I made are not indicative of who I am or who I've become in the years since." Shortly thereafter, Harvard looked into his case and eventually revoked his admissions offer. Though university personnel appreciate his "candor and expressions of regret," Harvard "takes seriously" the "qualities of maturity" and of "character" of the students it admits. Despite appealing the revocation, Kashuv was turned down. In his defense, Kashuv argues that, "throughout its history, Harvard's faculty has included slave owners, segregationists, bigots and anti-Semites. If Harvard is suggesting that growth isn't possible and that our past defines our future, then Harvard is an inherently racist institution. But I don't believe that. I believe that institutions and people can grow. I've said that repeatedly." In your opinion, should Kashuv have had his admissions offer revoked based on something he did when he was 16? Why or why not? [...]
June 11, 2019
A Wiccan Professor at St. Bonaventure sued the university and her alma mater for discrimination, alleging that she was not allowed to advance in her career because she is a woman and a witch. The reported discrimination began around Halloween in 2011, after she was asked to conduct an interview about her Wiccan beliefs with the university's student TV station, SBU-TV. [...]