The Journey to Work: Suits and 9-to-5 Schedules

As college students, we are at a point in our lives where we should start to figure out our answer to the question: what do you want to be when you grow up? While these four years of our lives are largely characterized by our overall experience and personal growth, thinking about our future in terms of a career is undoubtedly important. These tips and bits of information are for all undergraduate students, specifically sophomores, who need a little help in getting the ball rolling towards work suits and 9-5 schedules. 


Create your resume 

Having a polished resume is key when it comes to starting your journey towards the future. It may seem like an overwhelming task when staring at a blank white screen, but everyone has all the content they need. For starters, make sure the top contains your full name and your contact information. The first section is typically education, so first list your high school and any involvements you had during that time. Next comes Bucknell, your major (if you know it yet) and other notable involvements you have here. Including your GPA for both is optional but common. The experience section is where you can highlight your skills and talents through the descriptions of previous jobs or other work-related positions you have held or currently hold. A few other optional sections are: skills such as “organization, communication, self-driven, etc.” and relevant coursework. The most important tip when it comes to perfecting your resume is to make sure it fully encapsulates you and your skill set in a manner that is detailed yet concise. Focus on word choice, structure, and overall sense of character. 


Build your LinkedIn network 

Trust me LinkedIn is like any other form of social media—once you start, you’ll get addicted (or maybe that’s just me). Almost every company, organization, and employee in the professional world uses LinkedIn to form individual connections and create networks. Your personal profile is almost like an online resume where you can showcase your education, work experiences, and other involvements. Connecting with other students from Bucknell and from your high school allows us to start to develop a network in our generation. The most beneficial part of LinkedIn is viewing the profiles or pages of companies in the career field you are interested in. You can learn about their overall purpose and guiding principles, browse their job offerings, and even view or connect with current employees. LinkedIn will get you hooked because it allows you to begin envisioning what your future self might look like and what networks you might be a part of. 


Center for Career Advancement (CCA) is your friend

Bucknell’s Center for Career Advancement holds various programs, offers resources, and is willing to assist you in any way possible on your career track. Located in the Botany building, they have many professional and student staff members who are eager to help. Whether it be on campus career expos, career fairs in other cities, interview practice, or just a simple resume check, the CCA is there—you just have to make the effort. So, stop avoiding those emails (although they are pretty intimidating) and utilize all that the CCA is offering. 


Make Connections

Every employee, manager, and CEO in any career field will agree with this claim: connections are important. When it comes to the professional world, who you know and how you know them is just as important as it is here. While your skills and abilities are obviously the most important element in obtaining a position, the connection is what’s going to get you through the door and in an interview. So, how do you make these connections? Be active in your journey towards being a “real adult” in the real world, not passive. Talk to your friends and family about your goals and plans. Reach out to any possible connections. Present yourself at career fairs and other events. Send a message to a LinkedIn connection or email an alumni. 


There are so many opportunities that you can utilize to get you one step closer to those close toed heels and sharp work-suits. Whether you’re still figuring out what career field might be the right fit, unsure how to layout your resume, or searching for a summer internship, this is your journey and it’s an exciting one. The key take-aways to always remember are: make connections, be proactive and, most importantly, know who you are and what you want!