All too often I hear college kids saying, “It makes no sense; all the jobs want experience but no one will hire me”. Now this is a paradox, but it is also something you can get around if you really try. If all it says under the ‘professional experience’ section of your resume is nanny or server at Jimmy Johns but you’re trying to get a job at a law firm or financial institution, the odds are definitely stacked against you. Having a degree is not enough in these competitive times and employers are looking to see relevant skills and experience. Too many college kids use their summer break as a vacation, when it should be used for building a foundation for future careers. There are many opportunities out there for you to take advantage of if you take the time to seek them out.
Social Media- As a young professional, social media should be right up your alley. So many lucrative opportunities are opening up in this field, and young people are prime targets for these positions. Many college students are being recruited to do social media work on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for different companies. If you are majoring in Communications or Marketing-related fields, this is a great opportunity for you to build networking, promotion and public relation skills, while still having fun.
Student Government- Your campus alone has a host of resources and career options, student government being one of the most rewarding. The great thing about student government is that it is a complete organization, so they will have many different types of positions available during the school year and as summer jobs. Most student governments have judicial, legislative and executive branches for college students to explore. If you’re into finance for example, you can head the budget team. If you’re looking for more managerial experience, then you may be aiming for presidency. Whatever your preference, a leading position on student government will put you way ahead of the pack in terms of career-building opportunities, and provide you with amazing skills and experience.
Writing- Summer jobs that focus on writing may be geared more towards Journalism, Communications and Writing majors but nonetheless, if you’re good at writing there are many people looking to hire you. Nowadays, everything is online and it definitely helps to have knowledge of html and advanced knowledge of social media, such as WordPress and bookmarking sites. You can get a summer job producing content for a company website, or you may get the opportunity to write blogs on a variety of topics. Having excellent communication skills is a huge asset for all college students.
Internships- Any internship in which you gain professional experience should be your go-to source for career-building opportunities. College students should look into an internship in their desired field as a summer job for solid, reputable work experience. Most likely, your school can provide resources where you can get information and apply for various internships including career fairs throughout the year. Career fairs are great because you can converse with several companies in the space of an hour or two, and you can speak with the representatives to get a feel for the job. Even better, once you perform well at your internship as a college student, the company may consider keeping you as a ful-time employee upon graduating.
IT Support- If you’re studying Information Technology, it should be fairly easy for you to get a job in your campus lab or computer center. This is a great summer job or part time position because you get first-hand experience with technical diagnosis and problem-solving. College students should first look for career-building opportunities that directly relate to the field or industry they want to go into.
Ambassador- Getting a job as a college ambassador is very competitive but definitely rewarding in terms of career-building. When you apply for a job and you can say that you were the face of your college, that is a huge badge of honor. Being the face of your school shows that you are upstanding and responsible, and basically possess the values and qualities that one looks for in an employee and true leader.