Career advice for college students on building a strong career foundation

Adhering to the right career advice leads to a solid career foundation, especially for college students, as it allows them to develop an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, helping them align their skills and interests with the best possible career choices.

The right career advice can lead to advantages in the job market and the potential for a successful career path – college students have an extra edge in accessing career professionals within the career service department who can guide them through navigating the ever-evolving job market.

Why is career advice important for college students?

As a student, it is in your best interest to use the tools, tips, and career coaching resources available at the career service department because it can help you gain the self-awareness needed to understand your desired career goals and the requirements needed to attain it.  

You acquire a clearer vision of the right career path to follow in the future. This is not only very informative but also an empowering process.

Top Tips for building a successful Career Foundation

  • Start with what you have: Confidence and self-awareness play a big role in building career success therefore it helps to take inventory of the skills you have acquired from experience, education and areas of passion and interest. This can give you a rough outline of where you are and what you need to get to where you want to be. Having a sense of self-awareness can help in confidence building that comes from direction and SMART goal setting. 
  • Attend virtual events, webinars, and engage in social media: Attending training sessions give students access to tools that can be used to improve employability skills and the career service center typically hosts multiple webinars a month to coach students in job market trends and preparedness. Events like career fairs, networking engagements, informational interviews as well as engagement on social media platforms can also give students a sense of community and connectedness in the career path process.
  • Have updated employment documents: Students need to have up to date resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profile so prospective employers can access their recent skills and experience. These employment documents display a summary of the value you bring to the job market and should be updated frequently to portray an accurate depiction of all your accumulated accolades and skills. LinkedIn especially, is easily accessible to most employers and recruiters and is currently the leading platform for professionals to connect – Having a LinkedIn account that acts as a digital resume can help in connecting you with people in your industry that can play a role in your career.
  • Build and refine necessary Job Market skills: There are certain skills that employer’s rate as necessary or preferred in the job market and learning those skills can help students meet the standard of employment. Digital literacy and advanced knowledge of tools used for virtual collaboration is essential in our technologically advancing word where employers are finding effective ways to improve efficiency with the use of technology. Employers also look for soft skills like flexibility, adaptability, time management, effective communication, interpersonal skills, prioritization, creativity, and the ability to work under pressure – Getting a head start on refining these skills can help in not just attaining a job but sustaining one.
  • Research companies, trends, and topics related to your industry. Pinpoint 10 companies that are staying on the cutting edge of the industry. Learn their mission, their values, and their corporate culture. See who is most active on LinkedIn from the company. Follow them and engage with their content.

FAQs

How can college students plan for their future careers?

College students can plan for their future careers by strategically noting down the skills they possess and relating them to work that brings them happiness and fulfillment. Once a vision is set, they can work towards achieving the credentials that will lead them to the job.

How can I make my student journey successful?

You can achieve success in your student journey by focusing on your studies and finishing your deliverables on time. Be proactive in networking and look for programs that will improve your skill set. Gain industry relevant experience where you can practice the theoretical elements studied in class.

Why is career preparation important in college?

Career preparation is important in college because it assists you in creating a map that serves as direction in attaining your desired career goals. Career development is a self-discovery process that allows you to reflect on your natural talents and areas of interest in collaboration with lifestyle needs and goals for the future. Understanding these elements about yourself can inform areas of study and job acquisition in line with the desired career outcome

What are the foundations of a good career?

Finding a profession that aligns with your passion and skills, building a credible, respectable professional profile, and having the right people in your network are some foundations to consider in achieving a successful career.

For international students looking to enroll in a Canadian institution that will help them attain success in their future careers, the Toronto School of Management (TSoM) offers co-op programs that include a hands-on learning approach and prepares the students as they get ready to become professionals in their desired industries. These co-op programs are also great for working professionals who wish to further their education in a different industry and will ensure that they have the relevant work experience even before graduating.

TSoM also has a dedicated career services team that helps students as they transition from the classroom to the corporate world. You can explore multiple career assistance programs offered by the institute, including intensive guidance in creating a resume, career development workshops, job fairs, networking events, and trade shows. Click here to learn more about these programs!