The Importance of Students Getting an Early Start on their Career Search
Today’s job market is extremely competitive. The longer you wait to look for a job, the less job opportunities come available to you upon graduation. Many college graduates wait until after graduation to start looking for employment thinking he or she can’t be considered for a job without a degree. This is actually not true. The earlier you start planning your job search the better your chances will be of landing a job right out of college.
One of the most important steps is to have a game plan for your job search. It is a process and can take several months to complete. If you have decided that this is the path you want to take right after you graduate from college, start your job search during your senior year. This will increase your chances of having a job right out of college.
If you are unsure of the types of jobs you should be looking for, take some time early on in your senior year to figure out the jobs you qualify for and narrow those down to ones you would be interested in. Utilizing your school’s career advisor to help you narrow down your career choices will help you on this path. Set up interviews with professionals in those career areas you are most interested in to discuss the ins and outs of the job or jobs you would qualify for.
Create a timeline and set deadlines for yourself during your senior year as far as when you will meet with your career advisor, professors, job fairs, recruitment agencies, and working professionals and start applying for jobs.
There are several decisions you must make if you want to enter the job market right after graduation. You need to think about the general geographical location where you want to live and work.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you looking for jobs in your hometown and nearby cities or are you willing to relocate to find jobs elsewhere?
What kind of entry level positions are you looking for?
What type of company will you be targeting?
What industry are you trying to get involved with?
By asking yourself these questions you are helping yourself make those key decisions for your job search which will keep you on track. Keep an open mind to other opportunities that may come up that you are qualified for.
Take a look at your resume.
Does it look “empty?”
Does it have any job experience remotely close to what you are looking at applying for?
Is it missing that part-time job or internship in your chosen field?
Now is the time to do it. Getting as much work experience in your field either as a paid part-time job or an internship throughout your college career is extremely important. It shows you have a passion for the field and are truly interested in working in that field. Take a step up as a leader in extracurricular groups you’re involved in or seek out new extracurricular activities that fit the chosen field niches you are looking at getting into once you graduate. You need to have some type of job-related experience on your resume when applying for jobs.
Once you have done these things, your senior year is the year to focus on networking with companies and business professionals in your chosen field. Talk to peers, professors, family, and friends about the career path you would like to take. Networking with people who are actively working in the same field will help you immensely when looking for new jobs. He or she can provide you with a lot of insight that will make your job search post-graduation much easier, more rewarding, and less painful.