How to Utilize Time Effectively as a College Student for Career Success

Students spend years in college to get qualified for the job market. In the end,  some students will end up getting into their dream Company/Job Role, while a few students will face rejection due to the lack of proper skill set. I bet you have seen other students ended up getting pretty good job offers despite poor academics. This is because, along with college studies somehow they gave time on developing their Hard & Soft skills, doing online courses, internships, freelancing, and pursuing extracurricular activities, etc. I am yet to get my Bachelors degree in hand and I do have a full-time job. So, I believe I will be able to give a few suggestions on how to use time effectively in college in order to give a boost to your career.


“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs


For any student, irrespective of the Stream, Bachelors plays a major role in shaping career options. Students should utilize their 3 or 4 years of bachelors effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, in India, we have a very limited number of universities/colleges that focus on students’ personality development and soft skill set.


So, in this Blog you will get to know how to utilize your bachelors time period, what are the soft skills you should be focusing on, and how to build your Personal branding in order to stand out among your fellow members.


First and Second years of your Bachelors:


Generally in 1st student takes time to settle down as they get into the university/college. So won’t be interested in learning new skills. Instead they will be more conscious and dedicated to scoring well in the first semester, so eventually, they give more time to college/university studies. An ideal time for students to get into learning new skills is mid of 1st year to 2nd year. In this time students can signup to the basic Course programs of their respective Streams.


Hard Skills to Develop:


  • Take online/offline courses of basic coding languages like C/Data Structure/Java etc.
  • Do courses on Quantitative Finance or Business Analytics
  • Sign up for courses around Graphic Design or Animation
  • Do certifications on Social Media Marketing or Digital Marketing


Also apart from these, students can enroll in short term training programs (Winter/summer training programs ) in their Semester Break from 1st to 2nd year.


Work on Personal Branding:


In today’s competitive world it’s not that easy to be in the limelight of recruiters. Before asking your CV, they do a lot of research and screening on what skills/experience/interests do you have. Hence online presence and personal branding are very important in these days.


Personal branding is the process of creating a recognizable professional name and reputation for yourself.

It is suggested that students should be maintained Professionally all their Social platforms especially LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter from 1st  year onwards.


Why Online Personal Branding is Important?


  • According to Forbes, 92% of companies consider the candidate’s social media profiles while hiring.
  • In a social recruiting survey, “Jobvite” a Californian based recruiting platform revealed that 93% of recruiters review candidate’s social profiles before making any hiring decision.
  • LinkedIn is considered to be the first platform used by many hiring managers for the entire recruiting process. They use LinkedIn for various processes like sourcing, screening, reviewing and for getting a pre-interview schedule.


Read full article How to Build a Personal Brand through Online Presence?


Sharpen Your Networking Skills


Networking is a great way to connect with others in your field and create opportunities for yourself after college. It is about building and maintaining relationships with people which may lead to a mutually beneficial exchange at some point in the future.


  • Networking allows you to become connected with professionals in your field or with students who are also into similar fields.
  • The advice given by your network connections can enable you to get comfortable with what to do and what not to do with regards to your potential career.
  • Referrals are helpful for students hoping to work in their picked fields. Referrals from networking can give an advantage when applying for occupations and take into consideration managers to see the potential in you.
  • Along with receiving a referral letter, networking can most importantly supply you with a job in your future.

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Third and/or Fourth Year of your Bachelors:


After Learning hard skills in an initial couple of years, 3rd year is the perfect time for students pursuing 4 years of Bachelors (and 2nd year is the perfect time for students pursuing 3 years of Bachelors)  to gain some work experience. Students can achieve this through part-time work or with few months internship. Along with these students should work on Soft Skills, personality development, and Communication.


Read this Article on How to Find Internships Abroad and List of Top International Internships for College Students


You might also like to read How to Make the Most of Your Internship


Students Opting for higher studies this is the ideal time to start preparing for Competitive Exams like CAT, GATE, GMAT, GRE, UPSC, UGC-NET, and other Competitive Exams.


Soft Skills:


Soft skills are personality traits and behaviors. Unlike technical or “hard” skills, soft skills are not about the knowledge you possess but rather behaviors you display in different situations. Interpersonal skills and communication skills are more specific categories of soft skills that many employers look for in job candidates.


There are many soft skills that you could list on your resume or cover letter, The Top Soft Skills are:


  • Effective communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Work ethic
  • Integrity

Other Extracurricular Activities to do:


  • Participating in Sports
  • Volunteering in NGO’s
  • Attending Seminars and Workshops
  • Participating in Conducting College events


Learning hard/soft skills will not get your job until and unless you present them in your CV/Resume Effectively. Today’s Digital world helps us connect with various people around the world who can help us with giving some tips on how to write effective CV/Resume, Job Search. Also, the Advantage of being socially active helps us stay up to date with news/info. For Example in last year, LinkedIn issued an article to help students with their career.


Remember Time is a Gift that most of us take for Granted!


Are you taking it for Granted???  College life won’t come back so enjoy it to the fullest also Remember to use this Precious couple of years productively so that you don’t have to regret about it in the future.


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Related Articles:


10 Effective CV (Resume) Tips for College Students and Fresh Graduates

How to Make Money as a College Student


Sources (1), (2)


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