Getting a job after graduating with a business degree
If you’re a business major, you’re probably a practical, goal-oriented, career-minded person. All of these are excellent qualities that can serve you well along your intended career path. However, personal qualities can only take you so far. If you want to get a job right after you graduate, the real work begins while you are still in uni.
Decide what you want from your job
Everyone wants a dream job after graduation, but that might mean different things to different people. Is it your dream to travel internationally, achieve work-life balance, or make a lot of money through enterprise sales? Whatever you want from your job is completely valid, but when you’re ready to start looking, narrow down your search to companies that can provide what you want.
Know what you need
Employers are looking for business graduates with a particular set of hard and soft skills. You should know what you need for your chosen field and develop the skills required. Look for opportunities to develop soft skills, such as communication and leadership. Find out about any prerequisites in your desired area of business. Take any classes and acquire any certifications that make you stand out from the crowd as being exceptionally qualified for your desired position.
Seek out experience
While your course credits and GPA go a long way toward qualifying you for a good position, employers are also looking for some relevant experience. Therefore, it is a good idea to start getting your foot into the door of the business world while you are still studying.
For example, a part-time job or an internship may be a good way to gain practical experience in a real-world business setting. Internships are often unpaid, but you may be able to earn course credit for them, which makes them especially valuable. Whether you look for an internship or part-time employment, try to choose the type of company where you’d like to work full-time someday.
Build your network
Having someone in a respected position who is able to vouch for your ability and character can open up a lot of career doors that might otherwise be closed to you. Therefore, it is important to start building a network of useful business contacts while you are still in uni so they can help you out once you graduate and start looking for your first job.
Start by building relationships with your academic instructors and advisors. Include your supervisor from your part-time job or internship. Join a professional organisation related to your field. Start a LinkedIn profile and connect to people with whom you have had a professional relationship. Not only can these contacts vouch for you when you start looking for a job, but they may also think of you when a particular position becomes available if they know that it aligns with your interest.
Interpret your study experience
Notwithstanding your internship or part-time job, your professional experience when you first graduate is limited. However, during your time at uni, it is likely that you gained skills and experience as a student that are relevant to your desired career through campus jobs or extracurricular activities. Include these on your resume and explain how they are relevant to the type of position you are seeking.
For example, if you were an officer of a campus club, you have leadership experience. Be sure to point out any academic awards or honours as well.
Perform practice interviews
While your resume and academic records are important, they can only get you so far. If employers are impressed with that, they may call you in for an interview. It can be intimidating to meet someone face to face and have a conversation about yourself. You should practise interviewing beforehand so you can display confidence in your abilities when conversing with a potential employer.
Remember that there are many possible paths to success after graduating with your bachelor’s degree in business. Before looking for a job, you might want to consider going to graduate school and getting your MBA.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks and workplace tips. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found rock climbing at the local climbing gym.