If you are in college you may think that taking the right classes and getting good grades are the only things required to help you find a good job when you graduate.

It might surprise you to learn, however, that there are certain steps you should take right now to ensure that there is a job awaiting you once your college day are through. Here are some tips and tools that can help.

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  • Start your job hunt now. According to an online Forbes article, most students typically don’t start looking for work until right before they are about to graduate. Make a point to research companies right now to get an idea of the positions they have available. When the position appears that you are qualified for, you can then be ready to take action.
  • Apply for internships to jump-start your career. Choose big name companies to intern with so that future employers will associate you with the brand-name of the company. Companies that are leaders in their fields not only stand out on resumes, but interning for them will open doors for you in the future.
  • Find out what positions are available at the company where you intern. Volunteer for assignments that can help you build up the qualifications that the job requires. If you can impress the company with your skills as an intern, they will be more willing to hire you to work for them once you graduate.
  • Set up a LinkedIn account to give you presence on the Internet. Use this account to network with adults that are already in the industry that you wish to pursue. Creating strong contacts now will help people remember you when job positions open up later on.
  • Watch what you post on the Internet. Many companies check Facebook pages and the Twitter “Tweets” of potential employees. Remember that what you post today, may come back to haunt you tomorrow. Photos of you wasted at a party or posing provocatively may get you attention, but it won’t be the attention you need when you apply for a job.
  • Create a blog or website to showcase your skills for potential employers. Think of your blog or website as an online resume that will show potential employers what you can offer if they hire you. Structure the blog or website around the field you wish to be in, then research and write good quality articles that pertain to the type of job that you want to have when you graduate.
  • Seek out a mentor that is already doing the job you would like to have once you complete college. Email potential mentors and ask if you can buy them a cup of coffee or take them out to lunch. Most people like to talk about themselves and what kind of job they do. If you impress them with your maturity and knowledge of the industry, they will often take you under their wing and help coach you through to getting your first job.
  • Take advantage of your school’s career services office. Studies have shown that only 29-percent of student’s use career services to help them prepare for job interviews. Career services not only help you perfect your resume and cover letter, but they can also put you in touch with an alumni who will share their career experiences with you and can often help point you in the right direction for employment opportunities.

David Greer writes part-time for educational sites. Check out some of the Top MBA Schools that offer online courses.