How College Students Can Prepare to be Job Ready
Before graduation, students need to know that a college degree might get you in the door for an interview and increase your earning potential, but it’s only part of the employment equation. To land the job, employers aren’t only looking at what you know; they want to know what you can do. So the following are the top 6 tips for college students to be job ready.
1. Treat college as your job
Use class time to work on making a good impression on the professor by dressing professionally, using positive body language, and taking the time to introduce yourself to professors and classmates. Also, for a variety of reasons, make it a priority to go to class on time, turn in assignments, and get involved in class discussions.
2. Meet your professors
In the world of work, you’ll learn more from your mentors than from your managers. Overcome any fears of intimidation with higher-ups through practice building relationships with your professors. When you get to the workforce, you’ll be primed to talk to mentors in your field who can help you advance in your career.
3. Practice active listening skills during lectures
Lectures offer a perfect opportunity to hone active listening skills. Work to fully understand the material presented and to ask relevant questions. Practicing these skills will help increase job-readiness while also helping to understand the course material better.
4. Use group projects to practice leadership and teamwork skills
Group projects are an excellent opportunity to practice skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, and problem solving. Group work is a great opportunity to practice both working as a team and taking the lead.
5. Improve self-management skills
Students have a lot to balance, and college is a great opportunity to put self-management skills to use. Some people may self-manage by using tools like planners, study groups, or flashcards. Others may simply need to turn off their cell phone and computer when studying in order to focus. When it comes to finding out the best way you learn, study, and work, practice makes perfect.
6. Learn to love challenge
Employers value a person who is willing to tackle challenges head-on over the person who gets stuck in the weeds. It is far more important for students to challenge themselves than to maintain a perfect GPA. In the long run, the classes that are easy A’s simply aren’t worth it. Learning through a challenging course builds confidence you will use well into your career.
Employers are looking for new hires who possess the know-how and the soft skills to get the job done, and then some. This year, don’t just dress for the job you want, be the professional you want to be. Now is the time to start creating your professional presence. Make a bold statement with your actions and your words.
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