â€œItâ€™s important that students arrive on campus prepared since 70% of recruiting takes place in the fall semester,â€ says Clarke, who hosts career fairs and employer info sessions at Kelley as early as the second week of September.
Clarke and herÂ staff prepare students with the skills theyâ€™ll need to find the right career, including coaching, rÃ©sumÃ© assessment, and mock interviews.
â€œAs clichÃ© as it sounds, the early bird does get the worm, and that applies to internships, interviews, and potential job offers. While we do recommend that students get as early a start as possible, our advice can be applied at any point in their college career,â€ says Clarke, a Kelley graduate herself and a former human resources director at a Fortune 500 company.
Here are Clarkeâ€™s five tips on how students can kickstart their career prep the first semester:
- Who am I and what do I want to do? The earlier students discover their passion and what a fulfilling career means to them, the easier it is to develop a plan to achieve their goals. At the Kelley School, students start this journey in Kelley Compass, a â€œtalent management systemâ€ that entails three years of experiences suited to the developmental needs of undergraduates.
- Prep the promo materials. Waiting until junior or senior year to tailor a rÃ©sumÃ© to positions of interest is a recurring mistake students makeâ€”one that could leave them behind the curve.
- Practice, practice, practice! Career preparation takes work. As with tailoring your rÃ©sumÃ©, donâ€™t wait until you have an interview to prepare for one.
- Boost your network. â€œNetworking is a skill that will benefit anyone for the rest of their lives,â€ says Clarke. â€œMost of us donâ€™t like to do it, but itâ€™s essential for long-term success.â€ At Kelley, students have multiple opportunities to network at on-campus and virtual career fairs.
- Go beyond your comfort zone. College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that provides the chance to learn from different individuals, and more students need to take advantage. â€œItâ€™s critical to do more than go to class. Because todayâ€™s business world is so diverse, companies are seeking out well-rounded candidates who can work with peers from varying backgrounds as a cohesive team.â€
This post was written by Susie Clarke and provided by theÂ Indiana University Kelley School of Business’s Office of Undergraduate Career Services.