It’s an interesting time to be a college student.

As a result of COVID-19, some students are taking classes entirely online, or taking a mixture of in-person and online classes. Some students are even taking a year off, waiting to see how things progress over the next year.

And, if being a student right now isn’t already hard enough, the current economic uncertainty means that these students will enter an ultra-competitive job market.

In order to meet these challenges all students, this includes soon-to-be graduates and freshmen, should work on a job search strategy. Here’s five reasons why:

Everyone Is Looking For An Advantage 

COVID-19’s impact on the job market is well documented, so needless to say job seekers are extra motivated right now and are aware of the competition they’re up against.

By starting to build your job search strategy as a student, you’re arming yourself with important information before you really have to throw yourself into the fray. Many professionals who lost their jobs don’t have that advantage, instead they begin the job search immediately and have to learn about the modern-day job search as they go along.

Hold Yourself Accountable 

Many colleges and universities have great career resource centers, however the staff at these centers are working with thousands of students, it’s not necessarily their job to reach out to each individual student to get them thinking about their careers

If you’re a student that wants to learn more about career planning and job search, you have to take the first steps. Do the research so you can ask the right questions, and get the resources you need from the school, or other sources.

You Need The Information Now!

As a sophomore or junior, you may be a few years away from applying to your dream job, but you are applying to internships or other professional opportunities that can help you gain valuable experience in your field of study.

These positions are also very competitive and to stand out you need to know how to write a resume, disruptive cover letter, and how to properly prepare for a job interview. By landing these opportunities, you’ll gain valuable experience and confidence.

The Earlier You Master Networking, The Better!

This is perhaps the most important part of the job search strategy, with the most wide-ranging benefits.

As a career coach, I work with a lot of professionals who struggle with networking, some of them even fear it. I can usually help them work through those fears and develop good networking habits, but what if you never had the fear at all?

This is one area where college students have an opportunity to gain a major advantage! College, by nature is a very social time, as students really have to put themselves out there to develop new friendships. If students take some of these social skills, and focus them on their professional goals, they have the opportunity to build a killer networking strategy. 

Putting together a LinkedIn profile is a great start, students can build out the profile with skill sets as they gain experience with internships and other job experiences. It’s also important to build relationships with professionals who are part of each internship and job experience.

It All Adds Up!

When it’s finally time to get a job after graduation, the early preparation that students put in means they won’t be overwhelmed by the job search process. 

All students should put together a bucket list of companies they’re interested in working at after they graduate. From there, students should follow those companies closely for the latest news and job openings.

Students can also use their networking prowess to start connecting with employees at these companies, in hopes of getting advice and building relationships that could lead to referrals.

You can’t just get a job today by applying for multiple jobs online and just praying to hear back. Most job opportunities are a result of who you know, that’s why it’s important to be strategic about the job search and to put a significant effort into networking.

While it’s easy for undergraduates to think they have plenty of time to figure this stuff, I urge you to start now! The modern job search isn’t going to get any easier. The more work that you put in now, the more likely you are to succeed later.

Looking For A Push?

If you’re a student, or anyone looking to get their job search off the ground, I can help!

My company, Work It Daily, is holding a New Grad Job Search Summit on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET). This all-day summit will cover everything you need to know about the online job search, and give you a good sense of the resources available on the Work It Daily platform.

For just a 1-time $10 fee, you’ll receive access to:

– Exclusive trainings on perfecting your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile

– Discover the trick to successful networking (even during a pandemic)

– How to properly prepare for ANY job interview

For ongoing support, a Work It Daily membership may be just what you’re looking for! At Work It Daily, we use a combination of coaching and community to help our members reach their career goals.

Check Out These Great FREE Resources

Cover Letter Samples

Resume Guide

Common Interview Questions

Job Search Checklist