Your goal in High School was to do your best, graduate and get accepted into college.  Now that you are starting college, your goal is to have a viable career or career path when you graduate. Many of the same qualities that helped you get accepted into college will help you get a job upon graduation.  The following tips will help you succeed!

  1. Start Early –DO NOT WAIT until you graduate from college to start looking for employment! Your entire college career will help you succeed after graduation.
  2. Grades matter! – Do your best in all your classes.  Obviously, if you are planning to go to graduate school, your grades will be an important factor in your graduate school acceptance.  But many students are surprised to find out that campus recruiters will want your official transcript.  A low GPA may filter you from being offered a job by the company. 
  3. Utilize the resources of your university – academic, cultural & athletic.  College libraries are not just a quiet place to study.  Learn how to use the library resources.  Take advantage of all the other events too - concerts, lectures, sporting events, art exhibits.  Expand your thinking, be open to new ideas and get out of your comfort zone.
  4. Study abroad for a summer, a semester or a year.  Living in a different part of the world is eye opening and gives you a more global view in your thinking about who you are and what you want to accomplish in your life!
  5. Utilize the academic counselors.   Working with the academic counselor over four years can keep you on the right track to graduate promptly.  They can answer any questions about academic policies, degree requirements and everything you need to do to graduate from college. 
  6. Utilize the career placement office.   They have extensive career counseling resources, resume and interview workshops and occupation information.  Their purpose is not to “find you a job” but to help you to develop skills and strategies to link your Academic Major to employment options.
  7. Attend the College Job Fairs.  Many large & small firms recruit at Universities.   They look for entry level, college educated candidates at the Job Fair.  They do not advertise for these positions and you will not find these positions through online recruiting sites like or other advertising.  If you miss the job fair, you have missed the opportunity.
  8. Get work experience.  As a freshman, it doesn’t matter what type of job.   You are building your resume and need experience to show your future employers that you are responsible, capable of showing up on time and trainable.  As you get more involved with your major, look for career related employment.  Temporary agencies are great for college students – they often hire for short term assignments and you can get experience working in a variety of industries.    
  9.  Search for Internships.  You may or may not get paid, but the experience is “priceless.”  Internships can also lead to full time employment after graduation.
  10. Work to sharpen your marketable skills – Skills can range from computers, finance, public speaking, communications, foreign language & scientific research.  Problem solving and team building skills are also very important to employers.  All these skills add value to you and are sought after by employers.
  11. Get involved in Campus activities. – Employers want to see more than just a stellar GPA.  Leadership and positions of responsibility indicate to prospective employers that you can manage a team or work in a team environment.  Students who are not involved in campus life are more likely to transfer or drop out.
  12. Get to know your professors.  You may need a letter of recommendation for work or graduate school.  They can’t write one if they don’t remember you!  Every professor has office hours – take advantage of this opportunity.
  13. Network, Network, Network – Keep in touch with past employers, professors, fraternity or sorority members and students who have already graduated.  Keep your LinkedIn profile current and make sure the photo is professional.  After you have graduated, join the Alumni Association. 
  14. Prepare for the Job Interview – Research the company and be familiar with what they do.  Dress appropriately, bring your resume, arrive early and breathe.  After the interview make sure to follow up with a handwritten Thank You note.
  15. Be realistic about your starting salary.   You are not worth $100,000 per year!  However, with planning and hard work, you will BE!
Author's Bio: 

Bob & Betty Frohlking started Clear Light College Success in 2008 to bring peace of mind to students and their families who are stressed about "College.'" We work with our students to get into the right college and we work with our families to pay for college. Our students have been admitted to many of the top universities across the United States - UCLA, Southern Methodist University, NYU, Boston University & George Washington University. We help our students succeed!

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