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20 Ways in which University Students Gain an Edge in the Job Market

There are many ways university students can become more employable, and gain the attention of employers. Here is what you should do to make your resume stand out from your peers when you apply for a job, increasing your chances of getting hired:

  • Attend Career Fairs

Career fairs are integral to building a strong network. Many high-powered professionals attend career fairs, and students should try to approach as many individuals as possible. If they can talk with someone in charge at their desired company, that is even better!

  • Get Internships/Work Experience

Many companies want to hire interns because it’s an inexpensive way to see if the business is a good fit for an employee. Many professionals start as interns, and students can get experience by working in their chosen field before they graduate.

  • Practice their Interview Techniques

College students must know how to give proper answers during employment interviews. They shouldn’t be fidgety or negative, and they should know how to handle themselves professionally.

  • Learn New Skills

To get hired, students need to be able to do more than reading, writing, and making reports. If there is a skill that the job calls for that they don’t have, they can learn it via an inexpensive course from Udemy or even teach themselves.

  • Get Involved on Campus

It’s easy for students to get involved with clubs and organizations while they are in school. This is a good way to build up their resume, meet new people, network, and have fun!

  • Read Up on Current Events

Students should know what is going on in the world. In today’s world, the news is everywhere, and it’s easy to stay informed by reading a few articles each day. It also makes students appear smart!

  • Be Prepared for their Internships

Some students go into internships completely unprepared and end up wasting their time or, perhaps worse, making a poor impression on their employer. Students should know what they want to do, and how they can make their employer’s business better.

  • Keep up with Social Media

Students need to manage their social media pages because prospective employers will be looking at them. These days it’s easy for employers to find out information about potential employees by searching online.

  • Network with Professionals

Networking is an important part of life, and students should do it as much as possible. They may wish to join LinkedIn or another professional networking site to connect with other professionals who can give them career advice.

  • Take Advantage of Tools at their Fingertips

There are apps, websites, and tools that students can use to help them advance their careers. Apps like Resume Companion are useful because they offer a critique of a student’s resume, which will allow them to fix any errors before they send it out. Some websites also offer tools that might be useful in landing a job and negotiating your starting salary (such as salary calculators).

  • Tell Their Career Story

Employers like to hire people who can finish their sentences when they talk about who they are and what they do in their lives. Students should learn how to talk about themselves in a way that paints them in the best possible light and makes it easy for employers to picture them in their organization.

  • Stay Motivated

It’s important for college students not to get discouraged if they don’t land a job right after graduating from school because it could take a few months or even a year before they achieve success. They should keep their spirits high and try again the next time around.

  • Prepare for Salary Negotiations

Some college students aren’t prepared for salary negotiations, and employers can tell. It’s important to be educated on the average salaries in the field so that they know what a fair wage is. 

  • Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Sometimes finding a job can take time because many companies don’t post their open positions. Many college students give up on finding employment after just a month of looking, but they should instead try for at least two months before changing course.

  • Network with Alumni

Networking is an important part of life whether you are in school or already working somewhere. Students should take advantage of their alumni network to meet new, successful people.

  • Be Prepared for the First Three Weeks on the Job

Most companies expect a new college graduate to come into a job and produce work that is of quality within the first three weeks of starting a position. College students should be prepared to have productive work ready from day one because employers won’t cut them any slack.

  • Don’t Undersell Themselves

While in school, students might have no choice but to accept an unpaid internship to gain experience and develop their resumes. That being said, once they graduate it is important for students not to continue working for free even if it means taking a low-paying job that doesn’t use their degree. Employers will respect that.

  • Be Patient

Finding a job right out of college can be tough, and students should keep in mind that they are not the only ones looking for work. If an employer isn’t returning their calls it might be because they’re too busy interviewing other candidates. That being said, if they haven’t heard anything after a month they should reach out to them and ask for an update.

  • Focus on Their Skills

It’s important for college students not to get caught up in finding the dream job because it might take some time before they find what fits their interests and skills perfectly. Instead, they should focus on landing any job, and then once they are working they can consider what their long-term goals actually are.

  • Remember that the Job Hunt is about Them, Not about the Company

It’s easy for college students to get caught up in finding a job where the company culture matches their personality, but it might be just as important for them to find a job that’s fulfilling instead. College students should think about what they hope to gain from employment rather than focusing on the company itself.

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October 1, 2021

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