Knowing what to do and knowing how to do it are not the same as doing it. Although others can tell college students how to impress their target employers, the students themselves must perform the activities and achieve the results that employers want, need and expect.
Having a roadmap, an app or a guidance system is good, but as of today, someone still has to drive the car.
Employers have expectations. When students meet or exceed those expectations, employers may show an interest in them. However, when students don’t meet those expectations, they stand little chance of landing an interview.
For students who are unsure of the process that will work in their favor, the following job search preparation process (Roadmap) may be helpful:
- Identify a field of interest, based on past successes and capabilities
- Attend college with a clear and strong purpose
- Select a Major and Minor that will support the career direction
- Early on, learn how to conduct an effective job search campaign
- Develop and follow an employment plan for each semester
- Identify desirable Target Employers in the field of interest
- Determine what those employers want, need and expect
- Demonstrate capabilities preferred by target employers
- Seek experiences that are similar to job duties
- Excel in areas related to the field of interest
- Build a list of accomplishments in the target area
- Find ways to stand out from other students with similar career goals
- Gain some job-related work experience (Summer / Part-Time Jobs)
- Build a network of job-related contacts (Network toward the goal)
- Identify useful job search web sites and organizations
- Cultivate references who can describe successes and capabilities
- Participate in a Professional Association in the field
- Develop an exceptional Resumé (Tailor it to each job & employer)
- Hone desirable Interviewing Skills
- Research each target employer thoroughly
Yes, this is a grueling process. However, this process clearly differentiates the strongest candidates from those who are unwilling to perform the work that leads to the best jobs with great employers.
The job search preparation process is not something that can be done for a student. Job search preparation is something that must be done by the students themselves.
With this roadmap, readers (students) can no longer claim ignorance of the process. Therefore, students who are concerned about landing good jobs must apply what they have learned and get ready for the employment process.
Importantly, the job search preparation process is not a last minute, senior year event. Rather, it is an ongoing process that begins in the first year of college and ends when the student receives a desirable job offer. Since very few shortcuts exist, focus, persistence and hard work are integral elements of student employment success.
Employers want to know what you have accomplished during the college years. They reason that past performance is a good indicator of future performance. It should be obvious that the best employers have high expectations. They will offer $65,000 or more to students in the top 10% or 15% both academically and/or in their work and campus activities.
For students who are not in the top 15%, there are still plenty of good jobs out there for those who have been diligent in following the job search preparation activities listed above. Many jobs with career potential are available with desirable employers who will offer $40,000 to $60,000. These jobs go to the students who have prepared well and are able to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Students who have below average grades and do little or nothing during the college years should anticipate that their services will not be in high demand. Earning a good job offer is something that is still done by the students themselves.