Are you looking for an internship, co-op or job? The academic year may have just started but so has the time for job searching. It can be difficult to know where to start, so we sought advice. Here are the top 5 things students should focus on to get on the right track to a great career, according to the Whitman Career Center at Syracuse University.
1. Shape up your resume!
Whether you need a fresh start with your resume or your resume just needs routine updates, now is the time to do it. If you’ve had any summer jobs or internships be sure to add those in. Also, tailor your resume for specific positions. A resume written for a marketing position in social media should look different from one geared towards a marketing position in customer relationship management.
2. Utilize your career center advisers, workshops, and online tools.
Career Advisers are invaluable resources available to you as a student. Advisers are happy to assist you with identifying your career goals, shaping up your resume, providing guidance on how to correspond and network with recruiters and answer any questions you may have during your job search. Throughout the semester, companies will set up information sessions to network with students. Make sure to be prepared when that time comes.
There will be workshops offered by different campus career centers that focus on various aspects of the job search. Ask your career center or visit their webpage to find out more information.
3. Wait, did you say “career fair”?
Yes! Universities host multiple career fairs at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters. Recruiters come from all over the country looking for the best fit for their available positions.
Plan ahead and find out about career fairs and companies that will be on campus.
4. Career Fair “Hit List”:
Career fair websites include a list of companies that will be attending and the positions they are looking for. Narrow down the positions and companies you are interested in and create a plan to visit their booth. If there is a company you are interested in working for but will not be attending, visit their website’s career page.
Work on your pitch. Focus on creating a personal pitch that is a two-minute version of your resume and background. It should be something you can tell someone you meet at a networking event or career fair. Try writing one down then practice it, edit it and repeat.
Dress professionally! Career fairs are business formal. This means no jeans, no khakis, no summer dresses. For the ladies, a suit and button down shirt is appropriate. Gentlemen, add a tie. Wear comfortable but professional shoes, as you’ll be doing lots of walking. (Oh, and don’t skimp on the deodorant and breath mints.)
Check the signs. You’ve made it to the career fair. There are crowds of students around every table. How do you find the companies you want? Answer: Look up! Above each company’s table will be a sign listing who they are, the majors they are looking for, whether they are looking for undergraduate or graduates and whether they sponsor international student visas.
What does that even mean? Networking is to connect with alumni and professionals who share similar backgrounds, interests and career aspirations as yourself. Even if you meet someone who has different interests, they can likely connect you with the right person. LinkedIn and speaker events are great resources for networking. Keep your eyes peeled and your resume ready.
Set up your LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn profile is invaluable. Many companies are requesting that you apply to their positions by submitting your profile. Make sure it is up to date and professional.
These pointers should definitely provide you with ample ways to start and improve your career search. Best of luck!