There are 3 million graduates. There are 1 million jobs. Where do you stand?
There’s no ensuring that you’ll be in the 1 million. But there are some obvious and not so obvious ways to boost your chances. I’ve learned them throughout my five years in the workforce, from the advice we offer in College Magazine (we’ve interviewed hundreds of experts on career tips) and from meeting with my mentors; but most recently I’ve been inspired by my trip to San Francisco for #AdobeDays. If you want to stand out, heed this:
1. Build Your Skills NOW:
College is an opportunity to build your skill set in order to bring value to a company. I’m not going to beat around the bush here: learn Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Premiere. Once you’ve mastered these, I dare you to find an employer who won’t hire you. Employers need employees with design and/or video skills for branding purposes, websites and marketing materials. With these skills, you’re an asset to any start up, media, public relations, advertising or web company. Honestly, you’re attractive to all big players (think banks and retail) who rely on compelling design to share their story with audiences.
2. Define Your Brand:
Business cards. Personal website. Portfolio. These are just three ways to start building your brand. It’s 2012— the resume just isn’t enough. If you’re a journalist, employers need to see a personal website with links to your published articles or a gallery of clips. If you’re a programmer, create a portfolio of sites you’ve developed for classes or friends. If you’re a business student, hand over your business card and create a site that features the marketing strategy pitch you delivered to your fraternity.
3. Apply Your Skills
Now that you have skills, apply them beyond building your personal brand. According to one speaker at Adobe Days, David Rosenberg, Chief Strategic Officer at GMR Marketing, taking your skills and moving them forward gives you the ultimate competitive advantage. If you’re looking for a career in sports marketing, approach your university’s field hockey team and volunteer your services. Show that you’ve developed a marketing strategy, created flyers, successfully pitched a story to the school newspaper and drove over 200 new fans to the stands.
I get it...you have a million things on your plate. But perhaps step back and ask yourself: why am I in college? For me college meant discovering my passion, building my skill set and launching my career. If the same goes for you, get started on these tips. Prepare to be part of the 1 million employed college graduates.
Our editor, Josh Axelrod, and I in San Francisco for #AdobeDays! To read about our trip, check out Josh's blog.