Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by a job posting? Ok so I am definitely exaggerating, but as every recent graduate will tell you the job hunt is no joke. This is especially true if you find yourself with no relevant work experience upon graduation.
If it seems like almost job post wants you to have years of experience before you’re even considered, it’s because they do. Trust me you’re not imagining things. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that 47% of jobs require prior work experience. What this means is you’re going to have to start working on gaining relevant work experience literally the moment you step foot on campus.
You might now be thinking, well how do I gain work experience if no one is wlilling to even give me a chance. Well that’s where the following tips come in. Hopefully they will come in handy.
Volunteering is a great way to gain relevant work experience in your first year. While stacking books at the local library might have been the first thing to come to mind, the truth is many charities need people with skills in everything from social media to software development.
A great site to check out is volunteermatch.org, which links you with non proft organizations looking for highly skilled volunteers to fill key roles. It’s a great way to help with a cause while adding skills to your resume.
Freelancing is very hot right now. Just about everyone is thinking of how to get their foot in this market. Freelancing is a great way to apply skills in you’ve learnt in class while building a portfolio of your work.
Freelancing is great for graphic designers, web designers and other practical degrees where employers may want to see examples of past work. Top sites for freelancing include Upwork and Fiverr, and many freelancers earn top dollar for their skills.
Co-op Education Program
While internships are an extremely popular way to gain relevant work experience in college, another option to consider are co-op programs. Co-ops usually involve putting course work on pause to work full time with a company or organization. They are usually paid (some pay as much as $50,000 a year), and can last as long a year.
They can be a better option since you are usually given more responsibilities on the job as opposed to spending your day getting coffee. Also some co-ops are partnerships between universities and organizations, giving you the opportunity to work at some of the most well known companies around. This is an opportunity you may not have had otherwise.
Not all universities offer co-op programs, so definitely check with your college advisor for available opportunities.
Work on Campus
Working on campus is one of the easiest ways to gain relevant work experience in college. The opportunities available on campus are endless. Depending on your major you can work in advising, tutoring, or write for your college newspaper. Many faculties also use college students for undergraduate research programs.
On campus jobs are also easier to acquire, and may be a better fit for your class schedule than an off campus alternative.
Create Your Own Work Experience
Why wait for someone else to give you a chance when you can simply create your own. Blogging for example is more than just hobby. As a blogger you learn skills in everything from digital marketing to business management.
Is there a business you’ve always wanted to start? There has never been an easier time to get started. This is valuable work experience you could eventually include on your resume.
Can you think of any other way to gain work experience? Let us know in the comments below.