From both an interviewer and interviewee perspective, grades can be rather arbitrary when hiring. Grades can definitely show an applicant’s academic determination, but can they really produce? Experience, drive and courage outshine an A+ to most employers. It is definitely important to be exemplary in both academia and the workplace. However if you barely passed Biology with a C and your area of study is Marketing, don’t fret my friends.
Now I’m not saying that you can skate by in college with a C or D average just to attain a mediocre bachelor’s degree in Business and then slap it on your resume and hope for the best. That is definitely not what I am trying to preach. You still need to work your butt off and keep those grades up, keep a positive rep with your instructors and try and be involved in something academically. Your instructors can be a great assets when applying for jobs. They’ve been there, they know how hard it is, and they are proof there is a light at the end of that tunnel. Heck, even a bi-weekly study group will formulate some academic references.
So how does one go about getting experience? There are several ways to go about this. Here are just a few:
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to network and be seen. Don’t be afraid to be yourself around professionals. Keep in mind that tact is key, however, don’t try and be something you’re not. Especially in the marketing realm, it truly is all in who knows you.
Tied in with networking, an internship can be a fabulous way to get experience. Although these jobs can be unpaid, the experience can help you acquire a higher paying position later on. Interning allows you to see if your major is indeed related to what you see yourself doing. Sort of a trial and error, no harm no foul type of experience.
By this, I don’t necessarily mean intelligent. I mean stay sharp and know what image you are portraying. Make sure your resume ties in with LinkedIn, Facebook and all other public forms of Social Media you have out there. Nothing more embarrassing than a future employer stumbling upon your less-than-professional Spring Break 2014 photos in Mexico. Stay on top of your image, and be sharp.
Employers want to hire you. Simple as that. They do not want to hire someone you say you are, or hire you based on something you said you could do and cannot. Fibs, inflated images and white lies only lead to disappointment for both yourself and the employer.