I’ve been studying media and communication students who successfully land a job in their field within 3 months of graduation.
Here’s what I’ve learned about their job hunt…
Even though my study of eleven students was small, I can tell you they all did exactly the same things to land a job quickly. The results are so absolutely clear, I want to share them with you. It confirms much of the prior research in the field of employment for new college graduates.
We’re in a period that students are worried about going into debt for a degree to improve their lives and their future. No one wants to start off their adult life thousands of dollars in debt.
It’s important they know what they will need to do while in college to make sure their degree pays off for them.
These are the five daring things successful college graduates do to make sure they land a job in their field before their loans kick in.
1. They DARE to find mentors.
They develop relationships with professors and those in their chosen industry. Those mentors help open doors for them in getting internships, scholarships, and full-time jobs.
2. They DARE to gain experience outside the classroom.
Successful graduates joined professional student organizations while in school and had internships in their field of study. The more quality internships a college student can do, the better. These experiences help build their network of professional connections and their resume in addition to helping them hone industry-specific skills.
3. They DARE to actively network all through college.
These students build relationships with fellow students and professors. They take advantage of opportunities to meet with visiting alumni and employers at career fairs and events. They push themselves to meet new people even if they think of themselves as shy.
4. They DARE to settle on their major no later than their junior year.
Sometimes there is a great deal of exploration during the first two years of college. The last two years are critically important for successful graduates to get enough knowledge, experience, skills, and networking contacts. Those who focus on their major earlier, appear to increase the odds of finding work in their field earlier.
5. They DARE to be proactive and start the job search early.
Graduates who found work within three months didn’t take a summer break. They started their job search before graduation, getting in touch with all of their network connections and taking advantage of informal and formal networking opportunities. They also used LinkedIn to make connections.
Other things I learned…
- Every graduate in the study found their job through a network connection or one they created by using their networking skills. Mentors played a large role in opening doors.
- None of the graduates got a job by just applying to an organization where they didn’t know anyone or have a “warm” connection.
- Every graduate who got a job within three months had a grade point average of at least a 3.1 Those who weren’t stellar academic students still did well in their major.
- Every graduate in the study took advantage of one or more of the college career services offered: resume review, workshops, coaching, or career fairs.
- Every graduate in the study was daring, able to try new things with optimism and persistence.
Of course, graduates who don’t do these things or have all of these attributes also get jobs but it may take longer and the road may be a little bumpier to get started.
I hope you’ll dare to share this with anyone you know in college: your child, relative, student, friend. I know I will be sharing this information with every freshman coming into the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University this year.