The holidays are over, the start of the semester is around the corner and reality is becoming more real. For seniors everywhere, the next few months will be filled with interviewing, resume critiques and (hopefully) receiving the perfect job offer to commemorate four years of hard work.
Entering the “real world” can be a looming thought, and is one that many seniors have tried to put off having to face for many months now. Searching for the perfect job (or any job, for that matter) can be quite the overwhelming task. When you have the same end goal as the rest of your graduating class, it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a huge pond.
Despite the pressures and concerns, we should all take comfort in the fact that this happens every semester. Seniors graduate, search for jobs and end up just fine. And you will, too!
Here are four tips to help you kick off your job hunt like a PRo, giving you the chance to start early in the semester.
1. Evaluate Your Network
Who do you know, and how can they help you? Take some time to consider if past mentors, professors, bosses or internship colleagues may be able to help make your search a little less stressful. Send emails or handwritten notes to check and and re-spark conversations (that you’ve hopefully been keeping up with all along). Really beef up your LinkedIn profile and make those connections more than just meaningless digital data.
2. Visit the University Career Center
This may seem a bit cliche, but considering you’ve been paying for your education for 4 years now, it’s best to use every resource at your disposal. Ask for advice on your resume, cover letter and interviewing techniques. Does your university offer any assistance with connecting you with local alumni who you may want to network with? These are all valuable questions that can lighten the load of your job-searching burden.
3. Compile Your Accomplishments
No, I don’t mean write a resume (though you should have one of those, too). I mean physically gather all of your accomplished works in one place, and create a portfolio of sorts. Your resume will outline the work that you’ve done over the years, but having the physical work in front of you will spark memories about just how good you are at what you do. Go through the materials you’ve gathered and develop taking points about your strongest work. Then, take those talking points and pieces into interviews for an even stronger self-pitch.
4. Develop a Plan
Right now, anything is possible. Your future career may be right in front of you or a plane ride away. To help narrow down the possibilities, it’s easiest to work from a strategic plan (treat your job search like a client). Decide what you’d like to do, and what you wouldn’t like to do post-grad. Select companies that you could see yourself working for and set up informational interviews, face-to-face or phone meetings. Create lists of why you’d be an ideal candidate for all of the positions you’re interested in. Don’t walk into the job search blind –know what’s out there and go for it!
Seniors, what methods are you using to make the job search easier? And to those who have already graduated and landed their jobs, what advice do you have for current seniors?