I just finished reading an article in Crane’s New York Business titled Recent College Grads Face a Tough Job Market. The article quotes that 52% of New York City-based company heads will not be hiring fresh graduates at this time. Why? New graduates require more time and costs due to their lack of business experience, their need for training, and expectations that do not align with the reality of work.
Additional employment challenges for new graduates include higher unemployment rates due to uncertainties in the economy. When these uncertainties occur, entry level hiring is the first to go. Even more so is a challenge that comes from new graduates’ own peers; those with current internships. The business world is seeing greater numbers of employers relying on employee referrals and internal hiring of current interns over campus recruiting-strategies that significantly cut down on company recruitment and training costs.
So, what should college students be doing now to increase their future employability? Get experience! Start as early as freshman year and build on that experience. And, here are ways to do just that.
Work With A Career Coach
As a freshman, establish a relationship with the career services office on campus. Then continue meeting with a career coach, identify majors and industries of interest and set goals for each semester. It is imperative that students meet with a career coach monthly to work on strategies that build strong, professional experiences while in college. If your college does not have a career office, feel free to contact me for coaching needs.
Get An Internship For Every Year In College
Internships are the best way to build professional experience, going to work skills and realistic work expectations. Now that companies are relying more on employee referrals and interns for new hires, it is imperative that students begin internships as early as freshman year. For each year after, establish a progressively higher-level internship experience with the final year’s internship at a company of top interest.
Get A Mentor
Establish a connection with someone who is a few steps ahead of you in the professional world. This person can guide you, consult with you and help hold you responsible for the goals you set. Mentors are fabulous for keeping you on track and moving you towards your professional goals.
Build Your Professional Network
This means identifying and engaging with professionals in your industry. Learn from them, ask them questions, and find ways to work with them. Collaborate on ideas and projects. This is how you can demonstrate your unique value and the skills you can bring to your industry. Once you are seen as an experienced professional, your employability will increase tenfold.
Remember that gaining professional experience starts as early as freshman year. Utilizing the above strategies will help you tremendously and they are all simple, manageable steps to launch you towards top candidacy once you graduate.
Need help with strategies on gaining professional experience? Check out these courses and work with me to choose the course that fits best for your needs. And remember to #workitdaily!
About the author
Elizabeth Dexter-Wilson, M.S. a.k.a. CareerDrELiz’s mission is to help her clients find their professional mojo through purpose and passion. She brings her expertise in career coaching, branding, leadership development, professional etiquette and image consulting. A self proclaimed “career geek”, Liz has over 20 years’ experience in coaching college students, seasoned professionals, and career changers. Prior to her coaching and higher education experience, Liz worked in social services. She holds a Master of Science degree in College Student Affairs from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN and is certified in Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consulting through the prestigious Protocol School of Washington. www.CareerDrELiz.com
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CareerHMO coach. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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