Too many students wait until they enter their senior year or may even graduate before they start giving much thought to their job search. That strategy doesn't impress the employers with the most desirable jobs.
Students who ignore the needs, wants and expectations of the best employers in their fields of interest will not be rewarded with impressive job offers.
It just doesn't work that way!
When disappointed students ask successful students about the secrets to their success, they don't like the answers. The most successful students:
1. Identify a clear goal (target)
2. Select a major and minor that supports the goal
3. Do their best in the classroom
4. Research and understand target employer expectations
5. Develop a multi-year plan with progressive steps
6. Gain job-related experience through campus and work activities
7. Cultivate references from professors and employers
8. Build a list of significant and job-related accomplishments
9. Are prepared to provide examples and tell interesting stories
All of this should be understood by students before they finish the second year of college. Knowing where they want to go is good. However, it is the follow-through during the junior and senior years that will determine their level of success in their target job market.
The most successful students understand that great jobs are not won or lost during interviews. Job offers are earned during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of college in the classroom, campus activities and work experience.
Wise students actively pursue and fight for the jobs they want most.
Less disciplined students settle for the jobs they are offered.
If you compare the list that follows to the list above, it should be clear which group of students will end up with job offers from the employers that pay well and have career potential.
The least successful students:
1. Have no clear goal or target
2. Cannot be sure their major and minor will be supportive
3. Do not excel in the classroom, campus activities or at work
4. Don't know what employers expect of them
5. Have no plan to follow
6. Participate in work and activities unrelated to the jobs they seek
7. Make no effort to cultivate impressive references
8. Have few accomplishments that will impress employers
9. Develop no examples and stories to use during interviews
Students who follow the first list will have more and better employment choices and opportunities than students who follow the second list. That should be obvious.
Clear thinking and hard work are not ingrained in every student. Some students never recognize that they have to compete for good jobs and therefore fail to embrace the job search preparation activities that help to ensure employment success. They think that employers will be chasing them no matter what they do. Unfortunately for them, it just doesn't work that way.
Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has also created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market.© 2020 Bob Roth
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