Jennifer

Jennifer Gordillo is a junior at Florida State University, majoring in media communication studies and political science. She is an intern in human resources and risk management for the City of Coconut Creek.

Years ago, job stability for recent college graduates was a constant guarantee. For about the last decade or so, this no longer has been the case. Many college graduates are finding it harder to get jobs, and the competitiveness in many fields does not suggest this will change anytime soon. This uncertainty can be unsettling if you’re a millennial, but there are steps you can take to improve your employment prospects by the time you’re ready to enter the workforce.

Be an intern. Interning while still in school is the best way to ease the transition from college to a career. As each generation enters the workforce, jobs become more limited and specific for candidates with a certain amount of experience that many first-time employees do not have. Interning is the best way to earn the experience employers require, and starting early does not hurt either.

Get involved. Participating in anything of interest not only will expand your worldview but also reflect your initiative. Do not be intimidated by leadership positions and take advantage of opportunities that will allow you to showcase your talents. If you are still in school, join a club and consider pursuing a position on the executive board. If you recently have moved, join a local committee and get to know your neighbors by working alongside them to enhance your community. Let each instance of civic engagement make you a more-qualified job candidate and a better person.

Think outside the box. The key to being a well-rounded candidate for any job is to prove that you are not afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone. When looking for internships, jobs or other involvement opportunities, don’t count out anything that is not in your immediate field of expertise. My first internship with the city’s human resources department taught me a lot about a branch of work that I did not know before. Working with the city has made me appreciate so much of what its employees do. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be rewarding if you are up for the challenge.

Know how to market yourself. Make the most of your available resources. Network, attend résumé and cover-letter writing workshops, be active on social media, and understand your brand. Marketing yourself properly to employers will give them a good idea of who you are and what you can do. You’re not going to get every job for which you apply, so don’t be discouraged by rejection. Instead, use the opportunity to work on yourself and make each application stronger than your last.

With all that in mind, proactive millennials should find it easier to transition from school to the workplace. Most of the job search depends on the applicant, so it is important to prepare as much as you can now to secure your dream job later.

Interested in an internship or career with the city of Coconut Creek? Visit coconutcreek.net/jobs.