Whether your student is one semester away from graduating or entering the job market farther down the road, there are several ways you can help him get ahead and be prepared for finding a job.
1. Network. Encourage your student to build relationships with professors, bosses, alumni, peers and family and friends who work in his target industry or line of work. Being connected will benefit your student no matter what career phase he is in.
2. Have confidence. Help your student identify his strengths and be able to tout them appropriately to potential employers. Likewise, help him identify his weaknesses and present them in a way that shows both his humility and his eagerness to continually learn and grow.
3. Be realistic. Rejection is part of job searching. Your student will likely not hear from or be rejected by many potential employers. Help him remember that this is all part of the process.
4. Identify goals. Whether your student is beginning a job hunt or has landed his first job, he needs clear, specific goals to help focus his energy and work toward accomplishment. Drawing out quantifiable goals and revisiting them often will help your student now and in the long run.
5. Think big picture. Many jobs straight out of college are less than glamorous. If your student's job entails a lot of coffee runs, help him plot out the best ways to climb the corporate ladder. If he's working for the right people and in the right company, the menial tasks will be easier to do with a smile.
6. Think details. Whether your student is polishing up his resume, interviewing for jobs or starting work, remind him to pay attention to details. Typos, missed appointments and forgotten deadlines diminish his credibility and capability.
7. Dress well. The working world expects professionalism. Take your student shopping for business clothes, and tell him to retire his hoodie and jeans to weekend attire only.
8. Forget perfection. No job will ever be perfect. And your student will make mistakes in any position. The sooner he can learn that imperfections and downfalls build character, the happier he'll be, at any job.
9. Practice the pitch. Regardless of the employment status of your student, he should have an "elevator pitch" that concisely explains what he can offer an employer and what work he wants - in the time it takes an elevator to go from the bottom floor of a building to the top. By keeping his options open and always looking for opportunities, your student will get ahead.
10. Embrace change. Finding a job can be daunting. Starting a job can be terrifying. Remind your student that it's OK to be scared, but timidity will only hurt him. Jumping right into the job, being proactive and putting in extra effort will help him prove himself quickly.