Advice for the job seeking college student

I just got an email from someone who is in an enviable (because they have so much to look forward to) and unenviable (the job market stinks right now) position… here’s what they ask:

I am a second year MBA student getting ready to graduate and am looking for a job. Please let me know how JibberJobber can best help me.

I love this question… and it goes deeper than what JibberJobber, a job search organizational tool, can do for you. Let me share 5 thoughts with a college student getting ready to find their first job:

  1. Record things now. I remember the college days, and all of my buddies… we were so tight we’d never forget one another, and definitely not lose track of one another. And I have lost track with just about every single one of them. One thing I wish I would have written down their parents contact information so I could get back in touch with my buddies through their parents.
  2. Think like a professional. Get out of the “I’m just a student” mentality and realize that the minute you walk out the door with your sheepskin people don’t think of you as a student. Get out of it now… even before you graduate. So, what do professionals do? They network. Build relationships. When someone comes in as a guest lecturer, think about how to develop a professional relationship with them. Same thing goes for professors… who should (hopefully) have industry contacts.
  3. Figure out your marketing material. AKA, your resume. I’ve heard resume writers talk about the college resume, and I’m amazed at their perspective. You can write your own resume, of course, and you are smart, but I would advise you to get a resume writer who has experience with recent grad resumes. Start with Career Resumes, of course.
  4. Help others. Help. Help. Help. When you give leads, make introductions, etc.  There is more value for you in helping others than in helping yourself.  It’s personally rewarding, and it will come back to you.
  5. Realize you are going to be in career management mode for the rest of your career. You already know this, perhaps, but just to hammer it home. Unemployment and job search cannot be treated as the pink elephant that you only face when you are looking for a job. Always, always always do career management stuff. Always nurture professional relationships. Always keep a list of target companies. Always _________ all the other stuff (which is a lot, but it’s a process).

Again, you are in an enviable position!  Go forth and conquer!

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