As any Boy Scout can tell you, the key to success is always be prepared. It’s no different getting ready to jump into the workforce than it is getting ready to go on a hike. You need to think ahead, pack smart, and plan out your journey. Here are a few things the staff at the Business Career Management Center and the alumni at the David Eccles School of Business advise you pack along as you head into the job market.

  1. Meet with a career coach. Executive Career Coach, Lisa Buffmire, says that it is important to do a self-assessment to evaluate your strengths to find your best match.
  2. Do at least one internship. Director of Career Management, Sarah Johnston, asserts that internships can easily lead to a job offer. These provide you the opportunity to explore the job itself while demonstrating your skills. Internships are also a good way to help strengthen your resume to show real-world experience.
  3. Have a strong resume. A resume serves four main purposes states Polly Unruh, Program Coordinator at the Business Career Management Center. Your resume will sell yourself, give you name recognition, track your successes and help employers screen you for a position. Because it’s an all-in-one tool, you need to be sure you have accomplishment statements, examples of your successes as well as your previous employment information adds Buffmire.
  4. Understand the job. Buffmire suggests doing at least five informational interviews with people who are already successful in the type of job/career in which you’re interested. Find out what a typical day looks like, what they recommend you prepare for, and how you can become a good candidate.
  5. Practice, practice, practice. How do your interview responses sound? What subtle signals do you send out when answering a question? Can you articulate your accomplishments concisely? Take the time to meet with a career coach and friends to do mock interviews to refine your skills and improve your confidence.
  6. Know your personal brand. Alumnae Jennifer Black and Jennifer Hamelin encourage you to find your own “tag line” which tells who you are, what you do, and how you will positively impact your employer. Understanding how you will play an integral role in a company will help your sell your value proposition. Get feedback from peers, colleagues and managers to ensure you are clear with your brand.

When you put in the hard work often and