If you’re currently in college or simply considering a new line of work, there are a number of things you can to do prepare for your new career. Taking time to position yourself prior to entering a new field is crucial. Follow these 25 career preparation tips to give yourself a much-needed competitive edge.

1. Consider a Specialization

Choose an academic minor or specialization area so you have something extra to offer employers. Take a class or learning a new skill that sets you apart.

2. Plan Carefully

Plan your college credits carefully. Prioritize a list of goals for transitioning into a new career.

3. Seek an Adviser

Talk to your academic adviser regularly for guidance on the best classes, internships or volunteer experiences. Find a mentor in your field to give you advice.

4. Utilize Career Services

College students should visit the Career Services office to gain information on choosing a career path that’s a good fit. Independent career counselors serve the same purpose.

5. Get Involved

Join clubs and organizations. Doing so will provide leadership and interpersonal skills and looks good to employers.

6. Gain Practical Experience

Whether through an internship, apprenticeship or volunteer work, hands-on experience is always beneficial.

7. Seek Certification

If there is any type of licensing or certification available in your field, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it in order to add credentials to your resume.

8. Learn Relevant Skills

Be sure to take time to learn any skills that are relevant to or could enhance your job performance. Anything extra you can offer is appealing.

9. Create an Online Presence

Whether it’s a blog, a professional website, online portfolio or social media page, creating an online platform to refer employers to your professional knowledge is impressive.

10. Have a Print Portfolio

In most career fields, having a print portfolio of your work to show at interviews is advantageous.

11. Write Your Resume and Cover Letter

A resume and cover letter are essential to the job search. There is no avoiding them.

12. Know What Employers Expect

Begin researching early into the expectations of employers so that you aren’t missing anything when the time comes to find work.

13. Network

Begin as soon as possible developing your network of friends, colleagues, professors and advisers. You will need this support.

14. Do Your Best

Whether it’s maintaining a high GPA or obtaining positive performance reviews, do your best to gain positive accolades and achievements.

15. Know Yourself

Knowing what’s important to you will be beneficial in choosing the right work environment later.

16. Learn to Write Well

Writing is a skill that is needed in all industries. Master it.

17. Appreciate Diversity

Travel, meet people from all over or learn about other cultures.

18. Explore

Take classes in various subject matters to expose yourself to as many interests as possible.

19. Go to Career Fairs

Even if not actively job searching, career fairs are a great way to research employers and get a feel for the job market.

20. Put Yourself Out There

Get your resume seen in as many places as possible. There are resume posting sites online to help with this.

21. Look Everywhere

Search as many places as possible for job leads. School bulletin boards, online ads, company websites, your network.

22. Learn Public Speaking

Giving presentations is a universally needed skill.

23. Know the Lingo

Learn the buzzwords of your field and use them properly.

24. Understand Theory

Most areas of study are built on theory. It’s important to understand the foundations of your field.

25. Start Early

It’s never too soon to begin preparing for your future. Use these career preparation tips to jump start your job search.
create resume