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Does Your Job Search Outcome Matter To You?

With regard to your college years, what matters to you? This is a simple question that has a very important impact on each student’s likelihood of finding employment success. Like the rest of us, students cannot do everything. They have to select the things that matter most and do their best to make those things have positive outcomes.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he
will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau

If finding a good job at graduation is important to you, there are things that you should be doing. What are the job search preparation goals that should matter most to you?

1. Achieving Grades that will Attract Employers – Many employers use your grades as an initial screening device. If you do not achieve their minimum requirement, they will not consider you for employment. Do you know the minimum grade requirements of your target employers? When students know the grade requirements of their target employers, grades will take on a new level of importance.

2. Obtaining and Holding a Part-Time Job – Part-time jobs are held by nearly a third of all students. Many students work because they need the money to help offset some of their college and living expenses. Other students work because they want to obtain some job-related experience. In both cases, on-the-job experience with examples and stories about their successes and accomplishments can impress potential employers. Part-time jobs also present research, creativity, problem-solving and leadership opportunities, exactly the things that employers value.

3. Obtaining some Job-Related Experience – When students know the type of job they will seek at graduation, it makes sense to find a way to gain some experience in that work. Part-time, summer and volunteer work, as well as laboratories, projects and classroom demonstrations in their field of study will usually translate into valuable and useful experiences that students can talk about and present on their resum├ęs.

4. Gaining the Knowledge and Skills that Employers Need, Want and Expect – More than anything else, employers want knowledgeable, high energy communicators and people who can get things done well, even in the face of obstacles. That means that they want students who can talk about and provide examples of their accomplishments, experiences and successes in their campus, work and community activities.

5. Identifying Potential Employers – When students are ready to begin their job search, it is helpful to have a list of employers that have previously been researched and meet their requirements. Without a list of potential employers, students will be left to chase after only those few employers that become known to them in the coming months. Wise students take the time to identify potential employers before they are needed.

6. Preparing to Conduct an Effective Job Search – Most students do not know how to conduct an effective job search. The best candidates understand that what they do during the first three years of college will determine their success or failure in the job market. There are many things that students should be doing early on in order to offer the credentials, accomplishments and presentations that will impress target employers. The best candidates find out what is needed and take the time to get well prepared.

7. Building Relationships with Potential References – When employers check references, they want to speak with people who know the student well, have a good handle on their personality, accomplishments and capabilities and are willing to speak honestly about their performance, abilities and potential. Those relationships cannot be formed casually.

Success can be achieved
one, two, three
when you believe the words
“This matters to me.”

These seven points are possible for most college students. The only question is whether a student has the resolve to learn about them and make them happen. When we believe that something is important to us, we:

- Learn more about it
- Pay close attention to it
- Devote more time and effort to the way it is done
- Overcome the difficulties
- Care about the quality of the outcome

Effective preparation for the senior year job search is hard work. However, it is extremely important. When students believe that their job search outcome is directly related to the quality and quantity of their preparation and consciously strive to address the seven points listed above, they will dramatically increase their chances for job hunting success. Does your job search outcome matter to you?