For Students: How to Improve Your Future Job Prospects While Still in School

Start building your career resume now with these 10 tips

If you are a student in college or career school, it won’t be long before you are on the job market, ready to start the career that you’re training for now. Finding the first job in your new field can sometimes be challenging, because you’ll be new to the field, without the kind of job experience that others have. What are the best ways to improve your chances of landing that first job? Here are some tips you can get started on now!

1. First things first: get good grades
As a student, your first priority is your school work. Attending all your classes, studying well, and getting good grades will put you in good stead for your new career field. Remember, college and career schools are meant to be challenging. If you are falling behind in school and having trouble, don’t give up! Try these tips for getting back on track!

2. Take on academic challenges
Going the extra mile at school is something that potential employers like to see on your resume. When possible, take on extra challenges at school. This might be extra credit work, a special research project, or higher-level courses. Talk with your instructors about how you can excel beyond the expected coursework.

3. Find leadership roles and group activities
Leadership and responsibility are two strong traits that employers appreciate. When you’re in college or career school, you may be able to find leadership opportunities. It could be joining student government, running a donation drive, organizing a student activity, or taking the lead on a school project.

4. Get to know your instructors
Taking the time to talk to your instructors after class or during office hours is worth every minute of your time for these reasons: (1) you’ll find you enjoy school more and understand your subjects more if you talk one-on-one with your teachers, (2) the instructors themselves like to know that their students are tuned in and will appreciate your commitment, and (3) your instructors may be able to help you in the job market with a reference or a referral.

5. Volunteer
Volunteering can help you get job skills, meet other members of your community, and make an impact in the world. Employers like to see that you have given time to others and taken the initiative to get involved.

6. Keep your social media clean
The digital footprint you are making now will follow you for many years to come. Make it one that you can be proud of when you’re sitting in your first job interview. Here are some tips for cleaning up your social media presence.

7. Get work experience
When just starting out in a new career field, your resume probably won’t contain any directly related work experience. However, it is still good to have some work experience on your resume, even if it’s unrelated to your career path. Internships are a boost too, if you are able to find one. This type of experience will tell employers that you know what it’s like to hold a job.

8. Network with other students
Getting to know your classmates might be easy for you if you are an extrovert, but for some people it’s hard to meet new people. Do your best to develop a network of friends that you can count on not only for socializing and fun, but also in the future, when you’re all on the job market. The friends you make today could be your work colleagues in the future!

9. Improve your technology skills
Depending on what you’re studying at school, you may not be getting courses directly in technology. Even still, you want your tech skills to be strong when you enter the interview room. Be sure you know at least the basic programs in the Microsoft Office suite, and depending on your career focus, you may want to learn some coding, HTML, and other industry-specific software.

10. Be active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the first places that employers check when evaluating potential employers. It’s a good idea to create a profile before you graduate. You can use LinkedIn to post career-related articles, join career-specific groups, and follow the major companies in your field. Here are some tips on creating a great LinkedIn profile.

We hope these 10 tips are useful to you as you work your way through college or career training school. Getting a head start on your future career will be well worth it!


This article was provided by the Branford Hall Career Institute. Find out more about our career-focused training in medical assisting, massage therapy, HVAC/R, medical billing and coding, and more! Contact us online for more info.