Alex Fish | Staff Writer | @alexthecfish
Photo credit: Valerie Cheatham
Whether this is your last semester, or if you are graduating in the spring, you likely are thinking of the next step: transitioning from college graduate to full-time employee.
Many UVU students have found success entering the work world by focusing on these steps:
1. Networking: Just like you set time to do schoolwork, set time to network. Networking involves creating connections with those around you to aid you in your job search.
Many students find it easiest to start networking with those closest to them. Begin with your friends, family and neighbors. Branch out to your classmates, professors and other professionals you have met.
Having a purpose in your conversations will help you make the right connections. Inform others that you are graduating soon and are looking for a job. Ask others where they work. Be prepared to state your skills and interest.
Apart from traditional face-to-face networking, spend time networking on the Internet. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and use Facebook to familiarize yourself with companies you would like to work with. Liking a company’s Facebook page is good first step to understanding a company’s culture, which will help you during an interview.
2. Flexibility: Business Insider advises graduates to, “Forget landing your dream job (and focus) on what can get you there in the future.” Many students feel uneasy applying for a job because they don’t want to make the wrong choice. Don’t let this concern paralyze your job search. You’ll know a job is a good fit for you it if challenges you in a way that will make you a better employee for your next job.
“Very few students go from college directly to their dream job,” said Sue Stephenson from UVU’s Career Development Center, “there are many twists and turns on the road to career fulfillment.” Her advice for students is to be intentional when searching for jobs, but to also be open to learning along the way.
3. Career Development Center: UVU’s CDC is a great go-to source for everyone, especially soon-to-be graduates.
CDC workers can help you prepare for job fairs and networking by demonstrating how to articulate experiences and skills in a 30-second introduction. They also can help you revamp your résumé, conduct mock interviews, and establish alumni and business connections.
If you are thinking of continuing on to graduate school, the CDC can help you with that too. Their practice exams and their application advice can save you a lot of confusion as you move forward.
4. Career plan: Finally, recognize that you don’t need to do everything at once. Developing a career plan is a good way to map out how to use each week for the rest of the semester to achieve your goals.
Write down what type of occupation you want along with your desired income. If you are unsure of what career to pursue, check the Wolverine Career Link often and write down anything that might interest you.
Weekly goals can include visiting to the CDC, updating your résumé, applying for jobs, connecting with alumni and attending career events.
Overall, remember that you are more qualified than you might think. Throughout your student years you have had coursework, part-time jobs, volunteer work and participation in clubs; all of these can help positively market you to an employer.