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Why You Don't Have to Wait to Graduate to Get Your Dream Job
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grads have more reasons to be scared of the job market than they do for being excited about joining it. Most grads are probably more worried about what it's going to be like moving back home with mom and dad more than they are about finding a job. Interestingly, finding a job--a good job--is actually easier than they think.

You don't have to go to a prestigious school or even be an honor student to have a fair shot of landing the job of your dreams. It takes savvy and persistance--and knowing what you're doing--to go after exactly what you want. When nothing is ever handed to you, you have to be the one to take matters into your own hands by working hard and linking up with the right people.

There's no secret formula for getting a job. Here's how you, and any other determined grad, can get your dream job before graduating:

Pursue something you actually WANT to do, not just want you think will make you the most money. When you enter college and decide on a major, it's usually based on a subject that interests you, right? Many students who don't know right away figure it out eventually after taking a variety mix of courses.

The problem that many college students have at that point is figuring out what do after receiving their diploma. They know that a college degree can get them a job but they often don't think about what kind of job. Thinking about these things early will help you in the long run and if you're near graduation it's never too late to start lining up ideas.

The next tip is a little less appealing but is effective all the same. Working for free isn't what any college student looks forward to especially when they're already living on pizza and ramen noodles. The good thing about volunteering or internships during college is that there are plenty of opportunities to go around and they're much easier to do when you don't have to worry about paying back loans yet.

These opportunities open up doors by adding interesting tidbits to your resume. Employers want to see that you didn't just get a college degree but you earned it by being an active member of the student body. This is the time when you start "paying your dues" and give yourself somewhat of a head start once you graduate. In college, it's so easy to get by with doing the bare minimum that demonstrating you went the distance is impressive in the eyes of potential employers.

To get the job you want, and by all means deserve, you don't have to give up having fun in college. When college, or anything for that matter, is all work and no play it can be easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal. Socialization skills are just as important as any other learning experience. Knowing how to carry yourself in situations where everyone is new isn't easy for everyone, but practice makes perfect. Your ability to connect with people on a professional and personal level will take you far. Socializing at parties is not the same as socializating professionally. Make sure to attend conferences and industry events to work on your professional presence.

These personable skills will also play to your advantage when you start interviewing for your dream job. Interviews take lots of preparation. As a college student, you're more than equipped with the necessary prep skills. Interviews are basically tests, final exams even. You need to study the subject and prepare yourself with the proper materials.

Employers want to take on people they want to have around and the qualifications give them justification for having you there. They know that college students don't have the personality of robots so relax and let your personality shine through. If you start to get nervous, remind yourself that interviewers are actually routing for you. You are part of the next wave of new additions to the work force. Reaching your dream job is more real than you might think it is.
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