With the millions of qualified, experienced individuals in the job market, sometimes a college degree just isn't enough to land you the dream job. Yes, college may give us tools and courses to help push through some applicant pools, but there are several lessons we've learned solely from career coaches that'll guarantee success in the job search.
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Students normally wait for summer every year to make the best out of the break between semesters to obtain essentials for building their careers. Countless opportunities would usually line up for students and college graduates ranging from internships and fellowships to workshops and part-time jobs.
Learn Employable Skills<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3NDg3OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTI4MzM5OX0.TE9ZLO0M-tKWZxAM2MB2Oh3XI91qx0LDXaz-9cPfvHc/img.jpg?width=980" id="b0cae" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b45d577906d7779aabf9b56c9ba4bf48" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Young professional takes an online course." /><p>With over 1,000 universities closing their campuses in March and going online because of coronavirus, many students have already grasped the routine of online learning by now. They have become familiar with a full virtual educational experience that is adequate for <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/develop-your-skills-at-work" target="_blank">learning new skills</a> during their unemployment period this summer. </p><p>Among the many online learning platforms that college students could benefit from is <a href="https://www.edx.org/" target="_blank">edX</a>, a substantial provider for online university-level courses offered by Harvard, Columbia University, and MIT, among others. Students worldwide could access a wide range of disciplines they are curious about for an affordable fee and sometimes at no cost and earn a certificate of achievement following course completion. </p><p><a href="https://www.udemy.com/" target="_blank">Udemy</a> is another learning platform targeting professional adults and students with video courses that are taught in over 65 languages. The platform teaches students both professional and <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/top-soft-skills-for-employees" target="_blank">soft skills</a> that would make them employable through diverse content provided by over 50,000 instructors. Students could also take a shot in reaping financial benefits by becoming instructors themselves, launching video courses about in-demand topics they are knowledgeable of or experienced at including photography, programming, and management. </p><p>If students have a different concept of <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/career-growth-during-pandemic" target="_blank">career growth</a> amid the current lockdown, other platforms such as MasterClass and Khan Academy offer a diverse experience. Students looking for inspirational advice from professionals working in their ideal career fields might find <a href="https://www.masterclass.com/" target="_blank">MasterClass</a> helpful, while students who wish to continue with their academic experience through the summer could greatly benefit from <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/" target="_blank">Khan Academy</a>. </p>
Start Volunteering<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3NDk0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NjU2Mjk2MH0.hSACHN5nbJDiw9GSQyhSKF0i3kFMx026-uTJCJH2TWE/img.jpg?width=980" id="34201" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="67de9f86e851bfbc4f962006f666b4e0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Volunteering is a great way ti gain some new skills over the summer." /><p>Yes, many volunteerships are on hold for the summer. Moreover, breaking quarantine may not be something most students want nor can do at the moment. <strong>However, donating your time and resources to those who need it can often be done remotely! Yes, you can volunteer online.</strong></p><p><strong></strong>There are many databases for remote volunteering, such as <a href="https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en" target="_blank">onlinevolunteering.org</a> and <a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/virtual?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlN32BRCCARIsADZ-J4thlCAUSivB9Z66Jw67Sd8EggyAuAziNfnG2dzYHkejBusitQdPRCYaAtREEALw_wcB" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch</a>. These kinds of volunteer resources are great for donating your time where your skills fit and for bettering yourself. </p><p>If you feel comfortable and know that you can safely fulfill the role, there are still on-location volunteer opportunities in some areas. This is particularly relevant in health-related fields, like volunteering for a hospice provider. For instance, the American Red Cross is currently looking for volunteers for various positions, both in person and virtually.</p>
Create A Professional Portfolio<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3NDk2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwODg1NDM1N30.-LvDOYaq0YngZy1JFcNIptXRqn5vShVdqtG_j6PqC5s/img.jpg?width=980" id="7d5d4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="384fcedc1f09e925811f5f83dfe0ce7c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Creating a professional portfolio is important for professions." /><p>Working on a portfolio may sound foreign to students who aren't focusing on an art-related field. However, a collection of projects that you have created or contributed to is a valuable asset in a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/summer-job-search" target="_blank">job search</a>. Regardless of the career you intend to pursue after graduation, a professional portfolio is a utilizable tool to show both individual talents and growth. <a href="https://extension.berkeley.edu/upload/Professional_Portfolio.pdf" target="_blank">A range of materials can be included in your portfolio</a>, from your resume and cover letter, to various examples of your work, to recommendation letters. It is advisable to pull from many accomplishments, and to include any awards or pieces of recognition. </p><p>Once you have gathered the materials you feel comfortable including, you can organize them into a physical document, or you can <a href="https://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/website-builders/best/portfolio/" target="_blank">input everything into your own website</a>. Likewise, you can always do both.</p><p><strong>Although building a portfolio will be time consuming, especially if you need to find older projects, having physical proof of your talent can go a long way in landing your dream job.</strong> And after you create your portfolio, keep building upon it and updating it as you continue to grow!</p>
Launch A Video Diary Or Daily Blog<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3NDk2Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzk1ODU5N30.I2ut9fbf4rf78NRCBehDatMoju5YUjpPx_8cqLllKLE/img.jpg?width=980" id="c4af1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0818b70d1bb37ec59ba09df143caedef" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="A student works on creating a video journal." /><p>Journaling has been commonly known as a stress-relief avenue and could help students amid the current uncertainty about the job market. Video diaries could help students to not only deescalate stress and anxiety, but also act as a self-reflection platform. They can express their daily thoughts about ongoing events and also open up debates with their professors, classmates, or work colleagues. </p><p>While video diaries could boost a student's confidence, as it is a great practice for preparing for <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/virtual-interview-tips" target="_blank">virtual interviews</a>, writing a daily blog could boost writing and publishing skills while also opening discussions about an array of subjects.</p>
Take On Shorter Time Commitments<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3NDk3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTA5NzY3OX0.8Ygc_GImsytTpIalvjzGBkus265ubSz8viu6GlG9c1E/img.jpg?width=980" id="c6770" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7f12c1df6af64d116e442e0e66c0cff6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Student works on projects from home." /><p>Trying to find another commitment to take up the entirety of your summer may not be in the cards for you this year. Instead, dividing your time among several occupations could be more advantageous at the moment. By balancing more than one engagement, you can keep yourself busy, develop an array of skills, and create income.</p><p> A few lesser demanding commitments include (but aren't limited to): <a href="https://www.business.com/articles/advice-on-becoming-a-freelancer/" target="_blank">starting to freelance</a>, taking on a part-time job, or completing a short-term internship. Another advantage of these commitments is that you can create your own schedule and prioritize what suits your goals best. If you know that you want to take on more independent projects this summer, you can also schedule them into your calendar as a commitment of their own.</p><p><br></p><p>Just because your summer did not pan out as you believed it would, that does not mean you have to call it a loss. In the future, you may find yourself in situations that surprise you, for better or worse. What's most important is reflecting on how you can better yourself so that you can persevere in a new direction. After all, college is all about learning. Even when the semester is out, you can always continue this education, just in a self-led manner.</p><p><br><br>Check out the <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/your-career-podcasts/jt-talks-jobs/">JT Talks Jobs Podcast</a> for helpful advice to prepare you for a prosperous career life.</p><p><strong>Want more advice on how to find career happiness?</strong> Join our <a href="https://workitdaily.lpages.co/pricing/" target="_blank">career growth club</a> today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!</p>
So many professionals we've met voice one common concern: "We wish we knew back then what we do now about school and loans before we began our professional journeys." And understandably so!
Earning an undergraduate or graduate degree is no easy feat and comes with its own set of financial and professional challenges including, but not limited to:
"Is This College Right For Me?" Checklist<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY0MjU1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTE0ODc2M30.3uRhvy7ry-vJYhYk6TnrFkKWdHeYyvqnm3Q7r-sPxrA/img.jpg?width=980" id="0d81f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9ddd702b58b12da70cfe4e6569b35f77" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Student goes through a checklist to determine which college is right for her" /><p>__Does this specific university have the program that you want to study and will it prepare you for a job in that field? How? What are the exact tracks the school provides?</p><p>__Can you contact an academic counselor/adviser at the school and ask these questions in a face-to-face meeting? Ask for the meeting on the basis of, "I'm sincerely considering this university and want to learn more on how I can be successful. Would you be open to setting up a 30-minute meeting?"</p><p>__What will this education cost you, including tuition and all additional expenses?</p><p>__Is it out-of-state, nonprofit, for profit, in-state?</p><p> __The location and type of university you choose <em>will</em> matter. Can you get the same job prospects and educational advancements if you stayed in-state? What is your rationale behind wanting to go out of state anyways? If you seek independence, can you choose a university that is a 2 hours away from home, giving you that independence, but cuts tuition in ½ just be staying in state?</p><p>__Are there any other methods that can help you reach your professional goals? See following question below.</p><p>__Can you search for volunteering, shadowing, part-time, entry-level, or internship opportunities instead (before starting this educational program) that may open the same (if not, more) professional doors for you than this degree?</p><p>__Did you know that experience and technical skills can be more valuable? Employers want applicants that have <a href="https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/hiring-employers-value-experience-over-education-when-employing-graduates-according-to-new-research-by-678726523.html" target="_blank">experience and the right skills</a> to do the job rather than just a high GPA.</p><p>__Can you attend a community college for the first 2 years to earn your basic credits (Gen Eds) and then transfer to a larger university? This will cut down your costs dramatically. Remember, prestige and brands of universities shouldn't be your primary goal, and there are always base credits every degree requires regardless of what career you choose.</p><p> __Can you attend school debt-free? Think grants, scholarships, award money. Are you fortunate enough to have family members that would pitch in for your educational expenses? Or, are you willing to attend school while working part-time? (It may take extra time to complete the degree.)</p>
Smart Tips To Remember<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjY0MjU1NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDkzNjUzMn0.V0BCxEhK5Uu8BvQatmVtdeY67y6iWIFjqTiIV33J_pU/img.jpg?width=980" id="815b5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b7ddbeba85986de219efdb1c139d40d2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="College student happy with his school of choice" /><ol> <li>Meet with a financial counselor outside of your university sphere to discuss your options first. Many times, school financial aid officers are just coasting along and do not entirely inform students on what borrowing really entails (and are not very experienced in financial health long term). Plus, they may be biased and just cover the minimum facts.</li><li>Talk to a career coach before you make your move to re-confirm your decisions.</li><li>Research, research, research!</li></ol>
A recent report from Yahoo Finance indicates that the underemployment rate for college graduates is higher today than it was a decade ago, meaning more grads are taking minimum wage jobs or jobs that they're overqualified for in order to make ends meet.
Be Thoughtful About Your Career Path<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bf2c5129b0f62d2c770ec1e02156ffb4"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1DVM2Xbx5Ks?start=5&rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Do you know what the career options are for your degree? How competitive is the industry? What's the average salary for the type of role you're pursuing?</p><p><strong>These are not questions you should be seeking to answer after graduation. </strong>These are all questions that should've been asked prior to declaring a major. </p><p>Research...Research...Research!</p><p>Knowing what you might be in for after graduation can help you with planning. You could meet with your adviser well in advance of graduation and look at potential internships and identify potential companies to work for, allowing you a head start on your networking efforts.</p><p>If you failed to prepare like this prior to graduation,<strong> you're not doomed </strong>but you did put yourself at an initial disadvantage.</p>
What If You're Unsure About Your Career Path?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b270ff659c0ea34e73b1e468fde0b242"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/m4_8T6_7wpY?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Even after college, some people are unsure about what they want to do for a career. <strong>If you find yourself in this situation, don't panic.</strong></p><p>You need to do an honest assessment of yourself and determine the valuable skills that you possess. Most importantly, ask yourself <strong>"what are some of the things I love doing?"</strong></p><p>Work It Daily also has resources that can assist you in your search. <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/st/quiz" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Our FREE Career Decoder Quiz will help you determine your professional persona.</a></p><p>Knowing your professional persona will help you understand the skills you have that bring value to the job and that you find professionally and personally fulfilling. </p>
Always Be Open To Developing New Skills<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTkzMjg1Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5OTI0Mzc1MX0.aFXT6toqh7FF6b25Ctw79l-xnW8ahYc7Cr3OhdeGxg0/img.jpg?width=980" id="889bb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="60452ad70c8e7186a6afcef6a2a8d026" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Two confused students in library learning education material<p>Whether you're a graduate or still a student, don't limit your opportunities to learn new skills.</p><p>Chances are you have interests outside of your course of study, you should be open to pursuing those interests. It could be that you're a health/science major with an interest in computers. Why not take some computer courses?</p><p>Interested in learning a trade? Electricians, plumbers, contractors, and auto mechanics are all in demand. </p><p>If you're still in school, you have an opportunity to take additional courses or decide on a double major or minor.</p><p>Options may be a bit more limited for recent grads but there are always certification programs or specialty course programs available. As long as you have a hunger for more knowledge, you should never stop wanting to learn. The more skills you have, the more career options are available to you. Options are important during the job search for recent grads.</p>
Educate Yourself About The Job Search Process<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="835b2d579eccf600685ae4ef37480aad"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/W-2f5UKQdJ0?start=17&rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>School can't prepare you for everything, and most of the lessons people learn from the job search process come from real-world experience. However, there are some things you can do to prepare.</p><p>First, research as many potential jobs as you can before graduation and identify some potential companies that you would like to work for. Second, prepare multiple resumes tailored for the specific positions for which you're applying.</p><p>A recruiter needs to see within the first six seconds of reading the resume the skills that you have that can apply to the position. You should also prepare a "disruptive" cover letter where you really bring attention to yourself by telling a story about how you connect with the company.</p><p>The last thing that you need to do is to reach out and network. It's not enough to send out a resume and cover letter and just hope that you'll be contacted. Reach out to people in the company through LinkedIn and introduce yourself. Use the fact that you're a graduating student seeking knowledge to your advantage. There are professionals who enjoy the opportunity to mentor.</p><p>Even if these new connections don't translate into an immediate job, you've made you first professional contacts, which could come in handy at some other point in time. Knowing how to do a proactive job search will serve you well throughout your professional life.</p>
Remember, There's Nothing Wrong With Changing Career Paths<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ae92fa4fc5bdfea9074bff12173a77a4"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qioJplacBZk?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Sometimes you find happiness and success in a career field that you didn't go to school for. <strong>That's OK, life happens!</strong></p><p>For new grads the goal is usually to find work in your field of study and it's great when things work out that way. But as the job search process goes on you may fall into a job that you weren't planning to and end up liking it. If the job makes you happy and there's room for growth, there's nothing wrong with keeping it. It's a personal decision.</p><p>This will be true throughout your professional life. You may end up working in your field but as time goes on priorities and life circumstances change. You may develop new skills that draw you into a new career direction.The goal is to always put yourself in a position to succeed and sometimes that means making a change.</p>
We've all heard of a midlife crisis, but did you know a quarter-life crisis is just as real? Many college graduates and young professionals struggle after school and in the workplace for this reason.