It’s that time of year when many students are graduating from college. As the graduation date approaches, a common question will be about plans for after college and looking for a job. Whether you are a senior or just starting back to school, it’s a good idea to think ahead and be proactive with your job search. Here are some suggestions to help you get ready for the job search while in college.
Use your time in college to get information about your field of study and potential careers. Utilize the college’s Career Center for career exploration or meet with an advisor to find out more about careers related to your major. Take the time to research prospective employers to find out more about their organizations and possible job opportunities. Set up an informational interview with someone working in your field to find out about their career path and advice.
It’s important to get work experience while in college, especially in your field of study. Seek out an internship or externship part-time job, or even a volunteer opportunity to get that real world, hands-on experience. Contact your Career Center for opportunities or check with your network. Employers are expecting that college graduates will have job experience on their resume. It will also help you understand what you like and don’t like in a particular job.
Get Out There
It’s all about networking these days, so get out there and connect with others. Attend college job fairs and networking events, connect via LinkedIn, add your classmates and professors to your network, and don’t forget about your friends and family. There are many ways to network, both in-person and online, and as over 70% of jobs are obtained through networking, it’s not an option anymore but a fundamental. The more you build out and utilize your network, the easier it will be to land that job after graduation.
You will need to get organized and start your job search prior to graduation. Make this a priority as you start your senior year. Start a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your job search activities each week. Update your resume and create targeted versions as needed, work on your cover letter and professional references, and create a short introduction statement (elevator pitch), which will also help you with networking. Practice answering interview questions and do some mock interviews. Getting organized and being prepared will lead you to success.
Take some time to work on your job search while in college. The effort will pay off when you graduate and get ready to enter the job market. For more information, read 15 Quick Tips for Landing a Job at Graduation and How to Land Your First Job after College.