Get a jump start on your future with these tips
If you are in career school or college, that’s great news. It means you are already taking some important steps toward your future career. The effort you are putting into school will certainly pay off when it’s time to start looking for your first job. But as you probably know, the job market is competitive. Finding a job isn’t always easy. So, what can give you an advantage? What steps can you take now to position yourself for the job market of the future?
We’ve put together some great tips that you can start working on today…while you’re still a student. And when it’s time to write your resume next year or in years to come, you will be glad you were so proactive!
1. Your first priority: do well in school
When you make the decision to enroll in college or career school, you are committing your time and your money to your education. This is an investment that matters! For this reason, your first priority should be getting good grades in school. If you are having troubles with the transition from high school to post-secondary education, try these tips to improve your study skills. If you find you are falling behind, try these tips for getting back on track.
2. Stretch yourself academically
Passing your courses is one thing, but going the extra mile is another. See what you can do to earn top grades, take on extra credit projects, or enroll in higher-level courses. The more you challenge yourself, the better prepared you will be for the workplace.
3. Get involved and be a leader
Employers like to see that you have leadership skills. Schools offer a lot of great ways to get involved and pursue leadership roles. You might join student government, lead a donation drive, or organize a school activity. If you don’t like taking the lead role, try joining an association or group. You don’t have to be the president of the class—just being involved can show a future employer that you are motivated.
4. Meet your instructors/professors
In some schools, you can stay anonymous by quietly attending your classes, sitting in the back, and rarely participating. This is not the best way to go. Your instructors offer a wealth of resources, and they want to get to know their students! Take advantage of all they have to offer by introducing yourself, going to office hours, and participating in class. You’ll be surprised at how much more you enjoy your classes when you get actively engaged in the learning. And who knows…one of your instructors may even be able to serve as a reference for your first job!
5. Volunteer in your community
If you can make time in your schedule, volunteering is a great opportunity to get job experience and get connected in your community. It looks great on your resume and helps to build your career network. And best of all, it’s fun and it helps your community!
6. Keep a clean digital footprint
It’s important to be mindful of the reputation you are creating for yourself on social media. Remember, the things you post on social media today will stay with you for many years to come. Once you start putting your resumes out there, potential employers may search online to find out what kind of person you are. If you need help with your digital trail, here are some suggestions for sprucing up your social media footprint.
7. Hold a job
When you first enter your new career field, you probably won’t have any direct experience in your job field. Employers understand that. However, it’s still important to have some work experience on your resume, even if it’s only a series of part-time jobs. Employers want to know that you know how to hold a job. Getting references from past employers is also helpful when you’re on the job market.
8. Begin building your network
Are you an extrovert who knows all your classmates by the first week of school? It’s a good idea to get to know other people in your classes, because they are the beginning of your career network that you will build throughout your life. If you are shy, here are some tips on getting to know your classmates. Making friends with your classmates will make your school experience more fun. And having friends that you can count on is priceless!
9. Stay ahead of the technology curve
Technology changes at a dizzying pace, and the more you can do to stay ahead of the curve, the better. As a young person, you are probably more adept than your older counterparts with today’s technology, and it’s important to stay a step ahead throughout your career. When entering the job market, you should at least be comfortable with: touch typing, the basic programs in the Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook), cloud applications, basic data visualization, social media platforms, and Internet searching. And depending on your career focus, you may want to learn some coding, HTML, and other industry-specific software.
10. Develop a presence on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a career networking platform that is great for jobseekers and anyone interested in building a career network. It’s also one of the key websites that employers use when learning more about their potential employees. You can get started on your profile before you graduate. Here are some suggestions on creating a great LinkedIn profile and making the most out of LinkedIn.
With these 10 tips, we hope you are well on your way to developing a career path that you will be proud of. We know you can do it!
This article is courtesy of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, New Hampshire. Contact us online to find out more about starting your career training with us!