The Ultimate Checklist of Ways to Market Yourself While You're Still in College

College goes by so fast. I can’t believe I’m already a sophomore and my college career is almost halfway over. Once college is over, you are pushed into the real world- and if you didn’t start researching early, you can be so lost, especially when it comes to jobs. While you’re in college, it is important to take internships, reach out to various companies, etc.to make life after college and finding a job so much easier. Here are some tips on how to market yourself to potential employers while still in college. 

1. Join major-related clubs

Most colleges offer clubs that have to do with specific majors. I am in a club called NACE (National Association for Catering and Events), where we attend monthly meetings with industry professionals, which allows us to communicate with them, get our names out there, and learn more about what’s going on in the industry. Although not all major related clubs are like this, many have guest speakers who you can introduce yourself to get your name out in the industry. They also may tell you about different opportunities to get out and get experience, which can also be helpful. 

2. Make business cards 

Business cards are one of the most important things to have, yet most college kids don’t usually realize this. It is important to order and have business cards on you at all times, just in case you meet someone in the industry or someone who has connections who can pass your card along. Make them simple, you just really need to include your school name, your name, your phone number, email, and major. 

 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for shadowing opportunities or internships

If you are talking to an industry professional who you find interesting and that you would like to learn more from, don’t be afraid to ask for an opportunity to shadow or intern with them. Most professionals really enjoy allowing students to see what they do and learn about the industry through shadowing and internships. If you get one of these possibilities, make sure to act and dress professionally, you never know if it could lead to a job opportunity after college. 

4. Introduce yourself to as many professionals as possible

~If you are at an event where there are many different professionals to talk to, make sure to introduce yourself to as many as you can. These professionals are either working in the area you want to be in or know people who are, so introducing yourself to many people can help make your connections in the industry so much stronger. 

 

5. Email companies for potential job opportunities 

When I decided last summer to change my major to event management, I decided to first take a job in the field over the summer to make sure it was really for me. I sent about 150 emails to potential employers asking for job/internship opportunities. Through that process, I found a job I really loved and decided it would be a good idea to switch my major. If you are not really sure what you want to do, or you have it all figured out, doing this can teach you about what to expect in your career before you actually enter it. It also gives you a lot of experience that will look great on your resumé.

6. Be polite to industry professionals

This is the most important thing to remember. Smile, be positive and professional, have confidence, and engage in conversations with these professionals.If you behave poorly around them, they will not want to offer you a job or tell their friends to hire you. Another positive decision is a follow-up email. If you meet with a professional and they give you their card, send them an email the next day, thanking them for the conversation and casually ask if there is a way for you to shadow them, or to meet with them again at a later date. This will show you are interested in them, and is also very professional. 

If you keep these ideas in mind when speaking to industry professionals, you will have no problem landing a career after college!