Friday, January 4, 2013

Five Things To Do Between Semesters

English: Alberta's Top Employers
Alberta's Top Employers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Bob Roth

Between semesters, every college student needs a few days off to recover from finals, get some rest and clear their heads. Renewal is important.

However, students must keep their eyes and minds focused on the desired end results, graduation and employment. The more that students can do to make themselves attractive to potential employers, the better.

Since preparation means doing useful and important things before they are needed for an action or event, there are things that college students should be doing between semesters.

1. Research Potential Employers

Which employers hire new graduates with your major? That is a question that every student needs to answer. Students should make a point of researching at least 100 employers that are of interest to them. Students should go after both the jobs and the employers that meet your career goals.

2. Identify Employer Needs & Requirements

To give employers what they want, you must find out what they want. Why not do some research to identify the needs, wants and expectations of your target employers. You can do that by talking to the people in your network, contacting the employers directly, using your online research skills and by talking to the students who were hired last year.

3. Refine Your Employment Plan

To do all of the things that employers want you to do, you will need a comprehensive plan of action. If you do not have a written plan, prepare one. If you already have a plan, refine it with the information that was gathered in 1 & 2 above. The plan should require your action on four or five items during each semester, between semesters and during the summer.

4. Work

Every employer wants to learn as much as possible about your capabilities. The jobs that you hold, the work that you do, the experience you have gained and the things that you accomplished can help to set you apart from students who have less to offer. Part-time, summer and in-between semester jobs tell employers a lot about your motivation and potential. They look for those examples.

5. Expand Your Network

Students love to use their social networks and send text messages to their friends. However, a network for employment purposes is a much more serious matter. Between semesters students can use their networks to gather employment information and open doors to the employers with good jobs. Most students do not think in those terms.

Why not make a list of your connections, develop a script to follow and then call each person to gather information about other contacts, jobs and potential employers? Family members can help too.

Wise candidates do not wait until the last minute to think about finding and landing a good job. They recognize that their chances for employment improve dramatically when they know exactly what their target employers want from them and then systematically go about doing those things to the best of their abilities.

Students who ignore the wants, needs and expectations of employers can be certain of one thing: They will be the first ones eliminated from consideration.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of four books: The College Student's Companion, College Success: Advice for Parents of High School and College Students, The College Student's Guide To Landing A Great Job -and- The 4 Realities Of Success During and After College.

Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Identification Machine™, a system that colleges use to identify thousands of employment opportunities for students.

He has been interviewed on numerous radio programs across the country and by many publications, including U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal. Bob's Blog -

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