Why You Should Jumpstart Your Career Search in College

Fiona Hart / Colleges of Distinction »

The idea that getting a degree is synonymous with getting you a job died a long time ago. With so many more Americans earning a college degree in the first place, it’s no surprise that the job market has also become more competitive. Solely earning a degree no longer makes you stand out of the crowd, so you now have to work harder to do that yourself!  One of the best ways to make yourself more marketable is by having professional experience in your desired industry before you graduate college. Not only does jumpstarting your career search in college make it easier for you in the long run, it also helps ensure that you will actually enjoy the career you choose. 

Throughout this series, we will discuss five different ways to jumpstart your career search while still in college. From internships to on-campus leadership roles, there are multiple ways to prepare for your future while still in undergrad. Our series starts where your search should: your university or college’s career fair. These events are designed to make getting information about local companies easier for you, and they save you a major amount of time. While it may seem intimidating, talking to people at career or internship fairs is the best way to make connections while still in college. 

What’s to Come

As we continue with College Networking 101, we will discuss how to create and maintain relationships with people who can help you later in your career, which can be as easy as talking to your professors in class. After we talk about how to network, we’ll explain how you can put those new skills to good use by securing an internship as well as eight reasons why you should get an internship while in college in the first place. We’ll explore how an internship not only equips you with professional experience for your résumé, but also offers the chance to see if you actually like working in the field you’ve been studying. The job search after college is hard enough, and it can only become harder when you don’t know what you actually want to do. 

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From there, the series will show how, along the same lines as developing skills through an internship, you can also establish professional competence through leadership roles on campus—a great alternative if internships are hard to come by in your college town. After we’ve inspired you to apply for an internship or leadership position, we’ll discuss how to document your new skills and abilities on LinkedIn. In our new technology- and data-driven age, LinkedIn can only benefit you if you’re using it to your advantage. In that article, we’ll give you tips for curating the perfect LinkedIn profile to promote the best you. 

College is a time for learning about who you are and working toward who you want to be, and jumpstarting your career search will help you accomplish just that. Meg Jay said it best in her book, The Defining Decade: Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.” Ready to start your journey? Check out Part I of this series here.

Read the Whole Series:

Why You Should Jumpstart Your Career Search in College

College Networking 101: Professors, Events, & LinkedIn

How To Curate the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

7 Reasons You Should Get an Internship