Have a Job Searching Game Plan:
The job searching process takes time—months in fact, so if you decide this is the route you want to take after college, it’s important to get a head start senior year if you want to have a job lined up after graduation. If you’re not sure exactly which job types you’re looking for, make some time early during the year to figure it out. Schedule an appointment with a career advisor to hone in on your career interests, schedule a meeting with a professor to discuss career paths or set up some informational interviews with professionals in your field to learn about different job titles and careers in the industry. Make a timeline for your senior year as you prepare to enter the workforce. Set deadlines for yourself for when you’ll meet with a career advisor or professor to discuss job titles, practice interviewing techniques, create a professional resume, cover letter and LinkedIn Profile, attend job fairs coming to campus, contact recruitment agents and begin searching for open positions.
If you’ve decided (or you’re still considering) entering the job market upon graduation, you have several things to consider. Think about where you want to live and work upon graduation—are you only looking in one city or are you willing to relocate if you find a job elsewhere? What industries are you trying to get into and which entry level job positions will you seek? What types of companies are you targeting? Make decisions that will focus your job search and keep you on track, but stay open to new opportunities if they come up.
If you realize your resume is looking empty or you haven’t yet partaken in an internship or part-time job, now’s the time to do it. Senior year isn’t too late to step into a leadership role in an extra-curricular group you’ve been part of or to find an internship during the school year or part-time job. It’s important to have some experience when applying for jobs.
Don’t wait until after graduation to start networking. Senior year you should start talking to family and friends about your intentions post-graduation and the career path you’d like to pursue. Let them know what kinds of positions you’ll be looking for so they can keep an eye out for you if anything turns up or refer you to anyone they know in the business. Most people are happy to help new graduates and provide advice so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you stay on track and start your job search early on, you’ll be on your way to starting a new job upon graduation!
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