Career Advice for College Students: 5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Your Future Career

A college student utilizes career preparation tips for students so she can be ready for graduation.

The thought of finding a new job can be stressful, especially for prospective college graduates. You may feel pressured to secure a job immediately after you graduate. And if you’re a recent grad, you may feel worried about having to quickly update your resume, find open positions and apply for jobs. 

It’s better to start your career preparation as soon as possible. By working on your resume, polishing your skills and talking with mentors now, you can feel less anxious come graduation day and be prepared for when it’s time to turn in your application. 

Here are five career preparation tips for students.

1. Get advice from the experts.

The best way to start is to talk with those who are doing what you want to do. Speak with your college professors, employers or local business owners about how they got to where they are now. Their advice can help you know which courses to take, what skills you’ll need and how to get into the field. Their experiences can make all the difference in helping you prepare for your future career, know what to expect and even have a place to start when you graduate.

2. Learn skills relevant to your field.

As a college student, you have access to a wealth of education to help you get ahead in your career. Orient your classes towards your future profession and take classes that will benefit you later on. Take electives that will teach you relevant skills and give you the tools you need to succeed in your desired field, and be intentional about learning all that you can from your instructors and your classes. You never know what might help you down the road.

3. Utilize campus resources.

Many colleges and universities have resources as well as career preparation tips for students. Here at Southeastern, we have our own Career Services office, which helps students with their resumes, offers free workshops and even hosts job fairs to help students get ahead. As you begin your career prep, be sure to check with your on-campus career office or counselor. You never know what resources might be available to you!

4. Look for work experience.

Getting hands-on experience is one of the best ways to prepare for your future career. Consider volunteering, applying for internships or even working as a teaching assistant with a professor in your field. Finding opportunities in line with your career is a great way to start building your resume, help you get valuable experience and stand out to future employers. 

5. Regularly update your resume.

It’s important to document what you’re doing, even when you’re not actively looking for a new job. Add volunteer or work experience and new skills you’ve learned from your classes to your resume. Remember to include detailed descriptions and timelines of your work experience. That way, when you go to apply for jobs, you’ll have everything documented and ready to submit. 

Don’t feel like you have to have your entire future planned out before you graduate. Instead, practice taking things one step at a time and doing what you can to prepare for your career now. Be intentional about making the most of your time in school, and keep an eye out for potential connections, positions and internships. You never know what career opportunities may present themselves, even before you finish your degree.