Does New College Graduate Equal Entry Level Jobs?
Breaking into the career field of your choice after college can be more difficult than some people may imagine. During college all you can think about is the education and getting through the process of receiving that education, and when you graduate you suddenly aren’t sure what direction you should go in and your education doesn’t seem nearly as important as you thought it would be.
So many college graduates believe that once they are through with school they have to get out and start at the bottom of the corporate ladder all over again, and this just isn’t true. You went to college so that you could break into the career field of your choice, not take a back seat to the people that are in the jobs that you want, so don’t fall prey to believing you have to start at the bottom again.
The best thing you can do to ensure that you don’t have to start at the bottom when you get your degree is start thinking about post college employment long before graduation. As soon as you start college you should start thinking about internships, apprenticeships, and part time jobs that will enable you to start acquiring relevant job experience. Even with a degree, many employers like some sort of experience related to your degree to show that you are a worthy candidate for their job opening. Experience doesn’t necessarily have to be a full time, high paying job that you obtain after graduation, it can be a part time job that is giving you limited experience, but it’s still experience that you’ll be able to put on your resume to show that you are stable, able to work in the field, and the best candidate for future jobs.
Most employers don’t expect to see a lot of experience on your resume when you are applying right out of college, but even just a bit of experience will help you appear to be a better candidate right out of the gate than people that do not have any experience. For instance, if you recently obtained a degree in journalism and all the while you were in school you worked for the college newspaper that is relevant experience that you should put on your resume that employers will find a great asset to them. This may seem like very limited experience, but it still shows a stability and motivation that employers are always looking for. Even if you have what seems like an embarrassingly small amount of experience, you should list it and highlight it as much as possible on your resume and during interviews.
Internships can be obtained in a lot of different places. Using the journalism example again, if you are trying to acquire a journalism degree, you can probably find an internship program right at your school if they have a newspaper. If you can’t seem to find an internship opening at your college, you might want to look with local papers, print, and typesetting shops, and community magazines. If these places know that you are simply looking for an internship they’ll usually welcome you with open arms because they know they’ll have to pay you very little if anything at all, and you’ll be helping get their work done. Internships can be quite overwhelming because you are usually thrown into the mix and it can seem very unrewarding in the short term. But, in the long run an internship will be well worth the long hours, overwhelming processes, and unpaid work because it’ll help you land the jobs that are well above entry level.
Part time jobs can be found in most areas that relate to your degree. If you are getting a degree in finance, perhaps you can get a job working with a broker that will allow you to experience the overall setting, documents, relationships between the broker and his or her clients. This may seem like boring and underpaid work at the time, but when you have your degree and you apply with brokerage firms they’ll appreciate the experience and consider you a top candidate to join their firm, earning a great income.
Another wonderful thing that you can do to prepare to obtain a job that is anything but entry level after college, is to get in touch with employers before you graduate to start your training. If employers know that you are motivated to land a job before you graduate, they’ll often allow you to start training before you graduate for your position. Training before graduation will allow you to graduate and jump-start your career not wasting any time with training. Not all employers will offer this, but this is a great reason to start looking for a job well before graduation and try to strike a deal with prospective employers to get started now so that you’ll be able to start contributing as soon as you have your degree.
If you know that you’ll not only require your degree but special certification to land more than an entry level job, you might want to start your certification program before you graduate. When you begin interviewing with possible employers before or even after graduation they’ll be delighted to see that you have taken the initiative to get your certification so that they don’t have to start you off at entry level.
You might be busy trying to balance your degree program with a special certification program, but the stress will be worth it later when you can walk right in to the job that you have been dreaming of.
If you start planning long before you graduate for how you’ll get more than an entry-level job you’ll find your job search quite simple. Planning ahead will take some motivation and might add some more stress to your college years, but it’ll be well worth it later when you can walk into that corner office that you’ve had in your mind for so long!