Early! Earlier than you think.
Experts agree that the earlier that students look for jobs, the better luck they will have finding a job before graduation.
Here is a timeline for what college students should do to increase their chances of being hired after graduation.
Freshman, Sophomore and Junior Years
It is never too early to start your early job search. One of the most important things college students can do to secure a job after graduation is to find internships related to their chosen field. Not only will an internship help students decide if their chosen career is right for them, but a successful internship can lead to a job offer after graduation. Contacts made during an internship can prove invaluable for finding a job later in your college career.
Senior Year: 9 Months Before Graduation
When you arrive at college for your senior year, sign up with your career center to get the latest updates on career fairs and on-campus job interviews. Many employers start recruiting students in the fall, and they accept applications for interviews that happen in January and February. Don’t miss an opportunity to interview with these employers. Spend your fall semester applying for as many job opportunities as possible. During your senior year, you should try to strengthen your resume by joining groups or taking leadership positions in groups where you are already a member.
Senior Year: 6 Months Before Graduation
Soon after the school year starts, many majors and career fields will begin having career fairs at your school. Attend these fairs to get an idea of which employers are recruiting new graduates. Before and after the fairs, make a list of potential companies you’d like to work for. And, of course, keep applying to as many companies as possible.
Senior Year: 4 Months Before Graduation
Around January or February, employers start interviewing students who sent in applications the previous fall. Many career centers have practice interviews set up to assist students. Use these resources to make sure your interviews are as polished as possible. Attend all interviews to which you are invited; even if you do not want to work for a particular company, the practice will be beneficial. Additionally, start collecting references and letters of recommendation from your professors.
Important: Be sure to ask them for recommendations while you are still taking their classes. Your professors will be more willing to write you letters. And they will have more substantial things to say about you.
After Graduation and Beyond
If you have not secured a job in the last few months prior to graduation, don’t give up! It can sometimes take months to receive a job offer. After graduation, update your resume. Get a final copy of your transcript from the registrar, and keep applying!
So when should college students start job hunting? Now.
Sure, filling out job applications, sending out resumes and finding a job can be stressful and time consuming. Eventually, though, your job search efforts will pay off. And you will have a new career to go along with your new degree.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired.