What do students have to offer?
With reading week come and gone, midterms completed, and final exams still a month away, now is the time when university students’ summer planning comes into full swing. When considering a variety of jobs and internships to occupy the months off of school from May through August, students will undoubtedly be faced with the task of marketing themselves to employers. For those with just a year or two of a post-secondary education under their belt, this can be a stressful and somewhat discouraging task. With such an early stage of their education unlikely to garner interest from employers in itself, younger students must focus on the benefits they present. Let’s take a look at what these benefits are and examine what students have to offer.
Energy, enthusiasm, and a desire to learn and succeed
Many students’ greatest assets are exactly these three things. A strong willingness to learn and thrive is a powerful quality. Regardless of what they may lack in education or experience, it is essential for young job seekers to emphasize that they will bring a positive and diligent attitude to an organization, which benefits both parties.
Knowledge of current issues and trends
Students can be confident in their informed perspective on trends and current issues - these can bring real value to employers. Being actively involved in post-secondary studies, it is likely that young job seekers have encountered relevant subjects through their courses and programs that companies are currently dealing with. For example, many post–secondary students can bring a fresh outlook to the topic of business’ environmental impact, since this is a "newer" and trendy topic that most students have been aware of throughout their lifetime.
Specialized skills of a younger generation
For the most part, university-aged job seekers have a skill set that older employees in a company may not possess. With an increased reliance on social networking and computer technology comes an advantage for computer-literate students. Having an understanding of these media and the ability to achieve valuable results through their use is an attribute that students can make the most of in their job search.
Past work experience, regardless of the scale on which it was achieved, is an asset that some students might hold. Strong references from previous employers and a history of advancement expresses value to potential new employers. Further, transferable skills and knowledge from a past job can be helpful in a variety of ways. Even if a previous occupation is unrelated to the field being pursued, a history of strong interpersonal skills and work habits is of value to any organization.
Students Have Unique Strengths
It is important to remember that regardless of their age, students have unique strengths. When speaking with potential summer employers, they can sell themselves as a high-potential assets that can be employed inexpensively (or even for free) and groomed to return in future years. Young job seekers may not score their dream jobs just yet, but by promoting themselves by explaining clearly the unique ways they can benefit employers they can absolutely achieve a valuable summer experience.
This article was written by Benjamin Gottlieb. Benjamin is a first year student at the University of Western Ontario. He's pursuing a degree in Political Science, and has been pre-accepted to the Richard Ivey School of Business for the 2012 academic year.