Getting perfect “A”s all throughout high school and college doesn’t necessarily mean you will land you a dream job right after you graduate. When it comes to the real world, academic achievements and grades are only a part of what makes you marketable and qualified as a professional. Here are five things that will actually play a much bigger role when you apply for the perfect job.
A solid network can do more for someone’s career than his/her educational background. That being said, most professionals begin to build their network during their college life. Regardless of where you choose to network your skills and personal brand, it’s paramount that you start to network asap. Go to business conferences, casual meetups, seminars and webinars, and office parties to meet higher-ups and professionals who can refer you to their company or may know insider information regarding job openings.
A short-term and long-term plan sounds cliche, especially in the realms of career advancement. However, career planning is by far the simplest yet most powerful tip you can heed. Be specific when defining what goals or milestones you want to achieve in the next year or two. For instance, if you are in web development, determine how many months or years you plan on staying with the company. Is there an opportunity to be hired from within or do you have a better chance of getting some experience and then jumping ship? Another example would be a writer or author planning specific time frames to finish chapters of his/her book.
Employers like to hire people who continuously work on their personal and professional growth. Avoid plateauing your career by pursuing online degree programs in your free time. Thanks to MOOCs or massive open online courses, expanding your knowledge and credentials has become much easier, even for those who have limited time and energy to spend outside of work. While online courses are very different from the whole traditional college campus experience, many of these programs are headed by seasoned professors and industry veterans. Continuous learning has never been more important than today’s continuously changing landscape where industries, from technology to commercialization to food and agriculture, are undergoing unprecedented changes.
Personality is equally important as your technical expertise when snagging the perfect job. Employers are on the lookout for people who will mesh well with their existing workforce while also contributing to the company’s growth. Personalities that make you more marketable as a candidate for any job you apply for include leadership skills. Being a good talker and listener as well as being trustworthy, assertive, and helpful are character traits that not only makes you ideal for any job position and company, but one that can also accelerate advancement in your career ladder.
A well-crafted CV or resume has the power to make you look more professional, more experienced, and more marketable to prospective employers. There are many ways to assemble a resume, both in order and type and quantity of information. There are different resume formats you can structure yours into including Chronological, Functional, and a combination of both. Chronological resumes are more traditional and focuses on listing experiences in chronological order, as the name implies. Functional resumes, on the other hand, focuses on the relevant skills that make you a good fit for the company.
Getting perfect grades can, of course, help you get a good job. To secure your dream job or perfect job, albeit, it takes more than just a report card of straight As. You’ll need real-world experience, relevant contacts, and a professional brand that emanates competence and reliability.