dcsimg
You are here:

A guide to a more marketable you after graduation

GetDegrees.com: Find A Career After Graduation College is hard work, but the biggest job may lie ahead: selling yourself to potential employers. In today's tight employment market every possible edge is important, so taking a hard look at how you market yourself may ultimately pay off in a good job after graduation. Here are some tips to make yourself more attractive to future employers that you can put into practice no matter how far along you are in your college studies.

College is More than Just Good Grades

If an employer is trying to make a decision between two resumes, he or she will often choose the applicant who has additional interests outside of studying. Joining clubs and participating in extracurricular activities may give you an edge over those who simply made grades. Of course, you should not let your extracurricular activities interfere with your grades or studying; however, being able to show that you managed to balance school work while pursuing other worthwhile interests and passions can speak volumes to employers about your work ethic and time management. Some clubs or groups may also provide you with opportunities to meet professionals in your field and network prior to applying for jobs.

Apply for Internships

Internships are a great way to get on-the-job experience that will bolster your resume and prove your interest in the field. Internships can be competitive, so begin researching these opportunities as early as freshman year. You can often schedule internships for summer or seasonal breaks so that you do not have to take a semester off from classes. Internships allow students to build a network outside of school, and professional references from supervisors can go a long way during the post-graduation job hunt. If you are lucky enough to land one, oftentimes, a paid internship is the best step you can take towards landing a job out of college. 

In fact, a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers estimated that a paid internship will turn into a job offer 60 percent of the time

Keep Your Grades Up

It is easy to forget that grades are something potential employers consider. A person who has engaged in extracurricular activities and internships but has mediocre grades may not be hired as quickly as someone with a high grade point average who was also active outside of class. It may not seem fair, but grades are still a measure that employers understand.

Attendance is Important

While most college professors do not keep a running score of your attendance, some do. If attendance is reported as part of your transcript, it can hurt your job chances if an employer sees that you missed every Friday for two months. Employers may also contact your former professors and ask about your commitment to class time. Even if your class attendance habits are still your secret, your future employer will surely hear about your attendance at internships or work-study jobs.

Take a Variety of Classes

Every class you take should be useful to you when you graduate, so it pays to take a variety of classes in numerous subjects. While you should not “major hop” or jump from one subject to another, use electives to explore areas outside your comfort zone. Doing so may make you more marketable and give you knowledge and experience that you can use in a future job, even if you are not planning on working in that particular field.

Build a Portfolio

Employers do not only want to see grades; they want to see what you can actually do. While internships are great for building job experience, they are also a good opportunity to put together a portfolio of your best work. Examples of your writing or samples of other skills, including presentations or projects you completed, will be helpful when you go to an interview. 

Use Social Networks Wisely

One of the easiest ways you can begin marketing yourself while in school is to start creating an online presence. Most college students today use a wide array of social media sites—but many are doing so only to keep in touch with friends. Part of marketing yourself to potential employers should also include setting up a career-focused social media profile on sites like LinkedIn. A recent Student Career Development study found that too many students “are not aggressively preparing for their post-college careers.” While many students (95%) have a Facebook profile, only one third of students surveyed made use of LinkedIn, despite the fact that the majority of students surveyed (85%) “believe that having an internship is important or very important” to securing a job out of college, and sites like LinkedIn offer a multitude of opportunities to network for internships. In an effort to create a professional online presence, students who do have a Facebook profile should also be sure to eliminate any potentially harmful pictures or videos from their account.  

Additionally, remember to make use of the resources you have at your disposal while in school. Career counselors and academic advisors can help you perfect your resume and cover letter, and these offices often host interview classes or job fairs. Following these tips will help you attract job offers and impress employers. Become a well-rounded college student and translate that work into future job potential!

Chad Fisher is an education enthusiast with a passion for building education and career-oriented websites to help people learn more about careers that interest them. He is currently interested in helping people find a career in physical training with his website SMPNET.org.

Similar articles you may like:

Must have apps to get you through college

Resume tips: How to make your menial summer job sound great

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Argosy University, Online Programs

    Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

    Programs

    • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
    • Sport-Exercise Psychology (MA)
    • Business Administration (AS)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Argosy University, Online Programs Request Info »
  • Washington State University

    Get your career started with training from Washington State University.

    Programs

    • Executive MBA
    • MBA
    Location:
    Pullman: , Pullman WA
    Washington State University Request Info »
  • Anna Maria College

    Anna Maria College is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic liberal arts institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1946, AMC's programs integrate liberal education and professional preparation that reflect the respect for liberal arts and sciences education grounded in the traditions of the Sisters of Saint Anne—educational innovation, service to others, and access to a quality education for all.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
    • Master of Public Administration - Fire and Emergency Services
    • Master of Public Administration - Homeland Security
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Anna Maria College Request Info »
  • George Mason University

    Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Programs

    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • More...

    Location: Online

    George Mason  University Request Info »
  • Pepperdine University - Marriage and Family Therapy

    Pepperdine University offers its esteemed marriage and family therapy (MFT) master’s program online so students across the country can earn a Pepperdine graduate education without attending classes on campus. 

     

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
    Location:
    Malibu: , Malibu CA 90263
    Pepperdine University - Marriage and Family Therapy Request Info »
  • University of Maryland at College Park

    Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.

    Programs

    • MBA - Information Systems & Business Analytics
    • MBA - General
    • MBA - Marketing
    • More...
    Location:
    College Park: , College Park MD 20742
    University of Maryland at College Park Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd,, Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Ultimate Medical Academy Online

    Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.

     

    Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

    Programs

    • A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
    • Diploma - Medical Administrative Assistant
    • A.S.- Health Sciences (Pharmacy Technician)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Ultimate Medical Academy Online Request Info »
  • University of Southern California - DSW

    The University of Southern California Doctor of Social Work (DSW) online program is designed for experienced practitioners to harness innovative solutions to solve real-world problems.

    Unlike a PhD in social work, which prepares scholars for careers in research and the professoriate, the DSW@USC is an online advanced practice degree program for working professionals who want to have a greater impact in their practice.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
    Location:
    Los Angeles: 669 W 34th St, Los Angeles CA 90089
    University of Southern California - DSW Request Info »
  • Wake Forest University - Online

    Business Analytics opportunities are numerous as major organizations adopt data-driven, technology-focused strategies across nearly every industry.

    Programs

    • Masters in Business Analytics

    Location: Online

    Wake Forest University - Online Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.