Blog Posts

Advice for College Students: How to Prepare for the Working World

By 15th November 2019

job search for college students

Many thanks to Erica Francis, representative of Ready Job, for this guest post written specially for ResumeWritingLab.

A college life often entails pulling all-nighters, spending free time with friends, and little sleep. Despite this being a “norm”, college students need to balance their time with preparing for their future. This includes building their resume, strengthening their networks, and generally preparing for their careers. It is only natural that professional resume writing is so important today. This is especially true now that competition for jobs is so fierce and millennials make up nearly 40% of the unemployed population  in the United States. Below is advice for students that will make the transition from college to the workforce easier.

Improving Soft Skills

searching for job after graduationCollege and universities may not do a good enough job in teaching students the so-called soft skills of communication and problem solving. Needless to say, that collaboration is the key in today’s working world, as teams are spread across the globe, working together yet remotely. Communication skills are the success to collaboration in almost any field. This includes knowing how to speak during conference calls, how to write professional emails and reports, how to ask questions, and how to deliver feedback.

Problem-solving is another critical soft skill for college students who want to ensure they are prepared for the working world. Knowing how to handle challenges, solve problems creatively, and find solutions when there is no guide is important. This means being flexible and relying on experience, rather than your course content when you approach problems.

Know How to Deal with Failure

The millennial generation has been accused of being easily offended and of not being equipped to handle failure. These descriptions do not bode well for college students who want to enter the working world upon graduation.

Students must especially know how to deal with failure if they are going to succeed in the working world. Businesses experience up and down cycles, and failure is a part of the process. Failure can be a path to learning. Students cannot be afraid to take risks, for fear of failing. They need to gain experience and work outside of their comfort zone if they are going to be ready for the working world.

Get an Internship

One of the best ways for college students to prepare for a career field is to get an internship. Interns gain hands-on experience and knowledge that is impossible to gain in the classroom. They work in teams under the direction of company executives or organization leaders. This means they get to see first-hand the responsibility, expectations, and initiative that go along with being a productive member of a business. Also, an internship is a perfect way to spend your time during unemployment.

Research and Educate Yourself on the Job Requirements

using the internet to find a jobOne of the worst things that can happen to a college student is to graduate with career expectations that aren’t quite accurate. That’s why it is imperative to prepare for the working world by knowing exactly what the job will entail. Conducting online research, talking with working professionals, and taking advantage of the learning resources that are available are just a few of the ways to get educated about what a career will actually involve. It’s better to gain background knowledge about your field and potential future role before you have your diploma than it is to find out that your job is not at all what you expected it to be after you’ve been hired.

There is a bit of disconnect between employers’ expectations for a graduate’s skills and abilities, and the actual experience they might have. That is why presenting your skills and any experience is critical—it at least gives some work and education credibility. Learn how to come up with perfect answers for interview questions. Look up ways to put together an attention-grabbing resume, and have it edited by peers. Doing so is is another step in showing professionalism and preparedness. After all, a college student’s real job is to prepare for the working world while earning a degree.

Image via Pixabay by StartupStockPhotos

About the Author:

ResumeWritingLab guest writerErica Francis works with to help young adults and graduates transition into the workforce and get prepared for their career paths. She is dedicated to providing helpful resources that young people may not have otherwise. Aside from her passionate work at ReadyJob, Erica likes to spend time getting involved in theater, and riding horses.