Job Search Tips for Seniors
February 19th, 2010
It’s a challenging job market, but don’t give up. There are still jobs out there and more come through our career office every day. Some tips to help you succeed…
1. Prepare your pitch. Put together your story for why you’re the best candidate for each job opportunity. Make sure your cover letter and resume are effective. Practice your interview answers – out loud with another person, preferably a career coach or counselor. Go to the career office for guidance and feedback. It’s OK if you’ve never gone there before. They see hundreds of students just like you every year.
2. Get off campus. Employers hire people, not paper. The best way for a potential employer to get to know you is to meet you in person. Your internet application or email with your resume attached won’t be nearly enough. Informational interview a lot and meet lots of new people. Ask your friends, family, professors and career office for people to meet and learn about organizations and career paths – even ones you’ve never heard of before. Find out how to tap into the alumni network via the college’s alumni directory, LinkedIn and/or Facebook.
3. Don’t give up. Most students are not aware of the time required to get a job. It will likely take 6 months of active job searching, over 100 informational interviews and 30 formal job interviews. Most seniors get their jobs AFTER graduation – even in a strong job market. So, don’t give up too soon. Otherwise, you may miss out on the one job that’s waiting for you.
4. Grad school is not a great back-up option. It’s an expensive option. If grad school aligns with your long term vision AND you are motivated to go, then it’s a good option. But it’s a dangerous option if you’re thinking that you’ll go there for “safe haven” to figure out what you really want. If you had trouble figuring that out in college, it’s likely that you won’t in grad school either (it’s pretty all-consuming). Take a break from school, explore your interests, and if grad school makes sense, reapply next year. You’ll be more motivated and have a clearer sense for why you’re really there.