Seniors are beginning to get antsy and parents and teachers are asking them what they plan to do with their futures.
Now that the semester has ended and senior year is half way over, it is time to figure out the best process for getting a job that’s a good fit.
The first step is to do your homework. This means taking a critical look at your prospective and/or ideal companies and finding out their background. Rather than simply saying you’d love to work somewhere you must understand the realistic salary, benefits and job description you would have.
After doing some research and learning more about the workplace, it is time to brush up with your contacts. Everyone from professors to internship mentors to relatives can serve as great point people for you. Let them know exactly what you are interested in and be clear about your career goals.
Don’t ever think it’s too early to start discussing job openings. If anything, following up with contacts early makes you look determined and keeps you right on their radar.
Before actually sending out resumes, be sure to have a professional in your field of choice take a critical look at your resume after you update it. The resume can make or break your chance of getting an interview if it isn’t complete or looks unprofessional.
Another good job resource many people forget is job placement agencies. Their purpose is to float your resume around and assist you and interested companies in getting positions filled quickly. Instead of actual agencies, others students can opt to use career websites to post resumes electronically and correspond through e-mails.
Once you have gotten your resume or portfolio out, you want to be persistent with your potential employer about setting up an interview. When you finally get one, be on time, professional, and enthusiastic. Treat your interview like a college test. Know the important facts and be well versed on topics in your industry.
A good piece of advice I have gotten along the way is to never settle, but be realistic. Negotiate important things like start date and pay and don’t be afraid to be assertive. If the employer really wants you, simple requests will not hinder your chances of holding onto that job opportunity.
The last bit of advice is to be humble and see potential in your options. The job market is volatile and you may have to start with an internship or entry-level position that didn’t meet your post-graduate visions.
The working world is your ladder and the speed by which you choose to climb is up to you. Stay positive and open-minded and good things will come your way.