5 Ways to Use Senior Year Wisely

By Monicia Warner on February 18, 2013

 Senior year usually means fewer classes, more time to relax and more opportunities to procrastinate on assignments. But in reality, it may be the last chance for many college students to make final decisions about their career plans.

A big job market lies beyond the university gates and it’s important to separate your talents from the rest of the pack. Here are a few tips to utilize your senior year wisely.

1. Build your resume.

While it’s probably best to start building your resume during freshman or sophomore year, there’s still time to squeeze in a few things during your senior year. Try joining a few clubs or organizations and getting involved with various student activities. It shows potential employers that you are assertive and a team player.

2. Complete an internship.

Nothing separates job applicants from potential employees more than experience. In today’s job market, completing an internship is a crucial step in the road to success after college. Internships provide the much-needed experience and are a great way to get references.

3. Build a network.

This may seem like one of the hardest things to do in college, but it’s actually the simplest. You can network with just about anyone – teachers, employers, peers.

Just build a great rapport with anyone influential, especially those involved in your major. It will give you a leg up when the time comes to provide references.

4. Volunteer.

This is yet another great way to separate your resume from others when applying for a job. Volunteer work shows potential employers you’re interested in learning from others and have a great work ethic.

Most campuses have community service offices or websites where you can look at volunteer opportunities in your community. Putting in one Saturday of volunteer work a month will seem like nothing once you land that perfect job.

5. Look at the big picture.

Building a resume, volunteering and networking is easy enough, but as most seniors can attest to, applying for jobs can seem like a never-ending and difficult process. If graduation looms near and no employers are biting, it might be time to beef up your resume or think about grad school.

Grad school can help you build your network, defer your student loans and ultimately, give you time to work out your job options. After all, you don’t want to be that person stuck on your parent’s couch after you graduate.

Senior news-editorial journalism major at Southern Miss. Interests include non-profits, period dramas and Ellie Goulding. Looking forward to a long and hopefully successful writing career after college!

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