Being an undergraduate in a university or college is a good time to prepare yourself towards the almost inevitable future. In the real world after school, you have to go get a job. How easy is it with people who are already in the search for jobs in the labour market today? As an undergraduate student who will in few years become a graduate and join the league of job-seekers, how do you intend to beat the competition and how are you planning to up your game. As someone once put it that ‘proper preparation prevents poor performance' and it is important that you make hay while the sun shines. A good time to start thinking, strategizing, planning and working towards your career is now, while you are still in school, so that you can come out and have an edge that many others who will be seeking for jobs like yourself may likely not have. It is important for you to have the right ideas that help you to know how to raise your career prospects while in school. The following points highlight and discuss some things you can do:
Articulate your goal or ambition
Take the time to think about it, what do you really want to do when you leave school? What kind of job will you like to be involved in? What kind of company will you prefer to work with. In fact as much as possible, ensure that the kind of course you are doing presently in school is the type that can be viable when you graduate. Don't just do anything, do something that you love and you know is still relevant to the society. That advice can probably be more effective for students who are just leaving secondary/high school seeking admission into university or college. But as a student in the university, you should ask yourself and be as real as possible, begin to be clear about the kind of job you may want to apply for after graduation. Then begin to work toward it and find ways to begin to gain related experience in that line so as to have an edge when applying later.
Do some research
When you know the kind of jobs you would like to go for eventually, why not begin to do some underground research and survey about those companies and organisations. Knowing the things you need to know about these companies and your line of interest as per job will help you in knowing how to position yourself for success during job applications. If you discover there are things you need to add to your normal degree to gain more edge, then begin to pursue those things, find ways to get those things added to your certifications and qualifications before applying for job. Eventually when you have to go for interviews, you must do good research about the concerned organisation so as to be well informed about them and know what they do and the likes.
Do internships/industrial attachment/part-time works
If you want to boost your career prospects, then ensure you find places to intern while you are still in school. There may be a point where you have to do industrial attachment in the course of your undergraduate study, find a good place to do it and learn all you can in the process. Even if the industrial attachment is not made compulsory, ensure you go for it and do it as this will also serve to boost your experience. You could also go for part-time jobs that are combinable with your academic work. Taking up such a job will likely expose you to some useful experiences that can help you later on.
Work towards good grades
Your class is also important when it comes to getting a good job. Ensure that you are working towards having good grades in all your papers with the mind set of having good grades to leverage on when seeking for job eventually. While good grades are not the only determining factors for employability, while working on being the guy that the best companies will want to employ, part of it is to come out with an excellent class from school. Coming out excellently could even make you get a scholarship. You can also work towards getting prizes.
Try to learn a new language
Learning and knowing a new language apart from the normal ones you speak could set you up for a good job. Applicants that can multi-lingua may likely have more edge than others. If you are a multi-linguist, it means you will be able to communicate with certain customers and you will also be able to interpret some languages in business transactions.
Design a good Resume
Ensure that you have a captivating resume, of because you are still a student and may not have so many qualifications or experience of certain years but arrange and make your resume as attractive and loaded as possible. As you continue to gain more qualifications, you should include them there. You could give out your resume to a professional who can help you craft it in a very good way.
Apply for short-term courses
When you have the opportunity during your vacations and breaks to quickly enrol for short-term courses, you should endeavour to do so. Get the certificates and add those things to your certifications. Also you never can tell how much the knowledge gained can be of help. Get some important trainings on skills that you would like to develop. You should pay the necessary price for success in life.
Network with people
Don't waste relationships. Your class mates, lecturers and friends are people you should connect with in meaningful ways. Establish solid relationships that can pay off in the future. Also you might eventually need some of your lecturers to be your referees, don't spoil your relationships with them while in school. Network with promising people around you and don't underrate people, you never can tell where you will meet in the future. Your network is your networth, so build it and guard it. You should also sigh up on LinkedIn.
Take care of your online profile
Ensure that you are building a good online profile, put up posts that can enhance a good image of you. Your potential employers may want to check up your facebook page to know more about you. If you have a bad representation online, it may affect how they perceive you. So, start from now to build a good online image on the social media platforms.
Get involved with student groups or start groups or start one
You should join a value adding student society on campus where you can use your skills and get better, whatever your interest is, be it in sports like football, or something like a music group, writing group and the likes. If you discover there is an area of interest you have but can't find a club or group like that, you can start one. You can be able to use your skills in a good society and develop yourself, you can add this to your resume. Plus if you get to start one, you will likely gain a lot of skill and experience through that, and if you do well at it, the leadership experience can be added to your resume and this can put you in a better light.
You can also add volunteering experiences to your resume. Try to volunteer when you find good opportunities. Volunteering means that you are showing your interest in a good cause and giving yourself to it.
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