College is the gauntlet of independence that will finally result in you becoming an autonomous adult. It is the best time to learn and practice career skills that will last you a lifetime – while surrounded by resources and opportunities. Here are some of the most critical.

How to Deliver a 30-Second Pitch

Whether you happen to be in business or a liberal arts field, you’re going to want to learn how to do an effective elevator pitch. Why? Well, networking is essential. Someday you just might find yourself talking to somebody with a lot of influence or somebody who could provide you with a massive opportunity. When the moment is right, a quick pitch of your idea could change everything. While business classes might offer some insight into how to pitch like a professional, you should also look into the resources of your student career office. There are many ways to practice.

How to Write a Resume

Resumes are essential for everybody. Even people with relatively stable jobs never know when the unexpected could happen. That’s why it’s best to write and refine your resume sooner rather than later. You should know how to write a proper resume and what details to include. Again, some classes and courses will probably help you with this – but there is also almost definitely a counselor in the student career office who could walk you through it. When in doubt, make it simple, clear, short, and eye-catching. Templates are often available online if you’re unsure of where to start. Once you have a formula down, you will have a lifelong skill that will always be useful to you.

Developing a Network

Resume writing, delivering a thirty-second pitch, and every other career skill will serve you in your long-term career goal: networking. You might think that your long-term goal is getting a fantastic job (which is true). But if that fantastic job suddenly lets you go due to the unpredictable movement of the job market, your network acts as a safety net. You can also use it to find other people who you want to work with or for you. This is the perfect time to make connections – at the career fairs, at your jobs, at clubs or conventions, and more.

Always be looking for opportunities to grow. Look for people who you can talk to and connect with. Look for moments when you can step outside your comfort zone. As you go about developing these skills, you will be building a toolbox that will last you a lifetime.