College is supposed to prepare you for the real world.  But with more and more college graduates not finding employment in their field of study, students must do more to stand out from the rest of the competition.  Although it is important to enjoy your college years, it is also important that you are prepared for the working world and living on your own.  There are many steps you can take to stand out from the rest of the graduates entering the work field.

1. Internships

Obtaining an internship is probably one of the most popular and most important assets that you can record on your resume.  Employers like to see that you have previous work experience and that you are an efficient worker.  Many students stress about finding internships, so it is important to start looking and applying for internships early.  If you are an upperclassman, try obtaining an internship with a company that you enjoy and you have interest in because they might hire you after college if you make a good impression.  

2. Clubs

Joining clubs and other school organizations help you make connections with students of other majors and helps you network with the students at your college.  Leadership experience is also an asset that you can add to your resume.  Employers like to see that you are well rounded with classes and on-campus activities.  This can also be an asset if you intend to apply for grad school in the future.

3. Certifications

Certifications are a great way for employers to acknowledge your skills.  Even if the certification does not directly relate to your major, receiving a certification in a certain field tells employers that you dedicate yourself to the work at hand.  The certification may be useful in the future as well.  You can find and sign up for certification tests online.  Becoming certified in a certain subject or field usually requires extra classes or experience  Also, be sure to prepare first; the certification tests are not cheap.

4. Minors

If you finished some credits over the summer or through AP units and you are ahead of schedule, why not look at minoring in another subject.  Even if your minor doesn't directly relate to your major, it is more experience in a different field that can help you in the future.  Make sure to pick a minor that you are passionate about so that you will focus on these classes.  Talk to your college advisers to get information about minoring in another subject, or see if there are minors that are similar to your major; you may be able to overlap classes.

5. Study Abroad

Students may think of studying abroad as a vacation rather than school.  But you are taking classes in a foreign country and gaining life and culture experience at the same time.  Studying abroad builds character and experience with a different set of individuals.  Employers like to see that you are okay with getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new avenues.  If you have the funds to study abroad, it is a fun learning experience that can change your views of the world.