Think an unpaid internship isn’t worth your time? Think again. New stats suggests that your chances of snagging a job right after college are getting harder and harder, and for those that DO manage to it’s because of their extensive internship experience.
According to CNN.com, full-time jobs for 18-to-29-year-olds have dropped since 2006, and less than HALF of you out there are working real gigs. To top it off, over 1.5 million college students will be flooding the job market come graduation in April and May, so that means less jobs and more competition. Employers know this and instead of looking at grades and majors, they’re honing in on marketable skills and knowledge obtained via internship programs and volunteer opportunities.
So what can you do to make yourself more enticing? Here’s a few tips:
1. Try to do a variety of internships (both paid and unpaid) while you’re in school. If you’re too busy to spend time in a traditional office, look into telecommuting gigs that offer flexible hours.
2. Keep in touch with former supervisors and co-workers to ensure additional networking opportunities. If you fall in love with a company while you’re interning there, let it be known that you’re interested in pursuing a career with them and definitely stay connected via Facebook.
3. Manage your expectations. If graduation is a month away, and you still don’t have anything full-time job consider a paid internship. The key is to alleviate gaps in your employment history and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to developing the skills you need to enter the job force.