It’s never too early to start creating your resume
Your resume will be one of the most important pieces of writing from your college career. Far too often students put this off until the end of senior year. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Start drafting a resume your freshmen year. Even if the jobs you’ve had up until that point aren’t in your desired career field, everything adds to your experience.  You’ve likely had some sort of experience working with a team, developing your communication skills, or even held a leadership position.  These are all important things employers look for on resumes. When you first create your resume you may notice you are lacking certain skills or expertise. By doing this sooner, rather than later, you’ll give yourself time to develop those skills. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a resume that stands out to employers.

Take advantage of the resources available to you
If the thought of writing a resume, job searching, or interviewing for a job, stresses you out, you aren’t alone. I remember that writing my first resume felt daunting and overwhelming. When it came time for me to look for an internship I didn’t know where to start. Fortunately for you, The Career Center is an office dedicated to helping you with any of your career needs.  We offer a variety of services that will help you land your dream job. Looking back, I regret not taking advantage of the career related resources available to me as an undergraduate.  I know that it certainly would have relieved a lot of stress on my part.  Just as it’s never too early to start working on your resume, it’s never too early to visit the Career Center and learn how we can assist you.

The importance of internships
Securing an internship as an undergrad is a great way to make yourself more marketable to employers. Nowadays, companies are not interested solely in your academic credentials.  They also want to see that you have applied experiences. Graduating students with internships on their résumé have a better chance of landing a full-time position. You may also find the internship experience in general to be of great benefit to you. Internships are a great time to “test drive” your career field.  They allow you to determine whether or not the job you had in mind is a good fit for you. Internships are a great way to begin networking within your field. Many even have mentoring programs that will pair you up with an experienced professional within the company. Any internship experiences you gain will be invaluable.  Even for me today, one of the most important and beneficial “jobs” I‘ve had was an internship during my time as an undergrad.

Build (and monitor) your Social Media presence
Technology has changed the way job-seekers look for jobs, as well as the way companies search for candidates. Social media is now more important than ever. When you apply for a position, assume hiring managers will search for information online about you. Make sure to review social media accounts and remove any content that would lead prospective employers to question your professionalism.
Social media can be one of the best career tools and resources. If you’ve not yet created a LinkedIn account, you’re missing out the opportunity to connect and network with employers worldwide. Admittedly, I joined LinkedIn later than I should have, but I now realize how important it is to establish a professional presence. Joining LinkedIn, or creating a professional Twitter account, allows you to follow companies that interest you. Not only does this enable you to stay up to date with their company and job openings, but you also begin to establish a professional network.
The importance of social media in this day and age cannot be overstated. Your online reputation is your reputation. Make sure you take time to create, build and protect it.

Get to know your professors
Besides the fact that it will make class more enjoyable, there are several reasons why getting to know your professors will be beneficial to your future career. If you are unsure of what field you want to go into, talking with professors who teach the classes that most interest you may help you decide what types of jobs are available in that area. When applying to jobs, some may require a letter of recommendation. Building relationships with your professors allows them to get to know you better. As a result, they’ll be able to provide a stronger recommendation. Professors may also have leads to jobs you were unaware of. Many are well connected in their industry and may be able to assist you in your job search.

Assistant Director of the Career and Student Employment Center at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Career Coach Specialist for The Workplace Coach

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