Career Preparation: Here’s How to Get Ready for the Real World Right Now

career preparationIt seems that just yesterday, you were leaving home and embarking on your very own collegiate journey. You were discovering a whole new world of wonderful things only a college experience can offer. But now you’re a senior and reality is setting in. You’re graduating soon. And you need a J-O-B now.

But, let’s not think of it as just  getting any old job. This is career preparation. After all, that’s why you went to college, right?

Here are some career preparation activities that, if you haven’t yet, you should be doing as you finish your senior year and into the summer.

Industry Laser Focus

Keyword: laser.

You’ve done the research, completed the informational interviews, and even job shadowed here and there, learning exactly what industry you want to start your career in.  At the end of your senior year, your career preparation should focus like a laser on one specific area of industry.  Make your list of top 10-15 companies (or less) that you want to work for.  Then, follow the steps below.

Go Back to Your Internships

By now, you should have completed (or will upon graduation) one or two internships. In addition to those internships being a great way to gain experience, they also allow you the opportunity to gain the inside look into a company. For many organizations, in fact, internships serve as the feeder program for full-time entry-level positions.  Some companies retain up to 60% of their interns for full-time positions upon graduation!

The moral of the story: go back to those companies where you served as an intern and let them know you are now looking for a post-graduation job.

Attend Seasonal Career Fairs

Don’t forget about summer career fairs, even as a senior or recent graduate.

This is a great way to follow up on recent applications and resumes that you have already submitted.  If you are still undecided, it’s a great way to learn even more about the company and where you would fit within. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what the recruiters are there for – to answer career questions about the opportunities available at their company. If there’s a line at the table, don’t pass by the company thinking “I’ll come back.” Stick to your gut and line up. Then, set yourself apart with all the knowledge and experience you bring to the table.

Kill at Your Job Interviews

This is the last step. After you’ve done everything above, you have the chance to really shine. Be yourself and let your experience set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Research the company and the recruiter thoroughly. Bring three to five prepared questions for the recruiter. And be ready to tell the interviewer exactly how you’ll make a measurable difference at their company.

I hope that this information is useful to you as you embark on your journey into the professional world. Best wishes to you in your endeavors!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Campus to Career!


Campus to Career



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