Good paying jobs with respected employers attract the attention of many highly qualified college students. That means that the competition will be stiff. Therefore, students who plan to compete must find ways to stand out from the competition.
Many students achieve average grades (C+, B-) in college. However, as you know, many employers only seek students with a CUM of 3.0 or higher. That means that average students must find other ways to grab the attention and interest of employers
Wise students focus on nine areas:
What Your Target Employers Need and Expect
If you don't know exactly what employers need and expect from you, it is unlikely that you will give it to them. Therefore, wise students do some research. They talk to Professors, Career Services Counselors, Employers, Employees, Alumni and Recruiters. They also call the employers that are of interest to them. Of course, they visit those web sites too.
When students gather that critical information during their freshman and sophomore years, they will have time to accumulate the knowledge and experiences that employers seek.
Work experience of any kind is helpful, because it gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their work ethic, leadership, communication skills and ability to get things done. However, work experience that is closely related to their area of interest is even better. Employers love candidates who can talk about their technical experience, successes and accomplishments in their own field.
Employers want to learn about your capabilities. That is why wise students build a list of impressive accomplishments, throughout their college years. Students can accomplish things that will be of interest to employers in five distinct areas: The Classroom, Campus Activities, At Work, In The Community and In Hobbies and Leisure Activities. Average students must accomplish things that will impress potential employers.
Employers seek students who can get things done, manage time, set priorities, make good decisions, solve problems, demonstrate creativity, reduces costs and generate revenue. When students use their time in college to discover and develop these abilities, it is time well spent.
Do you have natural skills? Have you developed new skills in college? If you can show employers that you have the skills that are needed on the job, you will increase your chances for being interviewed. Can you provide examples of your superior Leadership, Technical, People and Communication skills?
Personality & Attitude
Do have a “How can I help?” “Let's give it a try.” work attitude? If you have a positive attitude and a likeable personality, you should be prepared to provide examples of how they have helped you accomplish an employer goal.
Employers need people who work well in a team environment, have a strong analytical style, easily interact with and persuade others or naturally overcome obstacles to achieve the goal. These four operating styles lend themselves to important jobs in almost every organization. Can you demonstrate that you have been successful using one of these operating styles?
Dress and Grooming
Bad first impressions are almost impossible to overcome. Wise students pay close attention to their first few words, clothing, hair, smile, handshake, smell, jewelry, tattoos and piercings, in order to give themselves a shot at a good job.
References and Recommendations
Few employers can resist the influence of a powerful and enthusiastic reference from a highly respected professional in their own field or industry. When students can provide such a reference, they have greatly improved their chances for employment.
It should be clear that students must not wait until the senior year before they start thinking about these success factors. Savvy students slowly accumulate a number of these factors and experiences, as they move from semester to semester in college.
Students with average academic success, but solid skills, accomplishments and experience, can compete effectively for good jobs. However, they will have to perform in a way that will make employers take notice and enable them to obtain solid references from professors, employers or community leaders.