The Job Search Starts Before you Graduate, Be Ready
Traditionally, the end of the road to graduation is the beginning of your search for your dream job. Rather than waiting until you’ve graduated, it’s a better idea to start searching for a position while you’re still in school. There are many steps you can take to get a head start in your quest for employment once you receive your diploma.
Build a New Resume
Craft a new resume that reflects all of the hard work you’ve done in college and the vast store of knowledge you’ve gathered, with an eye toward your chosen field and ideal jobs. Write a summary for your resume that is specific and includes examples. Use action verbs to describe any work experience you’ve had so far in your intended field, and include a link to your professional online profile, such as on LinkedIn. If your grade point average is 3.0 or above, then list it, as well as any courses you’ve taken that directly relate to the jobs for which you’re applying.
Before you graduate is a great time to mingle with potential employers and mentors. Attend networking events, such as at your local Chamber of Commerce. You may be surprised to learn that many professionals are eager to help students, so you’re likely to get a lot of good advice (and perhaps even some leads). Rather than inquiring about potential employment, approach professionals and ask to meet in person or over the phone in order to ask some specific questions about your field. Definitely send a thank you note after networking sessions.
Find Jobs That Are a Fit
Discovering the types of jobs that fit your personality and career goals takes research. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has an online Occupational Outlook Handbook that allows you to search education prerequisites, on the job training requirements, and salary estimates in a wide variety of industries. The site gives a thorough description of each job, including duties, typical work environment, the steps to achieving the position, and job outlook. Augment online career research by taking advantage of the services offered at Career Services in the college’s Student Services Department. Available resources to help you find the ideal job include skill and personality assessments.
Practice Applying for a Job
Practice makes perfect when it comes to applying for a job. Find job listings that look promising and check out what employers in your field want from their candidates. Take the time to input information as though it were a real application. If possible, show the application to a professional or mentor who is familiar with hiring and ask for feedback. Career Services can also coach you with interview preparation and practice.
The job application process can be a bit overwhelming, even for established professionals. Planning ahead now and starting the job search before you graduate will leave you better prepared to get ahead in your new career.
Written by Ashford University staff