It’s your senior year. You’re studying hard to keep your final grades up. You’re trying to make sure you’ve fulfilled your degree requirements. You’re spending time with friends you might not see as much after graduation. How are you supposed to be strategic about looking for a job on top of all that?
Not to worry. We’ve put together some tips to help you get your job search rolling before you have that diploma in your hands.
Post Graduation Plans
Your efforts will bear more fruit if there’s a method to your madness. Just applying for jobs or going to networking events at random won’t be all that helpful. You need to know what you want to accomplish and how what you’re doing is going to help you get there.
You may also want to set a few goals to keep you on track. Having something concrete to work toward by a certain date can keep you motivated and moving in the right direction. Your goals can be big, small, or a combination of the two. It’s up to you.
It can be easy to get stuck before you’ve even started something. You can put hours into researching and planning without taking any action. You can find a career fair to attend but not actually go. You can spend time taking personality tests or or looking through job websites without any plan for what you’re hoping to accomplish.
Sometimes beginning is the hardest part. Pick one small task you can accomplish and then do it. Make that first deliberate move.
Interviews are nerve-racking. The best way to get better at them is to practice. That might mean applying for a job you’re not that interested in just so you can improve your interview skills. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll feel when you’re going for a job you truly want.
Impress the Recruiters
Recruiters meet a lot of students at career fairs. That means you need to stand out in his or her mind if you want to be remembered. Research the company beforehand so you can talk intelligently about the work they do. Show an interest in the recruiter and his or her experience with the company. Be genuine, confident, and personable.
Ideally, you should follow up with any contacts you made during a career fair or meeting by the next day. Be sure to thank the recruiter for his or her time and attention. Frequent contact will help the recruiter remember you.