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
  • Full Sail University - Online

    Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

    Programs

    • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
    • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
    • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Full Sail University - Online Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Capella University

    An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.

    Programs

    • MSN - RN-to-MSN Care Coordination (CCNE-accredited)
    • BS - Human Resource Management (ACBSP-accredited)
    • MS - Addiction Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Capella University Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

    Programs

    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Platt College 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 »
  • Simmons College School of Social Work

    SocialWork@Simmons is an innovative, online Master of Social Work program offered through the Simmons School of SocialWork, the nation’s oldest school of social work. Complete your MSW in as little as 15 months with this CSWE-accredited program. No GRE required.

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons College School of Social Work Request Info »
  • Northcentral University

    Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

    Programs

    • International Business - D.B.A.
    • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
    • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
    • More...
    Location:
    San Diego: 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego CA 92106
    Northcentral University Request Info »
  • Sacred Heart University - Online

    Sacred Heart University Online 

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
    • MSN - Clinical Nurse Leader
    • Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Industrial Organizational Psychology
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Sacred Heart University - Online Request Info »
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

    Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • Executive Master of Health Administration
    • Master of Public Health
    Location:
    Washington: 2121 I St NW,, Washington DC 20052
    Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University 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.